First Thing: Australia neuters mining tax; Julius Malema proxy battle begins

First Thing: Australia neuters mining tax; Julius Malema proxy battle begins

Last night: 41 die in Lahore Sufi attack, 21 more dead in Mexico drug wars, Australia makes miners happy, California pays minimum wage, Garfield to be Spiderman. Coming up today: Malema proxy court battle, new petrol price, Zuma meets AgriSA, wife carrying world cup.

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The Daily Maverick
TGIF, 2 July 2010
The World Cup day that was

1 July: Tournament attendance could hit 3 million
Quarter finalists engage in battle of the cliches; World Cup attendance could surpass 3 million; Mexican football coach resigns; Jabulani juggler sets world record; The sweet sounds of vuvuzela justice in store for Tony Hayward.


While you were sleeping

41 people were killed in two co-ordinated suicide bomb attacks on a Muslim shrine in Lahore, Pakistan. Dozens more are in critical condition in hospital. The shrine holds the remains of 11th century Sufi saint Abul Hassan Ali Hajvery. There has been no claim of responsibility yet, but the growing influence of the Taliban in Pakistan and the fact that they consider Sufis to be heretics is suggestive.
Bloomberg, Hindustan Times

21 people died in what police described as a shootout between two rival drug gangs in the Sonora province of Mexico, on the US border. Authorities also announced that the assistant attorney general of another border state, Chihuahua, was gunned down, along with one of her bodyguards, after being chased through the streets of Ciudad Juarez.
AFP, Reuters

New Australian leader Julia Gillard made major changes to the proposed “super profit” tax on miners, possibly reaching levels where mining companies would not cancel new developments in that country. The compromise increases the profit levels that will trigger extra taxes, and reduces the rates of those taxes. Only a small number of companies would be affected. The opposition have promised to turn upcoming elections into a referendum on the new tax.
WA Today, Herald Sun

As a budget dispute in California turns ugly, governor Arnold Schwarzenegger ordered that the 200,000-odd workers on the state payroll be paid minimum wage in July, with back-dated pay due once a budget has been agreed on. But the state’s controller, John Chiang, is refusing to comply, which probably means the issue will end up in court, just like it did before.
AP, LA Times

Despite the fact that his team performed better than many legendary European ones, South Korean Word Cup coach Huh Jung-moo resigned, saying it’s time to give somebody else a chance. US coach Bob Bradley, on the other hand, said he’d love to stay in his job; a decision on renewing his contract is due some time in the next month.
Canadian Press, AP

Relatively unknown actor Andrew Garfield is to play Peter Parker in the next Spiderman movie, director Marc Webb announced. Webb is also new to the the successful franchise.
Entertainment Weekly, ABC



World Cup games: the Netherlands have to face Brazil in Port Elizabeth (16:00); then Baghana Baghana takes on Uruguay at Soccer City (20:30).

The case of Lehlogonolo Masoga, ousted chairman of the ANC Youth League in Limpopo, comes before the Johannesburg High Court today. This is actually a proxy battle between Julius Malema and the man who would take his place, Andile Lungisa, and could also determine the fate of the League in the Eastern Cape.

The Central Energy Fund will announce the fuel prices for July just after noon, but this month the adjustments will only be implemented on 14 July, in order to not confuse World Cup tourists. Both petrol and diesel will come down by 18 cents per litre, or maybe even a couple of cents more.

President Jacob Zuma is due to meet AgriSA at the Union Buildings this morning for what could either be a polite and wasted meeting, or a tough one where stuff gets done. Once they would have been far apart on the issue of land redistribution, but these days they are probably close enough on the broad points to have a nice, productive fight.

Finland’s annual Wife Carrying World Championship kicks off in Sonkajärvi, with a winner to be crowned tomorrow. Competition for that honour will be fierce, but the categories for most entertaining couple and best costumes always bring a little humour to this otherwise very serious contest.

Economic data: June new vehicle sales from Naamsa.



Eskom vs the unions: fear vs greed will determine if the lights stay on
Eskom has dug in its heels and says it can’t improve on its current offer to workers threatening strike action. One of its unions says it’ll go on strike, another says it is looking at whether it can strike legally. Then it all becomes both very simple and frightfully complex: how many employees will risk going on an unprotected strike, how many will Eskom be able to get across the picket line, and how long will any unprotected strike last for? Because a small change in any of those numbers could mean the difference between a warm winter and blackouts.

Radmann and Hargitay, the men behind Australia’s dirty World Cup 2022 bid
In early May The Daily Maverick interviewed author and investigative journalist Andrew Jennings, the guy who’s dedicated a career to proving that Fifa is an organised crime group. Turns out that Jennings smelt the rat in Australia’s World Cup 2022 bid as early as February – the same rat that the Sydney Morning Herald has just confirmed.

Naspers continues its mighty march
Recession? What recession? While other media companies have been bleeding, bemoaning ill-fated print or crying about the downturn in advertising spend, Naspers is having a pretty good time, thank you very much.

Kia Motors: Can an ugly duckling become a sleek swan?
Korean automotive brand Kia’s strength has been its ability to offer well-specced vehicles at a value-added price. But desirable and aspirational aren’t terms usually associated with the marque – until recently, that is. The latest Kia Sorento is attracting attention – and orders. But the more compact Sportage may well change the perception of Kia forever. We travelled to Korea to drive it – and to find out more about what makes Kia tick.

Chris Gilmour: Unpacking those tourism numbers
While government’s World Cup tourist numbers are probably understated, South Africa’s overall tourism figures are nowhere near as high as official statistics suggest.

Brendah Nyakudya: Embracing Ghana’s Black Stars smacks of hypocrisy
There is a questionable tendency to want to “South African-ise” other African states that do well, and calling the Ghanaian soccer team, BaGhana BaGhana, underlines an inability to support Ghana for its own sake. That’s Afro-pessimism at its worst.


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