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First Thing with John Stupart

First Thing with John Stupart

Trump glows orange in debate, mushroom clouds seen over Nkandla, and Chelsea is officially the worst football team in the world.

“It’s not true that I had nothing on. I had the radio on.” 

? Marilyn Monroe

Members of the ‘Nuremberg Star Wars Fans’ club in Stormtrooper costumes of the ‘Star Wars’ science fiction movie series appear to patrol on a nightly street as they arrive at a local cinema in Nuremberg, Germany, late 16 December 2015 night. They were gathering to attend one of the midnight premiere screenings in Germany of the latest movie of the epic series – ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’. EPA/NICOLAS ARMER


For the first time in nine years, the United States Federal Reserve has raised its interest rates. An increase in a range between 0.25 and 0.50 percent was announced. This was combined increased growth expectation for 2016 to 2.4 percent. US markets jumped up in response to the announcement. This historical move registered little surprise amongst American finance experts, who had anticipated this decision long in advance. The impact this rate hike will have on emerging economies, of which South Africa is included, is unlikely to be positive.

The US and Cuba are to resume regular flights between each country.
 The announcement was made one day short of today’s one year anniversary of the thawing in diplomatic relations between the two countries. Although flights will not resume immediately, the lifting of travel restrictions does allow for the beginning of safety standards inspections, advisory, and eventual implementation by the Federal Aviation Administration. Once completed, which could be a matter of months, you can expect a rather noticeable boom in air travel between North and South America. Cigars may hopefully become significantly cheaper too with luck.

Facebook has announced its partnership with Uber on an interesting new app. The unholy alliance will allow Facebook users to call an Uber taxi directly from the Facebook Messenger service, removing the need for exiting the one app and using another. Currently limited to American riders, the “transportation” menu option will begin appearing on users’ phones by Wednesday. This unholy alliance will begin a rapid spread of synergised services throughout the world. No Toyota Corolla will be safe.

Speculation has been rife around Chelsea’s man in at the helm. Jose Mourinho’s future as manager is uncertain, but former Blues winger Pat Nevin is confident he will survive the onslaught. Chelsea’s loss to Leicester has the once-mighty club sitting at just a single point above the relegation zone. Even if Mourinho does stay, facing a mutinous team with a nine game losing streak will be a hard disaster to turn around. 

Oil=$37.35 Gold=$1,075.45 Platinum=$876.45
R/$=15.05 R/€=16.48 R/£=22.59 $/€=1.09
JSE All Share=48,428.77 DJIA=17,536.83 FTSE 100=6,061.07: Source


The number of lives lost to terrorism in 2014.


Casualties of Cola

Today in 1973 Palestinian terrorists kill thirty passengers at Italy’s Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport. Phosphorus bombs were thrown into the plane’s cabin, causing general panic. 

Fact of the day: Cats definitely like tuna. What is not generally well-known is that cats can become addicted to tuna. So much so that they will refuse to eat anything else.

Press Ombudsman Johan Retief found on Tuesday that reporting by the The Sunday Times on the SARS “rogue unit” had been “inaccurate and unfair”, is in breach of several sections of the Press Code and that the paper should apologise unconditionally to Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. Gordhan has come out guns blazing since his reinstatement as Finance Minister after President Zuma scored an own goal firing Gordhan’s successor, Nhlanhla Nene. Gordhan’s surprise visit to SARS this week also sent a strong signal that we can expect more drama and fallout in coming weeks and months.
Time to read entire article: 4min

SA Nine-Hour endurance race:
Playing Guitar with Bob Dylan … en Sarel
The Team Africa Le Mans Ginetta G55 driven by South African racing legend Sarel van der Merwe, Le Mans 24-hour winner Jan Lammers and Dr Greg Mills finished first GT car home, second overall and won the Index of Performance in the South African Nine-Hour race at Killarney race track on Saturday 12 December 2015. This is their story. By GREG MILLS
Time to read entire article: 4min

There has been plenty to celebrate in Africa this year, from successful elections and brave new leaders, to winning the fight against Ebola. SIMON ALLISON looks at the best stories from an eventful year.
Time to read entire article: 4min

Despite all the progress – and there is a lot of that – there are still plenty of bad African news stories. SIMON ALLISON looks at what has gone wrong in 2015.
Time to read entire article: 4min

Press Ombudsman’s rulings against Sunday Times vindicate Pillay and van Loggerenberg
Three rulings by the Press Ombudsman that stories published by the Sunday Times with regard to a SARS “rogue unit” were “inaccurate, misleading and unfair” vindicate former SARS acting commissioner Ivan Pillay and group executive Johan van Loggerenberg. The saga has tarnished the reputation of the country’s biggest-selling newspaper which, it appears, was drawn into an elaborate cloak-and-dagger campaign to discredit SARS. By MARIANNE THAMM.
Time to read entire article: 4min

New risks on Nigeria’s Shiite fault line
On 12 and 13 December, Nigerian government troops clashed with members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN). Their battle in the city of Zaria, in north central Kaduna state, reportedly killed more than 100 people, including some senior movement members, and threatened wider violence. Crisis Group’s Senior Nigeria Analyst, NNAMDI OBASI, provides some insight into what happened, the relationship of the Shiite group with the government and with Sunni radicals, and whether the Nigerian government risks a second Boko Haram-style insurgency. By the INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP.

ICG: Iran after the Nuclear Deal
Tensions within the Islamic Republic stem in no small part from its blend of popular sovereignty and religious authority. Theocratic forces seek to maintain the dominance of the supreme leader and other tutelary bodies, while republican forces advocate more clout for popularly-elected institutions. Each camp is further split between pragmatists who seek incremental political evolution, and radicals who either resist any change or promote revolutionary transformation. By the INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP.


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The Spy Bill: An autocratic roadmap to State Capture 2.0

Join Heidi Swart in conversation with Anton Harber and Marianne Merten as they discuss a concerning push to pass a controversial “Spy Bill” into law by May 2024. Tues 5 Dec at 12pm, live, online and free of charge.

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