First Thing: Gaza boat diverts; Selebi sentencing starts

Last night: Typhoon Conson kills, huge Kuala Lumpur animal bust, Gaza-bound boat changes course, Lance Armstrong doping investigation, Singapore to grow big. Coming up today: Selebi sentencing starts, Cele thanks World Cup cops, post mortems, Bastille Day.

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Discovery Summit
The Daily Maverick
Wednesday, 14 July 2010

We know. We miss the World Cup too. Which is why – in an attempt to find happiness again – we’ve launched a Facebook page. As well as a competition through which we hope to harvest your creativity to make The Daily Maverick just a little bit more awesome.

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While you were sleeping

Typhoon Conson killed several people in the Philippines and 22 more are missing, most of them fishermen whose boats capsized, amid heavy rains and strong winds.

Police raiding a warehouse in Kuala Lumpur in search of stolen cars found plenty of those, as well as around 700 birds, monkeys, and other animals. Among the haul was a pair of rare birds of paradise worth more than R2 million; other birds and animals are still being catalogued.
AP, Malaysian Mirror

The Libyan aid boat that was carrying supplies to the Gaza Strip apparently diverted its course to Egypt instead of trying to run the Israeli blockade, but is still being closely watched in case of a last-minute change in direction. Egyptian officials have offered to accept the supplies at the port of el-Arish and handle the transfer to Gaza.
Al Jazeera, Haaretz

The New York Times reported that American authorities have issued subpoenas to witnesses as part of a preliminary investigation into doping allegations against cyclist Lance Armstrong. The investigation seems to be based entirely on accusations by Floyd Landis, who was himself caught using banned substances.
New York Times, link

Singapore increased its estimates for economic growth during the 2010 financial year, saying its GDP should increase by between 13% and 15%. If achieved, that will probably see it outstrip even China.
MarketWatch, Straits Times

Intel reported second-quarter net income just shy of $2.9 billion, with a 43% increase in revenue. It is forecasting somewhere over $11.2 billion in sales for the current quarter, indicating considerably stronger demand for computers than most analysts had expected.
Bloomberg, ABC

Discovery Summit

Jackie Selebi, corrupt former police chief, is up for sentencing today. Nothing about this trial has exactly been speedy, and it will be a long time before he’s on the inside of a jail cell looking out – if ever. And anyway, first we have to hear what a jolly good fellow he is, and how he should receive a feather-weight sentence because he really is, deep down below the greed and lies, such a pillar of society.

Meanwhile, new and hopefully uncorrupt police chief Bheki Cele is due to say thank-you to the cops who kept the World Cup safe, by way of a big, media-friendly ceremony in Johannesburg.

The government executive and Cosatu are each, separately, doing World Cup post mortems. The government will be preening and making wildly improbable promises about legacy projects. Cosatu will take a more nuanced view, but must perforce also take a mostly positive view.

It is Bastille Day, and an important one too. France will be celebrating 50 years of doing without its once-sprawling African empire, and once-loved President Nicolas Sarkozy will be heading up the party. Troops from 13 former French colonies will be marching through the streets of Paris, in what is either a great gesture or a tacky bit of nostalgia, depending on where you’re standing.

Economic data: retail, wholesale and motor trade numbers from Statistics SA.

Discovery Summit


Sarkozy downplays Bettencourt scandal, exhorts French to work harder
President Nicolas Sarkozy went large and live on French TV in a Q&A format on Monday night to put paid to all those pesky allegations of illegal political donations from high-fliers supporting him and his party.

To Kill a Mockingbird turns 50, becomes a bestseller again
She’s only written one novel, but it was an instant classic that defined race in America and swiftly became a setwork in English-language schoolrooms across the globe. On Sunday Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird turned 50, and in celebration soared back up the sales charts.

The final, ultimate and very last World Cup media wrap-up
The sceptics were silenced as international media praised South Africa’s hosting of the Soccer World Cup, calling this country magical, successful, reinvented and spine-tingling. In this final media round-up what’s clear is that the world’s media has fallen in love with South Africa, and we’ve fallen in love with ourselves and each other. But when the romance recedes, which it will, the hard work of nation-building resumes.

Ivo Vegter: The right to fire
The right to strike infringes on the rights of others. To put it simply, it legalises blackmail. It should be reviewed.

After the World Cup, Day 2: Fifa hides the truth about aliens
Spanish team mates deck Fabregas out in Barca shirt; Alonso rates de Jong’s tackle as most painful ever; Referee Howard Webb says he did his best; Bafana Bafana came 20th in the World Cup; The District 9/World Cup mash-up Fifa doesn’t want you to see.

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Main photo courtesy of Elbfoto