South Africa, World

First Thing with Simon Williamson: Grenade attack in Mombasa bar

By Simon Williamson 16 May 2012

First Thing News on Wednesday, 16 May 2012.

While you were sleeping

One person was killed and several injured in an attack involving grenades at a bar in Mombasa, Kenya on Tuesday night. Police said the assailants tried to get into the Bella Vista sports bar, but were held back by guards. The attackers then tried to shoot over the security personnel and threw the explosives through the door, injuring at least six people, including a member of the security staff who later died. No one has claimed responsibility. This follows a radio-controlled bomb attack earlier on Tuesday in the Dadaab refugee camp on the Kenya-Somalia border, which killed a policeman. Telegraph, Daily Nation

A US official who spoke to Reuters on Tuesday said a deal to reopen supply lines from Pakistan into Afghanistan was virtually certain, although an agreement had yet to be signed and sealed. The new deal between the two countries could see higher costs for the US government to use Pakistani facilities, although the official didn’t cough up any specific details. Reuters, Christian Science Monitor

Another prominent member of the Syrian National Council opposition group resigned on Tuesday, shortly after the council re-elected incumbent Burhan Ghalioun for another three-month presidential term. Fawaz Tello quit claiming the organisation was no longer interested in democratic reform, nor attempting to unify Syrian opposition. Power games seem to be in the offing, as Tello said, “the efforts that I and others have been making have been thwarted by the personal ambitions of those holding the reins of the council”. He added that one of the prime reasons he left was a refusal by the SNC to attend an Arab League meeting with other opposition groups later this month.? Reuters, AFP

Spanish oil and gas company Repsol filed suit against the Argentine government, which seized control of Argentina’s largest energy company, YPF, in New York City on Tuesday. Repsol owned a majority stake in YPF before it was taken over, and is looking to recoup the $10.5-billion it lost in the process. The claim argues that Argentina reneged on an agreement to buy Class D shares of YPF if it ever sought control of the company, which used to be state-owned but was privatised in 1993. Mercopress, Bloomberg

Costa Rica is beginning to catch up with Brazil for the most cabinet ministers to leave or be sacked from one administration: its fifth casualty of the year departed on Tuesday for “personal reasons”. Justice minister Hernando Paris resigned from the cabinet of President Laura Chinchilla – a cabinet that finds itself in crisis as waves of corruption and tax-evasion scandals are keeping any official business from being dealt with. In fact, three major portfolios – justice, transport and sport – currently sit empty. Reuters

Coming up today

Cosatu secretary general Zwelenzima Vavi will address an international relations conference from 09:00. Quite ironically, at the same time Democratic Alliance national spokesman Mmusi Maimane will be laying charges against Cosatu leadership after violence broke out during a DA march to the federation’s headquarters yesterday.

Public enterprises minister Malusi Gigaba will chat to the media ahead of a vote on his department’s budget in the National Assembly. Of all the departmental budgets, Gigaba’s should bear some of the closest scrutiny after major rail infrastructure upgrades were announced during the state of the nation address in February.??The department of labour will be holding public hearings at the Port Elizabeth Labour Centre as it conducts investigations into the civil engineering and security services industries, aiming to “[set] conditions of employment and minimum wages”.

A Dutch court will rule on Wednesday over whether the pro-paedophilia organisation, Martijn (which, since 1982, has lobbied for acceptance of sexual relations between minors and adults) should be allowed to exist.

Arsenal fans hold your collective breath: Robin van Persie has talks with club manager Arsène Wenger and CEO Ivan Gazidis about his future. To be clear on this importance, the chap scored 41 goals in 53 games last season.??Economic data: Retail trade sales March 2012 (Statistics SA)

Weather

Bloemfontein: 3°-17°, clear

Cape Town: 8°-20°, clear

Durban: 13°-21°, 15% chance of rain

East London: 14°-22°, clear

Johannesburg: 7°-16°, clear

Nelspruit: 12°-23°, partly cloudy

Pietermaritzburg: 6°-20°, clear

Polokwane: 11°-21°, partly cloudy

Port Elizabeth: 11°-20°, clear

Pretoria: 8°-19°, clear

Source: Weather24

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DM

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Photo: Mobasa hospitals are on high alert after a suspected grenade attack in the city. REUTERS.

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