First Thing: landslide tragedy in China; Bloody Sunday report

First Thing: landslide tragedy in China; Bloody Sunday report

Last night: 16 die in China landslide, 38 die in Mexican drug wars, BBC may vanish vuvus, UN soft on N.Korea and hears from Mbeki. Coming up today: Bloody Sunday report, DA puts one over ANCYL, NUM seeks Eskom strike papers, anti-Mexico plans, food projections.

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The Daily Maverick
Tuesday, 15 June 2010

14 June: Security and vuvuzela battles rage on
Security walkout at Green Point; Denmark self-destructs against The Netherlands; Cameroon loses to Japan; Italy draw with Paraguay; Blatter gives his Tweet of approval to vuvuzelas; Indian fan wants Germany to win so he can dig up the whisky buried in his garden. Really.


While you were sleeping

At least 16 people died and and rescuers were still struggling to find others after a landslide in southwestern China, in which part of a mountain collapsed onto temporary buildings at a construction site.

28 people died in a prison in the Mexican state of Sinaloa when members of one drug gang apparently stormed a block housing inmates from a rival gang and opened fire on them. The attack came on the same day as 10 police officers were killed in an ambush elsewhere in the country; drug cartels are also suspected of carrying out that attack.
BBC, Reuters

The Guardian reported that the BBC is considering a crowd-noise free broadcast of World Cup games, because some Brits have been complaining about the vuvuzela noise. Even as other Brits rushed to the stores to buy their very own vuvus.
Guardian, Montreal Gazette

The United Nations Security Council only expressed concern about stability on the Korean peninsula and called on both Koreas to not escalate tensions, after a presentation on the sinking of South Korea’s Cheonan war ship. South Korea wants the Council to act against North Korea for the attack.

Thabo Mbeki called on the UN Security Council to strongly encourage the north and south of Sudan to resolve their differences and support peace efforts – some of which he leads – preferably before a January referendum on independence for the south of the country. Mbeki was part of a group of negotiators and mediators that presented their work around Darfur to the Council.
Canadian Press, Voice of America



World Cup games: New Zealand vs Slovakia in Rustenburg (13:30); Ivory Coast vs Portugal in Port Elizabeth (16:00) and Brazil vs North Korea at Ellis Park (20:30).

Although it comes 38 years after the fact, a report on the Bloody Sunday massacre in Northern Ireland due for release today is expected to lay to rest some issues while raising others. The inquiry into the deaths of 14 marchers is the longest and most expensive ever undertaken in the United Kingdom, and perhaps the world, and will reportedly exonerate the dead of any violence. The big question is whether those who shot them – and those who were giving the orders – will now be prosecuted.

Wilmot James, the DA’s higher eduction minister, is going to have to work hard to keep the grin off his face this afternoon. He’s due to have University of the Free State educator Jonathan Jansen on his one side, and Free State ANC Youth League leader Thabo Meeko on the other. And then Meeko will meekly admit that he engaged in hat speech against Jansen, was shown the error of his ways through a complaint by the DA, and he’ll humbly apologise. Although it is not officially listed as such in any book of faith, we think that may very well be a sign to herald the end times.

The National Union of Mineworkers will try to secure a certificate of non-resolution, which will put it well on its way to declaring a legal strike against Eskom. There seems little room for that certification to be denied, and once it is issued there will be very few arguments Eskom could make to have the courts block a strike. In other words, start hoping that Eskom either has some really excellent lawyers on call, or that it is just playing at brinkmanship and will come up with an offer the union can’t refuse.

Several big unions have promised to unveil their plans for a national day of protest against “the fascist Mexican government“. And no, they don’t plan to wait until the end of the World Cup, although you can expect them to deny that they are using the whole eyes-of-the-world-upon-us thing to gain extra publicity from their efforts.

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation will this morning release its annual agricultural outlook, the most comprehensive look at production and prices over the next decade. They’ll spend a bit of time looking at the causes of food price volatility and the chances of the same going forward, but the traders and bio-fuel investors and governments will have eyes only for the staple projections.

Economic data: April building numbers from Statistics SA.



Mo Ibrahim gives African leaders cold shoulder, again
For the second year in a row, The Mo Ibrahim Foundation has decided not to award its signature prize to an African ruler who was democratically elected and then agreed to – and actually did – leave office without being nudged by bayonets.

Farenheit 2010: The inconvenient truth behind SA’s new World Cup stadiums
Craig Tanner’s documentary Farenheit 2010 interrogates the needless expenditure behind South Africa’s brand-new stadiums, and argues that the World Cup could have (and should have) been staged in the venues that were in existence when we won the bid. Do our own broadcasters care? Not really.

Afghanistan now a treasure trove of precious industrial metals. Nobody tell the Taliban, please
The New York Times is reporting (and everyone else is now climbing aboard) that enormous deposits, perhaps worth a trillion dollars, of key minerals and metal ores have been discovered in – you guessed it – Afghanistan.

A rugby supporter’s personal journey to the gates of football
It’s been one hell of a weekend. South Africa has travelled a journey from the front pages reserved for disasters and politics, to the back pages of almost every newspaper outside of North America. But for one rugby fan, it’s been a different journey altogether.

Review: ‘Drumstruck’ – Go on, give it a bash!
If you want to be heard above the blare of World Cup vuvuzelas right now, you have to make a big noise. A very big noise.

Sipho Hlongwane: Whites have dinner party bigots; blacks have tweeting xenophobes
As much as the soccer World Cup may be bringing us all back together again, it is also highlighting the ugly divisions that still exist within our society.


World Cup match reports

Italy and Paraguay draw after a hard, tough battle in the freezing rain
The reigning champions were strong favourites before the Group F opener in the wet and cold Mother City. Their battle with the South Americans produced few fireworks but it was an intriguing duel whose 1-1 result could only be seen as a fair one.

Japanese stun Cameroon in Bloemfontein
Japan have never won a World Cup match outside of Japan before, but today they brought the Indomitable Lions crashing down with a great display of defensive play and some nimble footwork, 1-0.

Netherlands defeats Denmark. Okay, but wasn’t the stadium beautiful?
Soccer City was basking in the best that the Johannesburg winter can offer. The stands are brightly coloured in a red-orange combo. There was excitement and expectation in the air. And that’s just about the only positive things we can say about the Netherlands’ win over Denmark. It was 2:0, but we were left thoroughly bored.

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