While you were sleeping: 14 January 2016

While you were sleeping: 14 January 2016

Operation underway at Sydney Opera House, Cruz is in Tax trouble, and Liverpool pulls Arsenal into 3-3 draw.

“Some of the only people in America who are going to work the same job, in the same place, with a health and retirement package, for thirty years, are sitting in this chamber.”

– Barack Obama during his state of the union speech


Australian officials have confirmed an operation is underway at the Sydney Opera House. Without giving much detail, information released thus far indicates that at least one ferry to the iconic landmark has been cancelled. A police spokesperson could not confirm whether this was a terror-related attack, but Australia has been on high alert for such attacks, with several counterterrorism operations launched in recent weeks.

Iran has freed the 10 US sailors captured while experiencing technical difficulties with their patrol boats. The sailors were released just one day after inadvertently wandering into Iranian waters. Their release and the speed thereof is not a major surprise given the impending sealing of a nuclear deal between Iran and the US. The sailors, meanwhile, now face a career full of jokes and teasing by their fellow crewmen.

Ted Cruz has been plunged into a hot tax-related water. The Republican front-runner failed to disclose to the Federal Election Commission a $500,000 loan from Goldman Sachs during his 2012 senate campaign. Cruz defended the oversight, citing a “technical and inadvertent filing error”. Nonetheless he could well face a hefty fine and certain embarrassment. Donald Trump, meanwhile, is likely chortling his jowls off.

General Electric is moving. To Boston, specifically. The migration of the company from Connecticut to Boston is aimed at revitalising the rundown city and capitalising on significant tax incentives. Residents in Fairfield, Connecticut, however, are somewhat concerned at the move, which will quite likely have a negative impact on peripheral businesses. Nonetheless, the area where ‘Whitey’ Bulger did most of his murderin’ is now seeing a major boom in big companies migrating to the bustling seaport.

Liverpool and Arsenal have reached a draw in a thrilling 3-3 encounter. A late equaliser by Liverpool’s Joe Allen granted a frustrating conclusion for Arsenal and redemption for the former at Anfield. Poor lapses in defence were the primary culprits for both sides suffering goals, and Arsenal now face a significantly reduced points lead in the league.


Oil=$31.65 Gold=$1,090.06 Platinum=$848.79
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JSE All Share=
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The IQ of Hermann Göring, Nazi Germany’s second highest ranking official at the Nuremberg Trials.


Today is day one of the third test between South Africa and England. Whether you are at work, at home, or at the Wanderers, this promises to be a historical match.

Fact of the day: When the Queen of England dies, there is a change of programming in the BBC. Aside from the obvious focus on the royal family, there will be no comedy shows for 12 days.


Bloemfontein: min: 18° max: 30°, cloudy
Cape Town: min: 19° max: 28°, cloudy
Durban: min: 21° max: 31°, cloudy
East London: min: 21° max: 25°, rainy
Johannesburg: min: 21° max: 31°, cloudy
Kimberley: min: 17° max: 31°, cloudy
Nelspruit: min: 17° max: 32°, rainy
Pietermaritzburg: min: 13° max: 31°, rainy
Polokwane: min: 18° max: 30°, rainy
Port Elizabeth: min: 20° max: 27°, cloudy
Pretoria: min: 18° max: 30°, rainy
A royal conundrum: King Dalindyebo and the traditional leaders hot potato

The highly public rush to pay respects to jailed former Democratic Alliance member, AbaThembu King, Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo, by an EFF entourage led by CIC Julius Malema last week as well as an emerging narrative by various prominent South Africans that the monarch “was charged in a Western legal way” and that he did not act criminally but out of custom, is a good measure of how the issue of traditional leadership and customary law is set to become political centrepiece. By MARIANNE THAMM.

Treasury document: South Africa’s future matters

The reactions to the sacking of Nhlanhla Nene as Finance Minister in December (exaggerated or otherwise) show the critical importance attached in the public mind to the Treasury. It is not often in this country that one sacking leads to ANC elders calling for Number One to be defenestrated. Some people have claimed that the Treasury is not that important, that it is just one Ministry. On Wednesday, a small document emerged and which showed just how important the Treasury is, and why so many people were prepared to fight for it. It is a simple circular to municipalities, and it tells them not to over-spend during this year, because of local government elections.

Cape Town: Days of fire and devastation

As it was announced that a task team had been set up to investigate the many fires that had ravaged the Cape over the summer, police remained tight-lipped about the process underway. For those affected, the long wait is just beginning. By MARELISE VAN DER MERWE.

A very tender process: Eskom Koeberg contract ruled “unlawful”

Could there be any safety issues arising from delays in the Koeberg steam generator replacement project, and continued operation of the Koeberg reactors beyond the planned outage deadline of June 2018 for the replacement of the steam generators? That is one of the questions Eskom is simply not prepared to answer publicly at this stage. By AIMEE CLARKE and CHRIS YELLAND.

Gauteng: University protests grow

Protests at varsities in Gauteng continued on Wednesday, with workers leading the charge in Tshwane, shutting down institutions in the fight against outsourcing. In Johannesburg, Fees Must Fall members said they were committed to the fight for free education. By GREG NICOLSON.

Five things you should know about the SA T20 fixing saga

The South African domestic T20 has come under scrutiny after it was revealed that a legal case is pending against a number of cricketers for their alleged involvement in corruption during the tournament. ANTOINETTE MULLER unravels some of the key points.

From Afghanistan to Ghana, via Guantanamo Bay

After spending the last 14 years in Guantanamo Bay, Muhammad bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih al-Dhuby have been released into exile in Ghana. While the pair deserve their freedom, having never been formally charged after their arrest in Afghanistan, they are still not free to go home, and their welcome in Ghana has been far from warm. By SIMON ALLISON.

SA vs ENG, 3rd Test preview: South Africa look to unsettle England with pace assault

South Africa have opted for a pace battery for the third Test against England beginning at the Wanderers on Thursday. The Test offers South Africa the opportunity to emerge from their transitional cocoon. By ANTOINETTE MULLER.

While you were sleeping: 13 January 2016

Obama’s state of the nation address, the Giraffe’s ancestor revealed, and Rams to move to LA.

Iran frees US Sailors

DUBAI/WASHINGTON, Jan 13 (Reuters) – Iran freed 10 U.S. sailors on Wednesday, a day after detaining them aboard two U.S. Navy patrol boats in the Gulf, bringing a swift end to an incident that had rattled nerves just before the expected implementation of a landmark nuclear accord.

Ted Cruz in hot tax water

Ted Cruz did not disclose 2012 U.S. Senate campaign loan -NY Times

Hilary Venables: Things are going to get worse before they get worse

These days, even the experts are falling all over each other to predict the next economic crash (anytime soon, apparently). But then, who isn’t? In fact, for most of us, the situation since 2008 has felt like one long slide downwards with a couple of flattish bits along the way. The people with their hands on the levers have already deployed all the gears, brakes and parachutes at their disposal to slow our descent, from bank bailouts and quantitive easing to zero interest rates and public austerity. Now there is nothing left, not even China. And no-one in charge seems to have an answer. But then, they probably don’t understand the question.

Michael Fridjhon: There are many reasons to be grim about South Africa. Our wines are not one of them.

It is something of a surprise to find that, notwithstanding the Zuma effect, South Africa still basks in something of the Mandela-era glow internationally, that we are regarded as an exotic and happy story, a country whose positive attributes have washed away much of the unsavoury past.

Andrew Ihsaan Gasnolar: End racism, change the system

There seems to be agreement by the Economic Freedom Fighters, the Democratic Alliance and the African National Congress that we should criminalise racism. However, policing thoughts and determining what conduct amounts to racism that is actionable will not bring down this unequal and unfair system.


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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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