Tuesday, 6 July 2010
The World Cup day that was
5 July: Nigerian ban crumbles before Fifa threat of ban
Nigerian president unbans Super Eagles; Manuel tries to justify World Cup ticket spend; Shortlist for Brazilian coaching job announced; Semi-finals referees named; Joachim Loew and his lucky blue jersey.
While you were sleeping
Iran complained that its passenger airplanes were being refused fuel at some European airports and the United Arab Emirates, after the US passed new sanctions against it last week. It seems that BP may have ordered companies that sell its jet fuel to not do business with Iran, although confirmation was still scarce early Monday morning.
Spanish foreign minister Miguel Angel Moratinos arrived in Cuba, where he will try to negotiate the release of political prisoners in time to save the life of hunger striker Guillermo Farinas, who is expected to die any day now. The death of hunger striker Orlando Zapata in late February caused a stir in Spain, and the government there believes Cuban leader Raul Castro may be ready to avoid a repeat.
AFP, Havana Times
Both of Australia's main political parties unveiled new election-time policies on immigration that agree on the main point: block so-called boat people from ever reaching Australia. New prime minister Julia Gillard wants to establish a "regional processing centre" in East Timor, reminiscent of a previous practice of shipping illegal immigrants to the Pacific island of Nauru. Opposition leader Tony Abbott has much the same idea, but also wants to force boats loaded with uncleared passengers to return to their country of origin.
Herald Sun, The Australian
Ghana's Black Stars received a red-carpet homecoming, with thousands of people (many armed with vuvuzelas) thronging Accra airport to congratulate the team for what they said was a successful World Cup campaign.
A fire at a transformer station in Toronto left Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip in the dark, in the middle of the prince's presentation of youth community service awards. But Philip soldiered on in the dark, with typical stiff-upper-lipness, and the Canadians managed to get the lights back on in time for dinner.
Winnipeg Free Press, CBC
With any luck, the Netherlands will crush the unrepentant cheating scum that is Uruguay in their semi-final World Cup game in Cape Town at 20:30.
Julius Malema is alive and talking. Specifically, the increasingly embattled ANC Youth League leader is scheduled to speak at the Southern African Music Conference this afternoon. Will he drop subtle references to bloody agents trying to unseat him? If all goes according to plan we'll tell you, live, on Twitter. You can follow it blow-by-blow on @phillipdewet, or catch the highlights package (assuming there are any highlights) on @dailymaverick. Or you could just wait for our report on the website shortly after the speech wraps up.
Basic education minister Angie Motshekga is also up and fighting, in her case explaining why the 2011 curriculum, apparently titled Schooling 2025, bears so little resemblance to outcomes-based education if OBE has not been a total failure.
President Jacob Zuma will be whipping up some investment excitement at a conference in Cape Town, where Investec Asset Management says it has gathered some of the world's leading investors. The fact that there is a World Cup game later in the day is entirely incidental, of course. Watch out for Zuma spinning World Cup success into proof that all government policies are fantabulous, and demand greater foreign direct investment with fewer strings more often.
The nine-day San Fermin Festival, also known as the Goring of the Silly Tourists, starts in Pamplona. Animal rights activists are planning a couple of spectacular protests against the bullfights that follow the running of the bulls, and there is some concern that a bomb-building crazy or two may also show up this year.
The French parliament will debate a possible ban on burqas, as has become so fashionable in Western Europe of late. The plan is declare the burqa degrading to women, and therefore fine them €150 every time they're caught choosing to degrade themselves that way. That doesn't mean it will be constitutional, of course.
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is to meet US President Barack Obama, who will likely tell him that he's been a very, very bad boy. The Israelis yesterday made some last-ditch efforts to talk to the Palestinians, for a change, so it looks like Netanyahu will try convincing Obama that there has been progress of sorts.
Moral regeneration month – feel it, it is here
On Monday July 5, Arts and Culture minister Lulu Xingwana will officially open moral regeneration month at a gathering in Mafikeng. Which reminds us to ask a perennial question: when will the Moral Regeneration Movement finally cut its losses and disband?
Analysis: Let's not waste the 2010 momentum
In a week's time, the World Cup will be over and we’ll all have to face the future that depends only on us, and us alone. How about we turn it into something good? Here's what we can do.
Jacques Rousseau: Beauty and the beastly behaviour
“Hands of God”, sacrificial lambs and atrociously inconsistent human error by referees and players: The "beautiful game" needs change. It’s too late now to rinse the stain from the 2010 World Cup, but the question is how to effect change, and how much.
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Main photo courtesy of Elbfoto