Wednesday, 28 July 2010
While you were sleeping
American funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001 topped $1 trillion, with a new funding bill sent to Barack Obama for his signature. The latest allocation, of around $37 billion, is primarily aimed to pay for 30,000 addtional troops deployed in the latest Afghanistan surge.
Politico, Seattle Times
Despite all the lobbying and outpouring of popular support, the Argentine Football Association unanimously decided to not renew Diego Maradona's contract, possibly because of his insistence that if he stays, then so should assistant coach Alejandro Mancuso. Sergio Batista, coach of Argentina's under-20 squad, is looking a likely replacement.
An oil pipeline leaked an estimated 19,500 barrels worth of crude oil, or around three million litres, into the Kalamazoo river in Michigan before it was shut down. The river leads into lake Michigan, but cleanup crews are confident they can contain the spill before it gets that far.
Kalamazoo Gazette, Bloomberg
The All Black's tactical plans for scrums and line-outs in their upcoming game with Australia were revealed to anyone who cared to take notice. Several news outlets published a photograph of a tactical drawing snapped with a long lens as coach Graham Henry conveniently held it out. The All Blacks are less than amused with the photographer.
NZ Herald, TVNZ
An Australian businessman concluded a deal with the government of Papua New Guinea to conduct a feasibility study into building a 3,000 kilometre long pipeline, at a cost of nearly $30 billion, to export water to Australia. The plan includes a series of hydroelectric power stations to pump water from the Mendi River in PNG all the way to the parched south-east of Queensland.
Cosatu will be talking about the pay dispute between its public sector unions and the government, which is heading towards a strike at the end of the week. The government seems keener than most employers to reach settlement, which may or may not mellow union attitudes.
The ANC Youth League has scheduled a media conference following its national working committee meeting yesterday. It has a lot on its mind: provincial revolts, the fight it has picked with the Public Protector. And it's been a while since Julius Malema has held court; maybe he's been bottling up those outrageous quotes for us.
Two alleged World Cup ticket touts, one from the UK and one from the US, are due to appear in Johannesburg for what should be another fast-track case. We wouldn't be at all surprised to see them plead out on minor fines, because, let's face it, nobody cares anymore.
The trade and industry department is relaunching its Black Business Supplier Development Programme, a recently tweaked system of small grants that help cover the setup costs of companies that win contracts and tenders.
Steel maker ArcelorMittal will be releasing first quarter results. All the attention will be on the future, though, with questions about what happens when a fragile truce with Kumba on iron ore supplies ends next year.
Economic data: June CPI from Statistics SA.
The remarkable life of Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks
Hindsight may be the world’s most exact science, but there’s something in the life story of Australian-born Julian Paul Assange that makes his newfound stardom seem almost fated. His early life, for instance, can only be understood in the context of what came next.
Bob Dudley, the man with a golden job
As hapless Tony Hayward finally got the chop from a job for which he was never really qualified, and BP reported a record-breaking $17 billion loss in the second quarter, the focus now moves to its new boss, Robert Dudley. His ascension to power proves BP has learnt the fundamental power of good PR. Now, the gargantuan company has all the chances of surviving.
Protection of Information Bill, a story about a special kind of divorce
As any divorcee will tell you, falling out of love sucks. You understand that life as you know it is about to come to an end. It is how most journalists feel when they read the proposed Protection of Information Bill. So we have to ask, how did it come to this? How did it happen?
China markets its newest economic zone, Tianjin, to unsuspecting South Africans
Could the world be seeing a resurgence of China’s great Ming dynastic empire robed in 21st century economic armour? The Chinese certainly seem to hope so.
Ivo Vegter: Go ahead, have a baby
When someone who will clearly make a great parent expresses guilt for having taken the liberty to procreate, there's something wrong with us.
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Main photo courtesy of Elbfoto