The ANC's Malemma dilemma; consumers win latest bread price-fixing battle; Palestinians to seek statehood, but there's no easy solution; Syria's growing chemical weapons threat, and our US Open preview. By iMAVERICK TEAM.
It happened overnight
Police continued to prepare for a big crowd-management exercise outside the ANC headquarters in Johannesburg on Monday night, even as crowds of supporters of Julius Malema failed to appear. At least they won’t be caught with their pants down (or without their water cannons) if things change on Tuesday morning. BY PHILLIP DE WET.
The ANC’s top leaders are in a double bind. Should they not expel ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema, he’ll come back to laugh in their faces until his tummy hurts. Should they kick him out, young people might voice their frustrations in BBM-fuelled London-style riots instead. CARIEN DU PLESSIS looks at why the process has to be “on point”.
ANC Youth League Julius Malema has chosen to take the moral high ground en route to his disciplinary hearing, and with less than 24 hours to go, he was a picture of composure, morality and just the slightest, disarming hint of child-like uncertainty. CARIEN DU PLESSIS was almost fooled.
NO GAY MARRIAGE PLEASE, IT’S PE
The Friendly City’s friendliness doesn’t extend to agreeing to marry gay couples, it seems. Two men are claiming they were turned away from PE’s home affairs because nobody was willing to perform their ceremony. By REBECCA DAVIS.
MOTLANTHE IN STATE VISIT TO AFRICA’S WHITE POWDER PARADISE
Motlanthe escapes the Malema disciplinary spotlight to Guinea Bissau, where he’ll discuss everything with its prime minister except the West African country’s debilitating addiction to cocaine. By SIMON ALLISON.
LIBERIA’S MARATHON EFFORT TO FORGET THE PAST
The first ever Liberia Marathon was less about the running and more about moving away from Liberia’s brutal past. Despite the pouring rain, even the president got into the spirit of things. By SIMON ALLISON.
A 14-YEAR-OLD STARTS HIS OWN NEWS AGENCY – IN LIBYA
Ordinary people get swept aside by the media during times of war. If you’re not carrying an AK-47, chances are your face will never be on CNN. So it has been in Libya. But one boy has turned that convention on its head. He’s launched his own news agency, and can be seen in the thick of press action as his country wars with itself. By SIPHO HLONGWANE.
Shoprite hasn’t come across much competition as it has established itself as Africa’s largest retail grocer and its South African rivals only just catching up. But they might just meet their match in Kenya’s Nakumatt group, which has announced its African ambitions – just as Shoprite finds itself distracted by the Walmart threat. By SIMON ALLISON.
VICTORY COMES WITH PROBLEMS FOR LIBYAN REBELS
It ain’t easy being a Libyan rebel right now. They’re struggling with failing infrastructure, Amnesty International is accusing them of human rights violations and factional in-fighting has broken out among them. By REBECCA DAVIS.
Despite efforts by Ichiro Ozawa, the Democratic Party’s resident fixer, the party picked finance minister Yoshihiko Noda to become its new leader, essentially ensuring he becomes Japan’s sixth prime minister in five years on Tuesday. By J BROOKS SPECTOR.
RUSSIA-AVERSE ESTONIAN PRESIDENT RE-ELECTED
Toomas Hendrik Ilves overwhelmingly won his bid for re-election as Estonia’s president. He has not been shy to criticise Russia, and his reappointment signals the Estonian legislature’s continued desire to put as much distance between itself and Russia. By SIPHO HLONGWANE.
Next month, the President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas is widely expected to contact United Nations secretary general Ban ki Moon to request that the UN recognise Palestine as a full member state. While the move has some merits, not least dredging up attention to a peace process that has long stalled, it is vigorously opposed by Israel and the United States, and has also prompted heated debate within Palestinian circles. By KHADIJA PATEL.
If the possibility of a nuclear dirty bomb made from materials stolen from a Libyan research reactor wasn’t enough to keep you awake nights, then this story might just do the trick. By J BROOKS SPECTOR.
ANALYSIS: CONSUMERS WIN AS BREAD-PRICE CLASS ACTION DENIED AGAIN
A ruling on Monday against the Black Sash and others reinforced how difficult it is for consumers to take action, en masse and US-style, against companies that rip them off. Unfortunate as that is, the alternative – undermining confidence in the competition authorities and their ability to prosecute – would have been considerably worse. BY PHILLIP DE WET.
EDINBURGH FESTIVAL’s FUNNIEST (& UNFUNNIEST) JOKES
Every year it’s interesting to see what audiences vote as the funniest joke of the Edinburgh Festival’s Comedy Fringe. This year’s verdict reveals a public valuing word-play above social commentary: possibly because human beings don’t find reality really funny at the moment? By REBECCA DAVIS.
NO MORE R NICE GUY
Jesus Christ is being toughened up. The “macho Jesus” movement, which seeks to portray the Messiah as more of an action guy and less of a hippie, is spreading in both the US and UK. By REBECCA DAVIS.
IS THE WEB DEAD? SLATE TAKES AN AXE TO ITS MEDIA STAR
In 1985, working as an editor for Washington City Paper, Jack Shafer was looking for a media critic. He couldn’t find a writer with the balls to slag off The New York Times or Newsweek or Time, so he did the job himself. Twenty-five years later, Schafer has been fired from Washington Post Group’s flagship e-zine Slate as “a cost-cutting measure”. This has the wonks wondering whether the end is nigh for free web journalism? By RICHARD POPLAK.
Oscar pistorius won’t be running in the 400m final at the world athletics Championships. a last-place finish in the semi-finals on monday ended the athlete’s 400m daegu dream at the competition – for now. by REBECCA DAVIS.
South Africa is a nation used to its winning rugby team, so bring the trophy home. We expect it – again. This was President Zuma’s message to the Springboks as they leave for the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. By KHADIJA PATEL.
US OPEN PREVIEW: YOUNG GUNS THE ONES TO BEAT
With hurricane irene having wreaked havoc on preparations for the final grand slam of the year, we can now look forward to a mouth-watering tournament with up to five players in contention for the men’s title. by STYLi CHARALAMBOUS.
Photo: from Daniel R Blume’s photostream on Flickr.
Microwave popcorn is nothing special. You can have the same effect with normal popcorn kernels and a brown paper bag.