First Thing with Simon Williamson: Qantas to split into two businesses

By Simon Williamson 22 May 2012

Tuesday 22 May 2012.

While you were sleeping

Australian flag carrier Qantas announced on Tuesday it will split its international and domestic operations into different businesses; from July the two companies will report different financials and have different CEOs. The announcement follows an 83% plummet in first-half profits and newly-hatched plans to cut costs, which include suspending delivery of new aircraft. Numbers over this period weren’t helped with a soaring oil price and the airline’s horrendous industrial relations, which saw its entire fleet being grounded for two days in October.
Sydney Morning Herald, NineMSN

Lambert Mende, a spokesman for the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo on Monday said 25 rebels had been killed in clashes with the army in the eastern part of the country. The eastern DRC remains even less stable than the rest of the country after recent defections from the army to Bosco Ntaganda, a “renegade general” according to Reuters, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court. Ntaganda previously fought against the government, but temporarily incorporated himself and his band of merry men into the army in 2009.

Eleven students were killed and 22 injured when a bus fell into a ravine in Albania, 137km from the capital city of Tirana, according to police. Local media differed slightly with the exact details, but AP claims two buses carrying 75 students and three professors were taking a pre-graduation trip to the southern part of the country when one of the buses fell off the road and dropped 80m. The cause of the crash is unclear although witnesses said the buses were speeding, and the transport minister said the road had only recently been reopened.
AP, UK Press Association

Californian authorities found 3.6 tons of marijuana floating in the sea on Sunday, around 20km off the coast of Orange County, south of Los Angeles, according to reports on Monday. Jerry Conlin, a spokesman for the San Diego sector of the US Border Patrol said, echoing Captain Obvious, “This is unusual, you don’t usually find a large quantity of marijuana like that.” The coast of southern California is a trafficking route for drugs and people coming to the US via northern Mexico.

While the media has been regularly hinting at the future of Chelsea and Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba, French magazine France Football is set to definitively announce his departure from the London club on Tuesday. The striker, who equalised in the Champions League Final two minutes from time and then scored the winning penalty, has reportedly told his team mates “we will not be together next season”. ESPN, however, reports that Drogba’s camp is attempting to distance the striker from his own comments.
Eurosport, ESPN

Coming up today

The Young Communist League will brief the media on its national committee meeting and, more interestingly, on its planned march to the Goodman Gallery. The YCL’s leader, Buti Manamela, said on Monday he would lead the march and rip out the The Spear – a painting of President Jacob Zuma with his lunchbox exposed.

Grab the popcorn: Nedbank chairman Reuel Khoza will be speaking at an SME and microfinance conference in Sandton from 09:25.

Two parliamentary groups will listen to significant announcements on Tuesday: a committee for water and environmental affairs will be briefed by its ministry over solutions to deal with acid mine draining in the Witwatersrand, and a sport committee will listen to briefings about the entry of the Southern Kings to the Super 15.

Republican presidential primaries take place in Kentucky and Arkansas on Tuesday, with the results so important to the last remaining campaigning candidate, Mitt Romney, that he will be attending a fundraiser with financial industry bigwigs in New York City.


Bloemfontein: 0°-15°, partly cloudy
Cape Town: 7°-19°, clear
Durban: 12°-21°, partly cloudy
Johannesburg: 5°-14°, partly cloudy
East London: 12°-21°, partly cloudy
Nelspruit: 6°-20°, clear
Pietermaritzburg: 2°-18°, partly cloudy
Polokwane: 5°-18°, partly cloudy
Port Elizabeth: 11°-19°, partly cloudy

Source: Weather24

In case you missed it

Israeli/Palestine exports: South Africa states its case

South Africa’s ambassador to Israel, Ismail Coovadia, is set to face the wrath of the Israeli government this week after the department of trade and industry announced that certain goods originating from Israel would have to be re-labelled to indicate they actually came from Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Donna Summer and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau: They worked hard for their money

The two singers, so different in so many ways, defined their music and their respective eras so precisely as to make it almost impossible for anyone else to fill their enormous shoes. Both died this past weekend – Summer on 17 May, age 63, and Fischer-Dieskau, age 86, the following day. J BROOKS SPECTOR pays his respects.

IkamvaYouth – Giving Tembisa matrics a fighting chance

If you are a pupil who is going to sit for the matric exam in Tembisa near Midrand, the odds of getting into university are stacked against you. Fortunately, there’s an organisation that’s changing the fortunes of hundreds of youngsters in Tembisa and beyond. It’s called IkamvaYouth and they’re teaching pupils to work hard, take responsibility and start believing in themselves.

Analysis: The Spear, The Prophet, “Them” and “Us”

It was bound to cause a storm. The image of President Jacob Zuma in a Soviet-style stance, his genitalia exposed. What it really showed was exactly how divided we still are, which means we still don’t have a clue who we are.

Renault Mégane RS Trophy: Fast and furious

A lap time of 8min 07sec around the notorious Nürburgring circuit is enough to make even the most seasoned racing driver take notice. That those digits refer to the current lap record for front-wheel drive, standard production cars is quite astounding. And the record holder hails from France. DEON SCHOEMAN drives it.

Auction for Anton

When South African photojournalist Anton Hammerl was killed in Libya last year, he left behind a wife and three small children. Some of the biggest names in photography came together last week to ensure his family would a future.

Analysis: Painting debate will test our democracy

For a week, South Africans have been huffing and puffing about the president’s depiction in Brett Murray’s artwork, The Spear. Tomorrow, the matter comes before a judge and one of the houses – freedom of expression or the right to dignity – has to crumble. ALEX ELISEEV explores a case which has divided a nation.

TedxMogadishu and its spiritual predecessor, Elman the Electrician

Many of the tweets joked about camel milk and the possibility of, perhaps next year, camel cheese, Insha’Allah. Others spoke of the “rebirth of hope”, while one participant tweeted “TedxMogadishu event was not a success by itself. Poorly organised, no sound system, didn’t follow the ted rules…” Wait a bit, did that tweet say TedxMogadishu? As in Somalia, Mogadishu? On the same day that news reports told of five Somalis killed in bomb attacks in the capital, tweets and video emanated from a secret location in Mogadishu, known only to the participants?

Einstein on the beach: A perfectly crafted fancy

Steven Boykey Sidley has leapt into the literary limelight with a book called Entanglement. It’s a glorious mash-up of Phillip Roth, Saul Bellow, Ian McEwan and Elmore Leonard. Horny, heady and thrilling, Entanglement is a beach read for people who would rather be shot than go to the beach.

‘The Brothers Size’: A ride to remember

Premiered in 2007 at the Public Theater in NYC, acclaimed by critics from the New York Times and Chicago Tribune, The Brothers Size is a hypnotic, timeless, poetic play about brotherhood, love and differences. Now on stage at the Baxter Theatre, it’s not to be missed.

Johann Redelinghuys: Employment – Make Peace with the Gig Economy

You think after school you’ll go to university, get a good degree and impress some potential employer. There will be mutual respect, you’ll stay with the company for the rest of your life and head off into a sunny, secure retirement. Right? Wrong.

Aubrey Masango: Civil disobedience – No one has a monopoly on marching!

Cosatu’s intimidatory tactics and violence at the DA’s march on 15 May 2012 has solicited criticism from even the most impoverished communities in South Africa. The question must be asked, does Cosatu and its alliance partners still represent the interests of the poor and unemployed, or are they simply protecting their positions of hegemony?

Ranjeni Munusamy: Why I write what I write

On a few occasions, readers of Daily Maverick have queried how I can write critically about the ANC government when I acted as an “aide” to President Jacob Zuma a few years ago. There appears to be a perception that I do so out of bitterness because I was not “rewarded” with a high-flying position in the Zuma administration. Here’s the long answer to that question.


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Photo: Qantas has split its international and domestic operations into two different businesses. REUTERS/Daniel Munoz.


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