Yusuf Alli – Cii News | 20 December 2013/16 Safar 1435

 

MONDAY

China’s official state news agency said a clash between police and locals in the country’s northwestern region of Xinjiang was an organised and premeditated attack by a small “terrorist” group.

The incident left 16 people dead

Sweden-based Uighur activist Dilxat Raxit said Sunday’s incident was the latest example of how Chinese security forces are increasingly opting to kill suspects at the scene rather than capturing them and putting them on trial.

He says they are now opening fire and killing people, then calling them terrorists, depriving them of their right to defend themselves in a court.

The Chinese government typically calls such incidents terrorist attacks linked to radicals based overseas, although there is little evidence that they are carefully organised.

In many cases, the violence appears to be caused by anger over poverty and strict rules on Uighur culture and Muslim worship.

—–

A former Durban honeymoon couple were killed in a head-on collision near Margate just hours after their wedding in Durban on Saturday.

A 15-year-old boy, on holiday from Joburg with his parents, died in the same accident on the R61.

Netcare 911 spokesman Chris Botha said by the time emergency teams arrived, the couple and the boy, who was in the other car, were already dead.

Ashlee Reddy, and his bride Deepika, originally from Durban but living in Joburg, were on their way to the hotel at San Lameer, where they had planned to spend their honeymoon.

The family of the boy was severely traumatized as he had just celebrated his birthday, on December 8

—–

Police say More than 1800 people have been arrested in KwaZulu-Natal for various crimes last week.

There were 1863 arrests for crimes ranging from murder, attempted murder and rape, to business robbery, house robbery, hijacking, theft of motor vehicles, assault, kidnapping, fraud, stock theft, possession of unlicensed firearms, and possession of drugs.

The arrests took place in a number of operations held between last Tuesday and Sunday in preparation for the holiday season.

Naicker said 73 firearms, 51 stolen motor vehicles and a large amount of drugs and alcohol were seized.

Those arrested had already appeared in various courts around the province.

—–

Men disguised as hikers have attacked and robbed an Australian couple on Lion’s Head, in the Table Mountain National Park, Cape Town.

Park spokesman Merle Collins said criminals have posed as hikers in the past to blend in.

She said three men attacked the pair on Sunday.

She advised visitors to walk in groups of at least four and tell someone where they were going and at what time they expected to return.

In the past few years security in the park has been beefed up and patrol dogs have been introduced.

The men fled in the direction of Camps Bay.

No arrests have been made.

—–

 

TUESDAY

Reports say a 3-year-old Yemeni girl was admitted to intensive care with severe bleeding after being raped by her father.

The little girl was unconscious when she arrived at Al-Thawra hospital in Sana’a, and suffered a rupture which caused the severe bleeding.

The September.net news website report didnt say when the assault happened.

The girl’s uncle had reportedly demanded his brother be executed for the alleged crime, saying that the whole family “disowns” the man for the “unforgivable heinous crime.

The unnamed man warned that the family is ready to execute the father if authorities do not act swiftly.

—–

Egyptian riot police have fired tear gas to disperse students protesting against the military-backed government outside Cairo’s Ain Shams University.

Egyptian security forces fired tear gas at dozens of university students outside the campus while the students were trying to boost their protest to the nearby Defense Ministry building.

The students have been demonstrating outside Ain Shams University in eastern Cairo as part of a spreading protest movement in universities against the current interim authorities.

The developments come as demonstrations by Morsi’s supporters against the government are still being held across Egypt despite the interim authorities’ efforts to widen crackdown on Morsi backers.

Meanwhile, an anti-coup alliance has said that it will boycott next month’s vote on the country’s new constitution.

——

National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa pushed ahead with its special congress in Boksburg today.

Initially, the congress was delayed due to the 10 days of mourning for Nelson Mandela, but union members are determined to meet to decide whether or not they’ll back the ANC in next year’s elections.

Numsa was also threatening to split from Congress of South African Trade Unions and a final decision will be made during the four-day congress this week.

The union wanted Cosatu’s general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi to be reinstated.

In addition, Numsa is demanded that the ANC abandon the National Development Plan (NDP).

——

A senior US official said Afghan President Hamid Karzai should sign the controversial Bilateral Security Agreement between Kabul and Washington as soon as possible.

Deputy spokeswoman for the US Department of State Marie Harf made the comments in reference to the deal, which would determine the presence of US soldiers in Afghanistan beyond the planned 2014 withdrawal.

The pact would also grant legal immunity to those American soldiers who remain in Afghanistan – something that has turned into a sticking point.

The Afghan president, however, said on December 14 that he no longer trusts the United States, accusing the US administration of saying one thing and doing another.

He added he would not be intimidated into signing the deal.

Karzai has also urged Washington to reconsider its stance on the controversial security deal, reiterating his position that the Afghan nation cannot approve an agreement without guarantees that the US will halt its deadly airstrikes on residential areas and help broker a peace process with the Taliban.

——

Egypt’s awqaf ministry had announced that it was banning prominent Salafist scholars in Egypt from preaching at mosques unless they receive prior permits.

The ban includes Sheikh Abu-Shaq Al-Howaini, Sheikh Mohamed Hassan and Sheikh Muhammad Hussein Yacoub.

All three sheikhs are member of the Salafist Council of Religious Scholars and leaders of the Salafist movement in Egypt.

According to the ministry’s information centre, the three men now need prior permits if they want to deliver a speech in any of the mosques in Egypt.

Media reports have reiterated that it is the first time such a measure has been taken since former President Hosni Mubarak was ousted.

As a result of the ban, sources say that a sermon by Sheikh Al-Howaini, which was originally scheduled for last week at the Al-Hosari Mosque in the city of Six October, was cancelled.

—–

A car bomb struck a stronghold of the Shia armed group Hezbollah in eastern Lebanon, injuring both civilians and members.

Lebanons e National News Agency reported that the blast near the remote village of Sbouba in the Baalbek region was caused by what it called a suicide bomber.

Beirut-based The Daily Star daily said the suicide bomber drove an explosives-laden vehicle into two vans carrying Hezbollah members.

Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV confirmed the blast, adding that the attack took place near a Hezbollah transit point hub.

Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Lebanon said 10 were injured in the attack.

—–

The simmering tension between New Delhi and Washington over the arrest of an Indian diplomat in New York had escalated into a major row with the boycott of a visiting US Congressional delegation by India’s political leaders.

The Indian diplomat was arrested on Thursday as she was dropping her daughter to school.

She was handcuffed in public and later freed on bail worth $250,000.

India has asked all US diplomats stationed in India to turn in their identity cards.

Earlier today, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and federal home minister Sushilkumar Shinde refused to meet the visiting delegation in protest against the “despicable and barbaric” treatment meted to the arrested diplomat Devyani Khobragade in New York.

News of Khobragade being lodged in a prison cell in the company of drug addicts and being subject to a strip search have angered India’s mandarins and political bosses.

The diplomat was also subject to a DNA swab.

——–

Murder accused Nico Henning had been granted R10 million bail by the Pretoria Regional Court.

To be released, he would have to pay R300,000 of the amount and provide surety for the remaining R9.7 million,.

Chief magistrate Desmond Nair adjourned the court to enable the State and Henning’s defence to discuss bail conditions.

Henning is charged with murder and conspiring to murder his estranged wife Chanelle Henning, who was shot dead shortly after dropping off their child at a creche in Faerie Glen, Pretoria, in November 2011.

He handed himself to police in Villieria, Pretoria, on Friday, December 6.

—–

Numsa had come out as the first alliance structure to say they should consider calling for the resignation of President Jacob Zuma over the Nkandla saga, ”to preserve the late Nelson Mandela’s legacy”

Opening the four-day conference in Boksburg, Numsa acting president Andrew Chirwa said Zuma must be asked to resign to preserve the legacy of Nelson Mandela, who taught us that the needs of the people must be prioritised over the personal needs of leaders.

Chirwa lashed out at the SACP, which has called for government to convene a tribunal to investigate who had booed Zuma at Mandela’s national memorial service last week, instead of looking at the causes of the booing.

Chirwa also appeared to set the stage for a Numsa breakaway from Cosatu when he suggested that Cosatu is being used by “right-wing capitalists” to advance a neoliberal agenda.

The union would also elect a new president following the resignation of Cedric Gina, apparently over Numsa’s anti-Cosatu stance.

—–

Nine in 10 young South Africans believe the best way to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s life would be with a public holiday, a survey revealed on Tuesday.

Shirley Wakefield, CEO of market research company Pondering Panda said it was incredible to see such an outpouring of gratitude and affection from the youth of South Africa

A total of 11 270 people aged between 13 and 34 were surveyed across the country immediately after Mandela’s death through social networking site Mxit.

Around 48% of respondents believed the country would get worse without him, 23% believed his death would not change anything, and 11% believed things would get better for South Africa.

Eighteen percent were unsure what the future would hold.

Twenty-one percent of those surveyed said they were afraid Mandela’s death could ignite renewed violence in South Africa.

—–

WEDNESDAY

The Justice Project SA said Motorists might be able to claim e-tolls refund because a Government Gazette notice about the charges indicates conflicting amounts.

JPSA national chairperson Howard Dembovsky said the differences were in the English and Afrikaans versions of the e-toll tariff notices published in the Government Gazette.

It asked that the department instruct the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) to stop levying and collecting e-tolls until the matter was corrected.

The Star newspaper reported that, according to Dembovsky, users of the paymyfines website were receiving e-toll bills by email even though they were not registered e-tag users, or had not given their e-mail address to Sanral.

Dembovsky reportedly alleged that the website appeared to break its own privacy policy as it promises not to disclose personal information without consent.

He reportedly told the newspaper that the emails demanding payment did not have an invoice attached, and thus apparently had no legal validity.

—–

The newly elected president of metalworkers’ union Numsa, Andrew Chirwa, had increased calls for President Jacob Zuma to resign, as the furore over the expensive Nkandla upgrades refuses to die down.

Chirwa said Zuma would, by calling it quits, be demonstrating that he was serious about serving the interests of the people and not just himself.

He urged Numsa members to consider calling on Zuma to step down.

He was addressing hundreds of Numsa members shortly before he was elected unopposed during the union’s four-day special national congress in Boksburg.

He replaced Cedric Gina, who resigned unceremoniously last month.

It is expected that members will, during the special congress, decide whether Numsa should break away from Cosatu.

Numsa is Cosatu’s biggest affiliate by numbers, with an estimated 328 000 members.

—–

—–

The United Nations’s refugee agency saidthat approximately 210,000 people had been displaced in the capital of the Central African Republic, Bangui, in the past two weeks as a result of sectarian violence.

Central Africans ran away from the fighting between Muslims and Christians in the country, where France had around 1,600 troops, acting with the African Union-led forces on the ground.

Humanitarian organisations said that at least 500 people were killed in Bangui in December in killing sprees on civilians by both sides.

The UN World Food Program said it would resume food delivery to about 40,000 people near the Bangui airport after the security situation forced the work to stop over the weekend.

The agency also warned that up to a quarter of the mineral-rich nation’s 5.2 million population risks going hungry.

—–

Unknown gunmen in Afghanistan attacked a US military base in the eastern province of Nangarhar.

The attack started with rockets being fired at the base in the town of Torkham near the border with Pakistan.

Gunfire was heard following the rocket attack.

In a similar attack several months ago in Torkham, fighters torched tens of fuel tankers belonging to the foreign forces on a highway leading to the same US base that has come under attack today.

Earlier this week, a bomber blew his explosives near the security office of Torkham, injuring at least three people.

—–

Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane has thanked the province’s residents for the respect they showed during the mourning period for former president Nelson Mandela.

She said South Africans could all aspire to be more like him by serving local communities and community organisations with integrity and compassion.

During Mandela’s memorial service last week, President Jacob Zuma was humiliated when large sections of the crowd booed him whenever his face appeared on the large screens.

The open hostility embarrassed the African National Congress, whose deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa called for restraint.

The crowd’s reaction to Zuma marked a sharp contrast to the applause given to former president Thabo Mbeki.

—–

The ANC Youth League says Numsa’s calls for President Jacob Zuma to step down are nonsense,.

The organizations spokesman Bandile Masuku says they called on those who made such unfortunate calls to hold their horses and they should not get ahead of themselves.

He said they should await the release of the Public Protector findings before they make such nonsensical pronouncements.

Masuku said the ANCYL would stand with Zuma “all the way” to the 2014 national elections.

He added that The ANC Youth League believes President Jacob Zuma has done a sterling job.

—–

In a historic move, India’s parliament has passed the Lokpal bill that will create the institution of an independent ombudsman to look into cases of corruption in government.

The lower house of parliament passed the bill with all political parties, barring one, cooperating on the issue.

The regional Samajwadi party, an ally of the ruling coalition, walked out in protest.

The Lokpal bill is the outcome of a ferocious anti-corruption movement that erupted across the country in 2011 led by the aging icon Anna Hazare.

The bill will result in the creation of an autonomous federal entity headed by an independent ombudsman who will look into accusations of corruption in government.

There will be similar anti-corruption bodies in all states.

—-

Fugitive former South Sudanese vice president Riek Machar had denied government allegations that he tried to stage a coup at the weekend.

In a BBC interview, he denied any link with fighting that began on Sunday.

Machar, who fell out with President Salva Kiir in July, accused him of “inciting tribal and ethnic violence” to cover his own failings.

The UN says the fighting has claimed hundreds of lives, and warned that it could descend into a civil war.

The UN diplomats say that so far as many as 500 people have died in the fighting.

—–

Ukraine’s decision to suspend a deal on closer EU ties and sign a Russian aid agreement instead had helped avoid bankruptcy.

Russian President Vladimir Putin had agreed to buy $15bn of Ukrainian government bonds and slash the price of Russian gas.

Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said the package would protect financial stability.

However the opposition has demanded to know what was offered to Russia in return.

The government’s surprise U-turn on an EU association agreement last month sparked mass demonstrations.

—–

The Philippines had launched an $8.17bn plan to rebuild the lives of millions made homeless by Super Typhoon Haiyan, and strengthen the nation’s defences against future natural disasters.

On Tuesday the nation ended its 40-day mourning period for the estimated 8,000 who were either killed or left unaccounted for by the natural disaster

The Filipino government called on the international community and its private sector to take part in the four-year plan to rebuild the damage.

Haiyan, one of the biggest typhoons to make landfall, has flattened the homes of more than 16 million people in the typhoon-devastated central city of Tacloban, displacing 4.4 million people.

Bearing $12.9bn-worth of damage and destruction, the Philippine’s economy is expected to slow by 0.3 percent this year and next as a result of the typhoon that has also left 6 million people without jobs.

—–

Three children were among six people killed in landslides triggered by torrential rain in the southeastern Brazilian state of Minas Gerais.

Of the six fatalities, a fire brigade official said the bodies of a child and three adults have been recovered.

A new landslide prevented fire fighters from rescue the other two victims, who were children.

Severe flooding last week in northeastern Brazil has left 16 dead while days of heavy rain in Rio de Janeiro state left two people dead and at least 2 000 families homeless.

—–

The Health Professions Council of SA had found Dr Wouter Basson guilty of unprofessional conduct.

The apartheid-era chemical warfare expert heard the ruling after a six-year long hearing at the HPCSA’s offices in Pretoria.

Hewas the project officer of Project Coast, a secret biological and chemical warfare research project which violated international protocols and conventions.

Basson allegedly acted unethically during his involvement in the project from the 1980s to the early 1990s.

—–

Egypt’s deposed President Mohamed Morsi would stand trial on charges of “conspiring with foreign groups” to commit “terrorist acts.”

Morsi, who was toppled by the military in July was already on trial for alleged involvement in the killings of opposition protesters,

Egypt’s public prosecutor ordered Morsi and 34 co-accused to stand trial on charges including conspiring with foreign organisations to commit terrorist acts in Egypt and divulging military secrets to a foreign state.

In a statement, the prosecutor said that Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood had committed acts of violence and terrorism in Egypt and prepared a “terrorist plan” that included an alliance with the Palestinian group Hamas and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

—-

 

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said her office was still aiming to release the Nkandla report before the end of January.

Madonsela was investigating how over R200 million was spent on upgrades to President Jacob Zuma’s private Nkandla residence.

She was still getting feedback from those affected or implicated in the report.

The ANC had continued to accuse Madonsela of leaking a draft report into the multimillion Rand upgrades at President Jacob Zuma’s private Nkandla residence.

At the end of last month, the Mail & Guardian published sections of Madonsela’s preliminary report which indicated that a number of features on the property, including a swimming pool, cattle ranch and tuck shop, were paid for with state funds.

It recommended that Zuma be called to account to Parliament for the “substantial personal benefit” at his Kwazulu-Natal homestead.

The interim report, which government’s security cluster tried to block, also said Zuma should pay the state back for all unnecessary expenditure.

—–

SANRALS spokesperson Vusi Mona said The SA National Roads Agency Limited’s debt of R41bn could be put in jeopardy by motorists’ non-payment for e-tolls.

However, Mona said that non-payment as a result of non-compliance by motorists will not affect the agency’s financial health because only 16% of its portfolio is tolled.

He says if they have a significant number of people who do not comply, it may affect our ability to repay the debt

Mona added that Sanral was of the view that the majority of South Africans are law-abiding citizens who will pay for the benefit of using the Gauteng Freeway network.

—–

THURSDAY

The bogus sign language interpreter at former president Nelson Mandela’s memorial service on 10 December had been admitted to Sterkfontein Psychiatric Hospital.

According to a star the report, Thamsanqa Jantjie’s wife Siziwe took her husband to the hospital in Krugersdorp for a check-up on Tuesday, where it was suggested he be admitted immediately.

Jantjie was reportedly supposed to have gone to Sterkfontein on 10 December for a check-up.

However, following the offer to interpret at the memorial service held at FNB Stadium in Soweto on the same day, Jantjie contacted the hospital to rearrange the appointment.

Last Wednesday, Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane said government would investigate claims that Jantjie did not use intelligible sign language.

After the memorial Jantjie told various media outlets he had suffered a schizophrenic episode in which he had seen angels, and that he had panicked when he realised he was surrounded by armed police.

——

An elderly Cape Town woman was in desperate need of assistance after the house that she shared with 14 children she takes care of was gutted by a fire.

Elizabeth Barrett saved all 14 children, some of them orphans and street children, but lost all her belongings, including her ID and Social Security Agency cards.

The fire began in the Harrington Street home when the elderly woman smelled burning wires and then found one of the bedrooms on fire.

She woke the children and escaped the house with them. But when she got outside Barrett discovered that one of the children was missing.

She ran back into the fiery house and found one of the boys under a bed next to the room where the fire was.

—–

Fighting between military factions has spread from the capital to the rural state of Jonglei in South Sudan, raising fears of a slide into civil war.

The escalation of violence comes as United Nations diplomats reported that up to 500 people have been killed since Sunday.

On Wednesday, South Sudanese military spokesman Colonel Philip Aguer said that the army had lost control of the flashpoint town of Bor, as clashes were reported there overnight with fighters loyal to the country’s former vice president Riek Machar.

Violence erupted on Sunday in the capital moments before President Salva Kiir announced that security forces had put down an attempted coup by supporters of his former deputy.

——-

The US federal prosecutor in Manhattan, New York, defended last week’s arrest and strip-searching of a female Indian diplomat.

This came amid growing diplomatic tensions between Washington and New Delhi over the issue.

Preet Bharara, the US attorney for the Southern District of New York, made the defense after an uproar in India triggered by the mistreatment of Devyani Khobragade, India’s 39-year-old deputy consul general charged with underpaying her nanny.

India had been furious about what it considers the degrading treatment of a senior diplomat.

In retaliation, Indian officials removed security barriers at the US Embassy in New Delhi on Tuesday.

A senior Indian government source has said the interrogation included a cavity search, which can include a visual inspection of body cavities, including the nose, mouth,and genitals.

While common in the United States, jail strip searches have prompted legal challenges from civil liberties groups concerned that the practice is degrading and unnecessary.

—–

According to Amnesty International About a thousand people were killed over two days in the Central African Republic.

It said that war crimes and crimes against humanity were committed by all parties to the conflict.

Crimes that had been committed include extrajudicial executions, mutilation of bodies, intentional destruction of religious buildings such as mosques, and the forced displacement of massive numbers of people.

CAR had been reeling in sectarian violence since December 5 which started in the capital, Bangui, with an early morning attack by Christian militiamen from the Anti-Balaka group who went door to door, killing at least 60 Muslims.

According to Amnesty, a total of 614,000 people have been displaced across the country, including 189,000 in Bangui alone, about a quarter of the city’s population.

—-

The Israeli army had shot dead two Palestinian men in separate raids in a town and a refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.

One of the victims, a member of the Palestinian security forces, was killed during an overnight arrest raid in the northern town of Qalqilya.

Palestinian security sources said he was on his way home when he was ambushed by the Israeli soldiers, the sources said.

Another Palestinian was shot dead by the Israeli army, and several others wounded, in clashes that erupted after a similar arrest operation in Jenin refugee camp, also in the northern West Banklast night.

The deaths bring the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces this year to 28, the great majority of them in the West Bank.

On December 7, troops shot dead a 15-year-old Palestinian during a clash in Jalazoun refugee camp near the West Bank city of Ramallah.

—–

Top ministers from four regional nations have flown to troubled South Sudan to kick start efforts to end days of fighting that has raised fears of a return to civil war in the young country.

Kenya’s Foreign Minister Amina Mohammed, who said she was en route to South Sudan to offer first hand assistance, said she was with teams from Djibouti, Ethiopia and Uganda.

All are members of the regional body, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, whose members played key roles in pushing forward the 2005 deal that ended Sudan’s two-decades long civil war with the south.

Rwandan foreign minister Louise Mushikiwabo offered her support.

She said they pray that their brothers and sisters find room to talk and agree a way forward.

—–

A man died after he jumped from the third floor of the New Somerset Hospital in Green Point in Cape Town.

The incident occurred this morning.

Attempts by doctors to revive him failed and he died on the scene.

The Western Cape Department of Health’s Darren Francis says the circumstances surrounding the incident are unclear at this stage but its believed the man was a patient at the hospital.

Francis said the South African police service were investigating the cause of the jump.

—–

A human bomber killed at least 10 Shia Muslim pilgrims in a mainly Sunni neighbourhood of southern Baghdad.

The attack in the Dura area of the capital took place at a tent where pilgrims were served food and drinks on their way to the shrine city of Karbala.

Officials also said that at least 23 people were wounded in the incident.

Hundreds of thousands of people make pilgrimages to Karbala, many of them of them on foot, during the 40 days after the annual commemoration marking the death of Nabi (SAW)’s grandson, known to Shia Muslims as Imam Hussein.

The 40th day, known as Arbaeen, falls on December 23 this year.

—–

A Cabinet minister said the security upgrade at President Jacob Zuma’s private Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal was essential.

Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi told journalists the rural setting in Nkandla posed a security hazard.

Ministers of the justice, crime prevention, and security cluster flanked Nxesi as he released a task team’s report on the Nkandla upgrade.

The report was expected to be released earlier in December but was postponed.

Cabinet then ordered its release.

The decision was announced after an attack by the African National Congress on Public Protector Thuli Madonsela ,about the timing of her own report on the over R206m upgrade.

A few weeks ago, the Mail & Guardian reported that Madonsela had found in her preliminary report that Zuma had misled Parliament, and had benefited substantially from about R20m worth of work that had nothing to do with security features, including a swimming pool.

Madonsela condemned the leak of the report to the newspaper.

—–

An Egypt court has banned 132 members of the Muslim Brotherhood, including Egypt’s ousted president and his aides, from accessing their personal assets.

The ban covers all property and moveable assets, including cash money, was being carried out by a committee headed by the deputy justice minister, lawyer Izzat Khamis.

The ruling came from Cairo’s Urgent Matters Court, which had already ruled in September to confiscate “all the money, assets, and buildings” of the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliated organisations.

Some of the Muslim Brotherhood members that are being targeted by the ban include ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, leader Mohamed Badie, deputy leader Khairat Al-Shater and former leader Mohamed Akef.

—–

Two Muslim converts have been convicted of murdering a British soldier in broad daylight on a London street, hacking him to death in a gruesome killing that horrified the nation.

A jury at London’s Old Bailey criminal court decided that Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowalewere guilty of murdering soldier Lee Rigby on May 22 in Woolwich, southeast London.

The two British citizens had denied murder, with Adebolajo saying the killing part of a war for Allah in response to Western wars in nations such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

According to some mainstream imams, Adebolajo’s actions have breached a key Islamic principle that Muslims must adhere to whilst living in Britain, the Covenant of Security: a promise not to attack people in your host country.

—–

A former imam of the Haram in Makkah was stopped from traveling to Britain as he boarded his plane in Riyadh bound for London.

Sheikh Adel Al-Kalbani was stopped at the door of the plane and told that the authorities received a message from the British Embassy saying that he was not allowed to enter Britain

The British Embassy did not explain why he was refused entry.

He said the British Muslim community had arranged a series of events where he could speak and meet people in various UK cities, including London.

The Imaam was told that other Muslim scholars have also been denied entry and had their visas canceled.

—–

In one of the most scathing attacks on the ANC and its government since 1994, Zwelinzima Vavi on accused the party of abandoning the interests of the workers and citizens alike in the pursuit of wealth and self-enrichment.

The suspended Cosatu boss said workers had not benefited since the dawn of democracy because of rampant corruption among ANC leaders, including President Jacob Zuma.

He said the waves of community protests over service delivery in the townships was a sign that the ticking bomb of disgruntlement over unemployment and poverty had begun to explode.

Vavi said the disgruntlement with the government was in part demonstrated by the booing of Zuma at last week’s memorial service for Nelson Mandela.

While he acknowledged strides and victories by the ANC in improving the lives of people, he said democracy benefited only a few, entrenched white monopoly and perpetuated black poverty.

He said there is no dispute over the fact that well over R200 million was spent on upgrading the security features of the president’s private residential home, and also made mention that around R65m was spent on security upgrades of ministers’ homes in Cape Town.

—–

FRIDAY

A double bombing at a sheep market in a town north of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, had killed six people.

Police officials said the attack took place when two bombs exploded at the sheep market in Tuz Khormato, about 200km north of Baghdad.

At least 10 people were also wounded in the attack.

Violence has been on the rise in Iraq since a deadly security crackdown on a Sunni protest camp in a northern town in April.

Two years after US troops withdrew from Iraq, violence is at its highest level since 2006-7, when strife between Sunnis and Shias killed tens of thousands of people.

At least 352 people have died in attacks across the country so far this month, according to an Associated Press news agency count.

—–

Three Indian peacekeepers were killed in an attack on a United Nations base in South Sudan.

The UN said attackers from the country’s second-largest ethnic group forced their way into the Akobo base in conflict-wracked Jonglei state yesterday, pursuing civilians from a rival ethnic group who had taken refuge there.

Contact with the base was lost after the assault and UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said the fate of more than 30 ethnic Dinka civilians sheltering at the base was not known.

A statement said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was appalled to learn of the attack.

Ambassador Asoke Mukerji said the three peacekeepers were targeted and killed during an attack by ethnic Nuer youths.

Rapidly escalating ethnic violence has raised fears of instability in the world’s newest country.

—–

Gunmen shot dead a town mayor and three other people at the airport in the Philippine capital, Manila, sending travellers fleeing for safety.

Reports say Ukol Talumpa, the mayor of the town of Labangan in Zamboanga del Sur province, was killed together with his wife, an 18-month-old baby and one other person.

Airport manager Jose Honrado said four other people were wounded in the incident.

Honrado, speaking alongside Manila police officials, said that Talumpa was waiting for a ride with his family outside an airport terminal when the gunmen on a motorcycle shot him and others at close range.

Airport security force chased the gunmen but they escaped on their vehicle in the heavy late-morning traffic outside the terminal.

—–

The speeding case against Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema was postponed in the Vanderbijlpark Magistrate’s Court.

Magistrate R Mphela postponed the matter to 29 January for the director of public prosecutions to instruct the State on further action on the case.

Gauteng traffic police spokesperson Busaphi Nxumalo said at the time Malema was arrested last night for driving 215km/h in a 120km/h zone on the N1 in the Vaal.

He was arrested and charged with reckless and negligent driving and exceeding the general speed limit.

He was released on bail of R5 000.

—–

The National Union of Mineworkers of SAs general secretary Irvin Jim said they no longer sees the ANC as an ally.

On Wednesday, Jim said if the leaked public protector report on the upgrade to President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla home was true, then there had to be accountability.

He told delegates at Numsa’s special national congress in Boksburg, on the East Rand. That here is no justification for spending R200m on the house of the president

If the leaked report is true, he said they will demand accountability from the department of public works and the president himself.

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The Congress of South African Trade Unions says it is disappointed that government has signed the Employment Tax Incentive Act into law.

Originally called the youth wage subsidy, treasury says the incentive will encourage employers to hire young job seekers.

But trade unions are vigorously opposed to the law.

Cosatu President Sidumo Dlamini said they have opposed the bill from the very beginning because it will encourage employers to fire older, more experienced workers.

The legislation will take effect from 1 January.

The South African Revenue Service Adrian Lackay says information about the incentive will be made available from next month

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A 2-year-old-boy was kidnapped in Durban by hijackers who stole his father’s bakkie.

Police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said police were desperately looking for Emmanuel Khoza.

Khoza’s father had been driving through Durban’s Cato Manor area in his bakkie with his wife and two children when he stopped to greet a friend on Thursday evening.

After he parked his bakkie and got out to talk to the friend, three men jumped into the bakkie and drove off with his wife, his new-born baby, and Emmanuel.

Emmanuel’s mother managed to jump out with the baby, but the hijackers drove off with the 2 year old.

Anyone with information about the boy’s whereabouts could also call the Crime Stop number 08600-10111.

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Public Protector Thuli Madonsela had found that were gross irregularities and maladministration in the Mpumalanga government’s handling of leasing tenders for businesses in Pilgrim’s Rest.

A complaint was lodged in July last year.

Businesses which had been operating at premises rented from the provincial government for many years were illegally ordered to vacate their premises to make way for new business owners.

Madonsela had ordered the Mpumalanga government to cancel all the new shop leases to businesses in the area and start a new procurement process.

She found businesses that had legitimately qualified to be awarded the tenders were prejudiced by the Mpumalanga government’s maladministration.

Madonsela also found that the bid specification committee did not have a quorum when it made its decision, evaluation criteria was changed for some tenders and no proper records were kept.

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The latest holiday season road death statistics have left traffic authorities stunned and worried.

Transport Minister Dipuo Peters revealed the latest figures at a briefing in Johannesburg today.

she says, Since 1 December, hundreds of deadly crashes have already occurred on the country’s roads, claiming the lives of at least 600 people.

In one of the worst accidents so far, on 1 December, 14 people died during an accident near Klerksdorp in the North West.

Peters says Dangerous overtaking, fatigue, massive speed and drinking and driving” are behind the majority of these accidents.
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General secretary of the National Union of Metalworkers of SA Irvin Jim says that the ANC continued to undermine the resolutions made during its conference in Polokwane in 2007.

One of these was to make the Cosatu, SA Communist Party and ANC alliance a strategic centre of power.

He said the ANC had abandoned the Freedom Charter, which was the basis of the alliance’s existence.

He added that the ruling party had a track record of not delivering on its manifesto promises.

Earlier Numsa announced that it will not support the ANC in next year’s elections.

The union will also stop paying contributions to the Cosatu and SACP.

Numsa as an organisation will neither endorse nor support the ANC or any other political party in 2014.

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Rwanda says it plans to send troops to assist an African Union-led force restoring security to Central African Republic, where a peacekeeper died of injuries sustained in an attack.

Saying that Kigali troops will leave for Bangui “very soon,” the foreign minister did not give details of how many troops will be sent.

A Chadian peacekeeper injured in an attack on a patrol for the African-led International Support Mission to the Central African Republic died.

Earleir Three Indian peacekeepers have been killed in an attack on a United Nations base in South Sudan.

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have both warned against escalating war crimes committed in the African nation that has left more than a thousand killed since clashes started on December 5, and hundreds of thousands displaced.

Both human rights groups called on international community to aid the French 1,600-strong peacekeeping force deployed to CAR alongside AU forces.

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The Islamic resistance movement Hamas has denounced the Egyptian media’s “defamation campaign” against Hamas and the Palestinian resistance.

This comes in response to an article published by the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram Al-Arabi claiming that Mahmoud Ezzat, a senior leader of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, met with Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh at a hospital in Israel.

A spokesperson for Hamas, Sami Abu Zahri, accused such media outlets of crossing all professional and ethical lines.

he said No longer do these media outlets have any objectives except defaming the Palestinian resistance and using those lies and allegations to justify Egypt’s internal political disputes.

Israeli and other regional media outlets have adopted a defamation campaign against the Gaza Strip, Hamas and the Palestinian resistance for quite some time,however, the tone of this campaign has intensified since the military coup that took place in Egypt in July.

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