First Thing: Colombia gets new President; Zimbabwe blood diamond meet

First Thing: Colombia gets new President; Zimbabwe blood diamond meet

Last night: Santos wins Colombia, Kaczynski loses Poland (for now), more China coal deaths, McDowell wins Masters. Coming up today: Winter Solstice, Wimbledon, Whaling Commission meet (and ban fight), Kimberley Process meet (and Zim fight).

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The Daily Maverick
Monday, 21 June 2010
The World Cup day that was

20 June: The French Revolt of 2010
French players go on strike; Stallion Security says it will sue the LOC; Paraguay trounce Slovakia 2-0; New Zealand stun Italy in a 1-1 draw; Brazil outclass Ivory Coast 3-1; Will we get to hear the honking of the giant vuvuzela?

19 June: Sorry, wrong bathroom. But now that I’m here…
Anelka out of the World Cup; Netherlands beat Japan, progress to next round; Ghana and Australia draw; Denmark defeat brave Cameroon; Kaita receives death threats; England fan gatecrashes dressing room on his way to the toilet.

18 June: Not-so-poor Fifa
Fifa rakes in US$3.2 billion; Serbia wins against Germany; US claws back draw against Slovenia; lacklustre England draws against Algeria; Malian referee attacked on Wikipedia; English fan converts garden into soccer stadium.


While you were sleeping

Juan Manuel Santos easily won the Presidential runoff vote in Colombia with around 70%, the highest margin in recent history, guaranteeing a continuing of the US-friendly policies and hard-line approach to guerillas of his predecessor Alvaro Uribe. Seven police and three soldiers were killed during separate attacks by insurgents during the course of voting.
Voice of America, Colombia Reports

Early returns showed acting President Bronislaw Komorowski well ahead in Polish elections triggered by the death of previous President Lech Kaczynski in a plane crash, but probably short of the required majority. That means a runoff election in early July with Jaroslaw Kaczynski, twin brother of Lech, as the other candidate left standing.
Bloomberg, Reuters

Officials confirmed that at 46 miners died in a coal mine explosion in the Henan province in central China. The blast is thought to have been caused by an underground store of explosives.
Xinhua, BBC

12 people were hospitalised for smoke inhalation after a fire in Chicago‘s subway system. The city says railway ties occasionally catch fire during summer months, though that rarely happens underground.

In a late upset, Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland beat Frenchman Gregory Havret by one shot to win the US Open golf championship at Pebble Beach, becoming the first European to do so in 40 years. Ernie Els finished third, ahead of the joint fourth-placed Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.



World Cup games: Portugal vs North Korea in Cape Town (13:30); Chile vs Switzerland in Port Elizabeth (16:00); and Spain vs Honduras at Ellis Park (20:30).

It’s Winter Solstice day. Think about it this way: in theory the worst over.

The two-week Wimbledon tennis tournament starts today, minus the vuvuzelas but with the overpriced strawberries and cream very much in attendance. Oh, and there’ll be some tennis too, though with most South Africans’ sports-bandwidth saturated with soccer we mostly won’t notice.

The International Whaling Commission starts a scheduled meeting today, though it’ll be anything but routine. Beside the legal fight that Australia has picked with Japan over its whaling, the Commission has to decide on a compromise agreement that will allow open whaling by the likes of Iceland and Japan, but a reduction in the number of whales they may hunt.

Also meeting from today is the Kimberley Process chiefs in Tel Aviv, and this could be a make-or-break one for the diamond certification scheme. There is huge pressure from lobby groups to declare Zimbabwe an exporter of blood diamonds, and to strengthen policing of what comes out of countries like Angola. Doing either could tear the group apart; doing neither could renew calls for consumer boycotts of all diamonds everywhere.

Economic data: annual results from Telkom, April tourist accommodation numbers from Statistics SA and composite business cycle indicators from the Reserve Bank.



Analysis: A little advice for Eskom’s new CEO, Brian Dames
After a long search, Eskom finally has a chief executive officer to take it to new, happier hunting grounds. As always, we have some nuggets of wisdom to impart. Okay, maybe just nuggets of common sense, but hey, it’s what’s been lacking for the longest time.

An open letter to Budweiser: Please will you sponsor all South African sport? Wholesale rates available
RE: Sponsoring all South African teams across all sports and in all stadiums – and banning other beer brands.

The top English fan, revisited
Remember Mark Perryman? If not, we’ll remind you: he’s the guy we interviewed in May, before he was internationally famous. Turns out he was right: England fans are behaving and he is having a whale of a time.

World Cup week one wrap-up, minus the soccer
Rubber bullets, ear worms, the embarrassing opportunism of trade unions, Shakira’s trademark hip swivel and a little baby called Fifa. The Daily Maverick rounds up the week’s global media reporting on what’s been happening off the field.


World Cup match reports

With some help from Hand of God, Hurricane Brazil hits the Ivory Coast
It was the match that was eagerly expected by the connoisseurs around the world. And for most of it Brazil, and to a much lesser extent Ivory Coast, obliged with a display of quality soccer. But they also gave us glimpses into the darkness. It ended Brazil 3, Ivory Coast 1.

New Zealanders’ brave hearts hold world champions Italy to a 1:1 draw
We’ve seen some pretty big upsets in the World Cup so far – Spain against Switzerland and Germany against Serbia – but this afternoon’s result must be the most astonishing of all. How on earth did a small rugby nation manage to get a point against the world champions? It would now take extreme bravery to put money on any team winning the World Cup.

Paraguay whacks Slovakia without breaking a sweat 
It was supposed to be a battle of two pretty equal sides. But on their way to South Africa, Paraguay comfortably defeated Brazil and Argentina; Slovakia was not going to worry them either. The Bloemfontein Group F game ended Paraguay 2, Slovakia 0.

Cameroon loses to Denmark, crashes out of World Cup
Well, it was time for the Danes to show their real nature. Unfortunately for Cameroon, they chose the match against them to come out as a fast, clinical and efficient side. It ended Denmark 2, Cameroon 1.

Ghana’s Black Stars fight boldly, only manage a draw against the 10-man Ozzies
It was one more game in which both sides fought valiantly and both sides refused to give up. At the end, the result, 1-1, was a fair representation of both sides’ efforts. Pity about the refereeing, again.

The industrious Dutch break Japan’s iron defence, but only just
The Netherlands came close to making the same mistake that the German and Spanish side fell for, of dominating possession but not converting it into chances at goals. Fortunately for them, Wesley Sneijder’s shot found the back of the net. After they won the game 1-0, the Dutch have now officially qualified for the next round.

Algerians frustrate English stars into goalless draw
The England team ran out at the Green Point Stadium tonight with the best line-up they have. And yet, it was not enough to break the Algerian’s steely resolve. The night of frustration ended with no goals and not much excitement.

Yanks force a late draw against Slovenia. Oh, and get robbed of victory
Johannesburg’s Ellis Park provided a theatre for the game of surprise and drama in which Slovenia dominated the first half and the US forced their way back in the second. Pity about the refereeing, though. It ended US 2, Slovenia 2.

In shock reversal of first-round fortunes, unsteady Germans lose to unpredictable Serbs
It was supposed to be an easy outing for the rampaging Germans, freshly energised by their destruction of Australia. But, not for the first time in history, (remember who started World War One?) Serbs had some ideas on their own. It ended Serbia 1, Germany 0.

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