First Thing: teen sailor lost at sea; one Bafana victory coming right up

First Thing: teen sailor lost at sea; one Bafana victory coming right up

Last night: Abby Sunderland in distress, Kyrgyzstan violence, corrupt ex-Taiwan president still on the hook, bones mixup. Coming up today: Bafana Bafana win. Mexico mourns Bafana win. Country shuts down while Bafana win. Did we mention Bafana winning?

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The Daily Maverick
Bafana Victory Day, 11 June 2010

We’re launching something special over the weekend. No, it’s not specific to the World Cup, but it sure will make your life a lot easier as you try to follow all the news around the World Cup. In the interests of suspense we can’t tell you any more right now, but if you use Twitter we highly recommend following @maverickmonitor.

Abby Sunderland, the American teenager who was trying to sail solo around the world manually activated a pair of distress beacons, triggering a search-and-rescue operation. With the nearest ship about one day away, Australia dispatched an Airbus on a four-hour flight to try and spot her yacht and make radio contact.
Bloomberg, AP

A state of emergency was declared in Osh, the second largest city in Kyrgyzstan, after an outbreak of violence thought to have been sparked by a personal argument. Several people were killed and scores injured. Witnesses reported seeing several shops on fire and hearing gunfire near the city centre.

A court in Taiwan rejected the appeal by former President Chen Shui-bian against his conviction for theft and corruption, but reduced his life sentence to 20 years behind bars. He still has further avenues of appeal.
Xinhua, CNN

The US Army admitted that remains of at least 211 soldiers in the Arlington National Cemetery had been buried in the wrong graves, or misidentified, apparently because of sloppy administration.
Washington Post, LA Times

A public relations company in New Zealand apologised for strewing fake bloodied human limbs around the streets of Auckland, but said it would still do the same thing again today. The stunt is a promo for the upcoming movie The Wolfman.
Stuff, Scoop



This afternoon all the waiting and uncertainty finally ends, and we learn by just how wide a margin Bafana Bafana will beat Mexico. Conservative prognosticators put the scoreline at 3 – 0, but they’re just trying to set expectations low to make for a wilder party afterwards. Oh, there is also some kind of ceremony beforehand, featuring people dancing and stuff.

Mexico will be plunged into a deep, collective national depression, having failed to heed our warnings and reduce its expectations. That would be immediately after Bafana Bafana beat Mexico.

There is nothing else happening today, at least nothing worthy of note. Keep in mind that the country will shut down at around 1pm, so if you still need to stockpile boerewors and vuvuzelas, do so as early as possible this morning. Also note that all telephone calls are banned between 4pm and 6pm, except for emergency calls during halftime. Because we’ll all be busy watching Bafana Bafana beat Mexico.



Internet Solutions starts gnawing at the cellphone pie – and some day your calls will cost less
It should have happened a decade ago, but finally we’re going back to the future: Dimension Data subsidiary Internet Solutions on Thursday launched a voice-over-wifi service for cellphones. Right now that just means large companies will be able to save a lot of money on calls from cellphones. By this time next year, though, the rest of us should be seeing the benefits.

Cautious optimism as Newsday hits the streets of Zimbabwe
Change was the biggest obstacle to the launch of NewsDay in Zimbabwe this past week. Not democratic change. Or progressive media change. But a lack of common currency or coins that vendors could offer as change to people to mobbing them for independent news. The Daily Maverick spoke to Trevor Ncube in Harare about the launch of his new daily independent.

Questions, and some answers, with Eskom’s Paul O’Flaherty
Eskom recently announced its interim results for the financial year ending 31 March 2010. Chris Yelland asked Eskom finance director Paul O’Flaherty the big questions about the parastatal’s operations. How much does Mozal pay for electricity, really? What’s up with the Kusile funding plan? And will the first phase of Medupi actually come online in 2012? O’Flaherty answered some of them but was a little reticent on Eskom’s future plans. We hope this isn’t because there aren’t any.

The fresh new set of UN sanctions against Iran, but no real solution in sight
Following months of hard, grinding diplomatic manoeuvring, on Wednesday, the UN Security Council passed a new round of sanctions against Iran’s military over its suspected nuclear weapons development efforts. The US and other nations promptly commented that this should nudge Iran back to now-stalled talks over its nuclear programme.

Motoring – Nissan 370Z Roadster: A ragtop with real attitude
Roadsters aren’t necessarily top of our list when it comes to choosing a car. They’re generally just too compromised to make up for those rare moments when good weather and spectacular scenery conspire to make driving topless an enjoyable enterprise. But Nissan’s latest ragtop is one of the few that gets most things right, regardless of what you do with the roof.

Brendah Nyakudya: Xenophobia and the shades of desperation
Never have there been this many foreigners in South Africa. Never have so many billions been watching our every move, on and off the soccer field. Never has the time been more apt to stow the curse of xenophobia and spotlight what needs to be done to bridge the chasm between the minority of haves and the massive have-not majority.

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