Wednesday, January 2, 2019

THE BIG ISSUES

LEADING THE AGENDA

Cause they can: Generous Saffers give big

Empathetic donors gave R35m through crowdfunding platform BackaBuddy in 2018

Nivashni Nair
Journalist
3 min read

Let’s tear down the walls around xenophobic myths

Many of the negative attitudes towards migrants are baseless, says expert

Dave Chambers
Cape Town bureau chief
4 min read

Why China is first class for SA teachers, warts and all

Part of the reason teachers are migrating is that China and other countries love South Africans too

Prega Govender
Journalist
4 min read


SMART NEWS

IN ONE TAKE

Drawn to nature: Art inspires life after spinal injury

Quadriplegic discovers latent talent after a diving accident at 22 left him paralysed from the neck down

Sipokazi Fokazi
Journalist
4 min read

Young mom tried everything to lose weight. Now, at last, she has hope

The computer technician underwent a life-changing surgery 

Sipokazi Fokazi
Journalist
3 min read

The DRC vote that counted for absolutely nothing

The cities of Beni and Butembo were barred from taking part in the December 30 vote, but cast their ballots anyway

By AFP
3 min read

Mine disaster: India village prays for ‘rat-hole’ miracle

Impoverished villagers pay a heavy price in India’s latest mining catastrophe as miner recalls underground terror

By AFP
4 min read

CROSSWORDS

GIVE YOUR BRAIN SOME EXERCISE

Today's cryptic crossword

It's time to put your brain to work

1 min read

Today's quick crossword

How fast can you get it done?

1 min read

SNAPSHOT

Marco Fois dives into the Tiber River from the Cavour bridge as part of traditional New Year celebrations in Rome on Tuesday.
and it's not even a leap year Marco Fois dives into the Tiber River from the Cavour bridge as part of traditional New Year celebrations in Rome on Tuesday.
Image: Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters

Six things you need to know

They began on a high – and stayed there

It was only supposed to last a few minutes for a thrill on New Year's Eve, but eight French people ended up spending much of the night stuck high up in the air on a giant funfair ride. "It was long, it was cold and it was frightening," said 23-year-old Antoine. "I never thought I'd get out. It was very traumatic," he said after the fire brigade brought an end to the nine-hour ordeal in the Brittany city of Rennes. Five teenagers, Antoine and two other adults had climbed aboard the 52m metal arm called "BomberMaxxx" for a spin above the town centre. "We saw sparks, heard a big metal noise and feared the worst," said Beatrice, mother of 13-year-old Louna. The ride's owner, Alexandre Thinel, said "a new part broke and it blocked". "It's a technical incident that has never happened before." Fortunately there was no danger to clients. The only problem was getting them down." – AFP

Nasa snaps most distant world yet studied

A Nasa spacecraft has flown past the most distant world yet studied by humankind, Ultima Thule, a frozen relic of the early solar system that could reveal how planets formed. "Go New Horizons!" said lead scientist Alan Stern as a crowd cheered at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland to mark the moment at 12.33amon Tuesday when the New Horizons spacecraft aimed its cameras at the space rock 6.4 billion kilometers away. "Never before has a spacecraft explored something so far away. "The spaceship was to collect 900 images over a few seconds as it shaved by at a distance of about 3,500km. "Now it is just a matter of time to see the data coming down," said deputy project scientist John Spencer of the Southwest Research Institute. – AFP

Pacemaker could stop Parkinson’s tremors

A "pacemaker" for the brain is on the horizon to prevent people with Parkinson's and epilepsy suffering from seizures and tremors. The device is made up of two tiny arrays of electrodes that sit inside the skull and link to a circuit board on the side of the head. It continually records the brain's normal electrical activity and if it detects a change of rhythm immediately fires a stimulating charge to coax it back to normal.Similar deep brain stimulation is already used for people with Parkinson's or epilepsy, but can take years to fine tune. However, the new device, dubbed Wand [wireless artifact-free neuromodulation device], constantly listens for disruptions in the electrical current and makes instant adjustments. It can record activity from 128 points in the brain, compared with eight channels of deep brain simulation. - © The Daily Telegraph

One EFF, one bullet tweet ‘was fake’

Black First Land First (BLF) member Zimasa Mpemnyama has distanced herself from a series of “manufactured” tweets – in her name – lashing out at the EFF and claiming protesters were paid R1m to cause a “race riot” on Clifton Fourth Beach. “Yesterday my account was suspended on Twitter, then I find tweets like this, which I never wrote, circulating,” she said in a tweet on Tuesday. “I would never write such hogwash about killing black people. Stop spreading lies,” she said. “Here are the other tweets which were manufactured. I never wrote these tweets. Right wingers shared these pictures after they got my account suspend to tarnish mine & BLF's name. "I would never use the term 'race riots' plus I know how to spell 'slaughtering' - Thank you very much." BLF leader Andile Mngxitama suggested that the tweets were Photoshopped to incite "black-on-black violence".

Saffers warned about conduct abroad

International relations and cooperation minister Lindiwe Sisulu says it is unacceptable for South Africans to be involved in activities that destabilise other countries. SA high commissioner to Mozambique Mandisi Mpahlwa sent a report to Sisulu about charges against Andre Mayer Hanekom related to his alleged aiding of an extreme jihadist group that is destabilising the northern part of Mozambique. Activities by the group have been linked to the deaths of more than 100 people in the area. Sisulu said on Tuesday the incident was viewed in a serious light. SA law enforcement agencies had been asked to investigate the charges with the aim of ensuring that no citizen becomes involved in destabilising other countries.

Clifton beachgoers chill - for now

Things were back to normal at Clifton Fourth Beach on Monday with many beachgoers looking unperturbed by potential disruptions after days of protests that saw a sheep being slaughtered there. Hundreds of people, including domestic and international visitors, sunbathed on the white sand and swam as the temperature rose to a sweltering 29°C in Cape Town. Meanwhile the EFF called on black South Africans to bring their animal sacrifices to various beaches across the city on New Year’s Day and slaughter them there instead of at their homes.

LEISURE

THE FUN STUFF THAT MAKES LIFE WORTH LIVING

Hang with the crew at Cape’s hippest eatery

The raddest new restaurant in town is The Commissary

By Richard Holmes
3 min read

Blast from the past: Donald rips through England

Today in SA sports history

David Isaacson
Journalist
1 min read