Tuesday, January 8 2019

THE BIG ISSUES

LEADING THE AGENDA

Copycat crimes: Who gives a fake about art fraud in SA?

Warning to collectors: for heaven’s sake don’t be greedy – if it looks too good to be true, it probably is

By Graham Wood
8 min read

Lessons for mum and dad: how to help your kid at school

Education experts share advice on making the new school year less daunting for parents and pupils

5 min read

Hours after hearing they'd passed matric, mayor’s two sons killed in crash

They were driving through the Eastern Cape to visit their mother when the accident happened

Alex Patrick
Journalist
2 min read


SMART NEWS

IN ONE TAKE

Age-old promises from Cyril on the election trail in KZN

A 102-year-old was among the party's supporters who met the president on Monday

3 min read

A year ago her son's throat was slit at his home, but still no justice

A Durban mother has slammed the slow pace of a police investigation as her son's killers walk free

Jeff Wicks
Journalist
2 min read

Welcome back to work - now do the tech neck check

The way you sit is responsible for neck, shoulder and back pain, say scientists

Dave Chambers
Cape Town bureau chief
2 min read

Put a cork in it: Boffins call for fresh assault on booze abuse

Males and varsity students most prone to go from regular drinking to alcoholism, experts say

Dave Chambers
Cape Town bureau chief
1 min read

IDEAS

TO FEED YOUR MIND

Take the cynic route to a better version of us in 2019

Bamboozling politicians notwithstanding, perhaps it's noble to hold onto some basic intentions as the year begins

Tom Eaton
Columnist
4 min read

Dry and try again: the big booze experiment

After decades of 'corporate drinking', Annie Grace tells what made her rejig her relationship with booze for life

By Judith Woods
8 min read

No ifs or bots: AI is a 21st-century nuclear threat

As technology advances at an unprecedented rate, keeping the 'black balls' safe is vital, says a prominent 'doom monger'

By Harry de Quetteville
8 min read

SNAPSHOT

Six things about SA you need to know

Rat in salad is not okay: expert

The practice of food retailers leaving food uncovered in their displays is widespread, but unacceptable, says a food science consultant with more than 40 years' experience in the food industry. “It’s just a bad habit,” says Johannesburg-based Nigel Sunley, responding to the video of the rat nibbling on a salad in Food Lover’s Market’s Diepkloof Square branch. Shot by a customer in December, the clip went viral on social media at the weekend. The salads were partially covered by cling wrap, clearly an ineffective deterrent to hungry rats. “Rats eating exposed food is disgusting and a sign that something is badly wrong with a store’s hygiene protocols,” Sunley said. Consumers were right to be outraged. Food Lover's Market has said an investigation has been launched to establish the source of the rodent problem. “We have a health and safety inspectorate that does regular audits ... the last inspection was in November,” it said.

Social support applications ‘dumped’ in field

The Democratic Alliance claims it found “thousands” of social support applications dumped in a field in the Free State on Monday. “It is heartbreaking that the applications were for abused children and complainants without any source of income and who turned to the department in the hopes that their situation would be turned around,” DA Free State premier candidate Patricia Kopane said. Kopane and party spokesperson Geordin Hill-Lewis found the documents in an open field while they were conducting an oversight inspection at a waste recycling plant in Thaba Nchu, about 70km east of Bloemfontein. Kopane wrote to Free State social development MEC Butana Kompela demanding an investigation. She said most recent documents were from October 2018 and included child support grant transfers; child abuse and deliberate negligence cases; social worker reports for relief of distress; and affidavits by women abused by their spouses who were seeking temporary shelter.

‘Shutdown’ forces students to register online

The University of South Africa has urged its students to register online following the "national shutdown" called by the student representative council. "It is very unfortunate, because it is one of those things that is difficult to prevent. The online registration is working so students should do their registration there. "We do apologise to our students who have travelled far to our campuses to register," Unisa spokesperson Martin Ramotshela said on Monday afternoon. Campuses affected were in Gauteng, Durban, Pietermaritzburg, Polokwane, Eastern Cape and Parow in Cape Town. This after students at various Unisa campuses were forced to turn back due to the national shutdown.

Cops probe arson attacks at two schools

Police are probing the torching of two KwaZulu-Natal schools, one a state-of-the-art facility which has been broken into 16 times in two years. Provincial education department spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said the administration block of Mvuzo High School, in the Pietermaritzburg township of France, was set alight on Sunday, a few weeks after a warning was posted on the school walls. It read: “We are tired of being failed, should we fail again you will see.” “This is a state-of-the-art, brand new school, which was opened in 2017. Since (then) it has been broken into 16 times. Just this December it was broken into three times,” said Mahlambi. Textbooks and stationery had been spared because they were in a strongroom. They have been taken to a nearby primary school for safekeeping. Bathembu High School in Msinga was not spared when it came to its stationery and textbook supplies, after the school’s administration block was also torched on Sunday.

Zuma jnr lashes Oprah for Cyril remark

Edward Zuma has taken aim at Oprah Winfrey and a host of other celebrities for their “support” of Cyril Ramaphosa at the Global Citizen Festival concert in December 2018. In an open letter, sent on WhatsApp, Jacob Zuma’s son said Winfrey and the other international headliners had only endorsed Ramaphosa and not the ANC. The junior Zuma has been a vocal critic of the Ramaphosa administration, with earlier missives landing him in the Equality Court. “In her introduction, Oprah introduced Cyril Ramaphosa as the man president Mandela preferred as his successor. Oprah and those who were feeding her the narrative forgot one thing, the ANC is a democratic organisation and with its internal process, where the branches of the ANC play a critical role,” he said. “The ANC never operates on the wishes of individual leaders, but on the resolutions of its conferences and constitutional structures,” he added.

‘He called us black c**ts,’ claims muso

Musician Junior de Rocka claims a heated exchange with a Cape Town quad biking tour operator ended in racial slurs. He told TshisaLIVE he and a group of friends were supposed to go quad biking at Headout Quadbike Tours on Sunday but showed up an hour later than scheduled. The star claimed his agent notified the company they would be late, but when they arrived an argument between the owner, Bruce Jenkinson, and De Rocka erupted, during which Jenkinson called him and his friends "black c**ts". "We weren't late. He said 'these black c**ts are always f**king late', and said 'if you think I am f**king rude, yes I am rude.'" Jenkinson said he had not been informed that De Rocka and his team would be late and that they had arrived at a time when another client was set to start their tour. Jenkinson denied hurling racial insults at De Rocka or his friends, but admitted to swearing in general over their late arrival.
Cambodian dancers mark the 40th anniversary of the toppling of the Khmer Rouge in Phnom Penh.
THEY CAME OUT OF THEIR SHELLS Cambodian dancers mark the 40th anniversary of the toppling of the Khmer Rouge in Phnom Penh.
Image: Reuters/Samrang Pring

THE VISUAL SIDE


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

WORLD

THE NEWS YOU DON'T NORMALLY GET TO HEAR

I raised my sons for 20 years only to find out I'm not their dad

Businessman’s cystic fibrosis diagnosis came with an extra dose of tragedy

By Jack Hardy
3 min read

Quake could hit Silicon Valley at any moment, but they’re far from ready

Experts warn that tech firms need a collective look at emergency planning, or risk a catastrophe

By Olivia Rudgard
6 min read

We’ve hit peak smartphone. The future is virtually now

What will be the next thing to augment our reality? The ‘Davos of tech’ in Vegas may hold the clues

By James Titcomb
4 min read

Colossal disaster: plastic is killing the world’s largest fish

Whale shark is no match for the curse of plastic plaguing the island of St Helena

By Sarah Knapton
3 min read

6 things you need to know about the world

Billionaire says ‘free cash’ tweet makes history

Billionaire Japanese tycoon and future space tourist Yusaku Maezawa said on Monday his tweet promising a cash giveaway of nearly $10,000 was the most retweeted yet. The 43-year-old posted a tweet on Saturday promising one million yen ($9,250) in cash each to 100 randomly selected followers who had retweeted it by Monday. The tweet -- now retweeted more than 4.3 million times -- is the most shared in history, according to the entrepreneur. The previous record holder was reportedly an American teenager in 2017 trying to win a year's supply of chicken nuggets from fast food chain Wendy's. In October, Maezawa said he paid an undisclosed sum for a ticket on fellow tycoon Elon Musk's SpaceX rocket around the moon as early as 2023. – AFP

‘Yellow vest’ not boxing clever

French police are hunting for a ex-professional boxer who was filmed at the weekend punching an officer on a bridge in central Paris during a demonstration by "yellow vest" protesters. The shocking images show the heavily built man land several punches on a policeman who falls to the ground and is then kicked by protesters wearing yellow vests, just a few hundred metres from the national parliament building. "Sir, you knocked a colleague to the ground. You have been identified," said a tweet from France's SCPN police union. "For a boxer, apparently you don't respect any of the rules. You are going to learn those of the criminal code. "The man, named by French media as 37-year-old Christophe Dettinger, is a former heavyweight professional boxer who reportedly works for the local government in the Essonne area south of Paris. – AFP

Bluebottles ‘invade’ Down Under

Highly venomous jellyfish have stung 3,595 people on Australia's northeastern shores in just a few days, authorities said on Monday, forcing the closure of several beaches. The massive influx of Portuguese man-o-war jellyfish, or bluebottles, whose stings are notoriously painful, has been described as an "invasion" by local media in the state of Queensland. Coastguard association Surf Life Saving warned more were on the way as at least four major beaches remained closed. Bluebottle stings are a frequent occurrence during the southern hemisphere's summer, but the sheer number of people stung in the past few days has surprised authorities. There are usually about 10,000 cases each year on the east coast of Australia, according to the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. The extraordinary number of stings this year came as strong onshore winds from the northeast are bringing the creatures into contact with swimmers. – AFP

Believe it or not, divorce by SMS is progress

Saudi Arabian wives can no longer be divorced without their knowledge after a legal ruling came into effect on Sunday requiring courts to notify women by text message of the end of their marriages. The court ruling takes aim at cases, often referred to as secret divorces, where women may miss out on alimony payments. Sheikh Waleed bin Mohammed al Samaani, the Saudi justice minister, said the text message system would bring transparency to the system. Under Saudi Arabia's male guardianship laws, women cannot marry, divorce or travel outside the country without the permission of a male relative, usually a father or husband. The campaign group Human Rights Watch has criticised the Saudi system, saying it "severely restricts women's ability to participate meaningfully in Saudi society and its economy". - © The Daily Telegraph

Germans brace for the harsh tooth

Health insurance companies in Germany say they may no longer pay for dental braces after a report found that there was no proof that they work. "We can't say whether orthodontic treatment has any of the middle- or long-term benefits that are expected of it," Ann Marini, spokesman for the federation of public health insurers, told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper. Marini added that her federation was considering taking steps allowing insurers to change their policies on financing dental braces. She said that braces cost Germans "around €1.1bn every year in health insurance contributions as well as placing considerable strain on the people who have to undergo the treatment". It comes after the publication of a government-commissioned report by the IGES Institute that concluded there was no evidence that braces provided long-term dental health benefits. - © The Daily Telegraph

Liars cop it thanks to AI

British scientists have developed a new computer programme that can spot if someone has lied to police about being robbed. The groundbreaking software analyses the wording of a victim's statement to identify telltale signs of fake reports. Spanish police, who have been using the tool, found it was successful in more than 80% of cases, helping them to identify 64 false reports in just one week. Developed by experts at Cardiff University, VeriPol uses a combination of automatic text analysis and artificial intelligence to recognise when somebody has been lying or exaggerating to the police. Thousands of false reports are submitted to the police each year with many perpetrators hoping to receive inflated insurance payouts or claims for crimes that never happened in the first place. - © The Daily Telegraph
A fashionista at London Fashion Week Men's.
FEELING BLUE AND CHIC AREN’T MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE A fashionista at London Fashion Week Men's.
Image: Reuters/Henry Nicholls

THE BUSINESS

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

It’s snor laughing matter as Musk breaks ground in China

New Shanghai factory will allow electric-car maker Tesla to dodge the China-US tariff crossfire

By AFP
3 min read

Is your phone really one of your private parts?

Apple splashes out in Las Vegas, making a big noise about the security of your data on its iPhones

By AFP
2 min read

Stock market investors have seen enough red, thank you

Survey by world’s largest asset manager shows clients fleeing from stocks into real estate and private equity

By Reuters
2 min read

LIFESTYLE

CULTURE COMES ALIVE

Booze, boobs and boo-boos: Why the Golden Globes rock

The only awards ceremony in Hollywood where celebrities can drink alcohol has earned its reputation

By AFP
3 min read

James Bond: Not just a hint, more like an Elba in the ribs

Last year he tweeted: ‘my name’s Elba, Idris Elba,’ along with a brooding selfie. Now he's upped the ante ...

By Helena Horton
2 min read

Fancy yourself as a books boff? Here's a quiz for you

How much do you know about books in 2018?

By Iona McLaren and Orlando Bird
6 min read

SPORT

FINISH LINE ESSENTIALS

SPORTS DAY: Bavuma and the big guns all set for third Test

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

Mninawa Ntloko
Sports editor
4 min read

Komphela on target for Arrows from the word go

Coach had been in the job less than a week after walking out in a huff from Bloemfontein Celtic

Mark Gleeson
Soccer writer
2 min read