While you were sleeping: 15 January 2016

While you were sleeping: 15 January 2016

Battle of the Republicans gets nasty in debate. Indonesia identifies attack mastermind, and the Oscars nominations decidedly bereft of colour.

“It’s a human need to be told stories. The more we’re governed by idiots and have no control over our destinies, the more we need to tell stories to each other about who we are, why we are, where we come from, and what might be possible.”

? Alan Rickman


Indonesian police bomb squad members walk to the site of a bomb blast at Thamrin business district in Jakarta, January 14, 2016. Militants launched a gun and bomb assault in the centre of the Indonesian capital on Thursday, killing at least six people, police said, in an attack on a country that Islamic State had threatened to put in its “spotlight”. REUTERS/Beawiharta TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Thursday night’s Republican debate, still underway, is getting nasty. Beginning with Trump questioning Ted Cruz’s citizenship and ending with the moderator accusing Hillary Clinton of enabling her husband’s sexual misconduct, it has been a classy show thus far. President Barack Obama’s policies on gun control and Iran have taken a beating from the candidates as well, but Trump and Cruz, leaving little for the other candidates, have thus far dominated the debate. Whoever wins, spray tan will never quite look the same again.

The mastermind behind yesterday’s terrorist attacks in Indonesia has been revealed. Authorities have identified Bahrun Naim, an Internet cafe owner in the tiny city of Solo, as the local organiser of the attacks. Naim had travelled to Syria and possibly received training from Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). On his blog, he noted after the Paris attacks the ease with which Indonesians could wage “guerilla warfare” on the state.

Twitter is being sued for giving ISIL a voice. Florida resident Tamara Fields is suing Twitter over its use by ISIL for propaganda, communications and possible financial facilitation. Fields’ husband was killed in an ISIL-linked attack in Amman, Jordan. Twitter is being sued under what the US has termed the ‘Anti-Terrorism Act’, which prohibits and punishes organisations providing material support for terrorists.

‘The Revenant’ has received a host of Oscar nominations. In what may appear to finally be Leonardo DiCaprio’s year to win the award, virtually no actors of colour have been nominated, raising sharp criticism on social media. Will Smith’s ‘Concussion’, and Idris Elba from ‘Beasts of No Nation’ were excluded, as was the latest Star Wars film. In nomination land, it appears to be the domain of the film snob, not the filmgoer, who determines the nominees.



The value, in dollars, lost in the S&P 500 over the past financial week.

Today in 1876 saw the first Afrikaans publication published. Die Afrikaanse Patriot saw rapid success and then a now-ironic decline following their endorsement of Cecil John Rhodes in his conflict with the Transvaal Republic. 

Fact of the day: Peanut butter was originally developed for people with no teeth as a good source of protein. The ability to silence said gummy folks was just an added bonus.

Bloemfontein: min: 20° max: 29°, rainy
Cape Town: min: 19° max: 32°, sunny
Durban: min: 22° max: 25°, rainy
East London: min: 20° max: 22°, rainy
Johannesburg: min: 17° max: 27°, rainy
Kimberley: min: 23° max: 33°, rainy
Nelspruit: min: 18° max: 26°, rainy
Pietermaritzburg: min: 14° max: 24°, rainy
Polokwane: min: 19° max: 26°, rainy
Port Elizabeth: min: 20° max: 24°, cloudy
Pretoria: min: 19° max: 29°, rainy
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A Winter’s Poll: Municipal Elections 2016
David van Rooyen will not be delivering Budget 2016 this year after being hastily moved out of the Finance Ministry, but he will get to decide when South Africa will hold its fifth local government elections. The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) has to decide on a date between May and August this year when the country’s most contested poll will take place. The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has a few matters to iron out before the date can be proclaimed, such as the verification of addresses where voters are registered. But they vow this will be a credible poll. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
Analysis: Taxing the relationship between ANC & Cosatu
T-day is coming. President Jacob Zuma has signed the Taxation Laws Amendment Bill into law and on 1 March the changes will take effect. While the Act, which most affects provident fund members, has caused a rift between Cosatu and the ANC, it’s unlikely federation will follow its harsh words by shifting its voting power and campaign support. By GREG NICOLSON.
Traditional leader deposed: A massive victory for North West Bakgatla-Ba-Kgafela community
North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo has signed a significant report declaring that the reign of the autocratic Kgosi Nyalala Pilane be “disregarded and nullified with immediate effect” ending years of legal wrangling and internecine warfare over how land and the wealth which belongs to the Bakgatla-Ba-Kgafela tribal authority should be shared. Merafe Ramono now has been declared the rightful senior traditional leader of Bakgatla ba Kgafela community in the platinum-rich North West. Will it change the fortunes of the embattled and abused community? By MARIANNE THAMM.
Drought: Time to call it a national disaster, says DA
On Thursday, the DA called for the drought to be declared a national disaster, just hours after Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, stated that drought was an “absolute priority” for the Government. Dam levels are down in all provinces, at 57% of capacity. Food security, healthcare and employment are increasingly under threat, with no end in sight. By MARELISE VAN DER MERWE.
#FeesMustFall: Cue the commission of inquiry
As student demonstrations continue in 2016, President Jacob Zuma on Thursday announced a commission of inquiry into the funding of higher education. The question is, will it end the protests? By GREG NICOLSON
‘Riotous Behaviour’: Policing through a law easily abused
The purpose of arrest can only be to ensure an accused’s attendance at court. No other purpose is lawful. It is not up to an arresting officer to determine whether an arrested person should be detained pending criminal trial. That is a decision reserved for the judiciary alone. By ANDREW FAULL and JOSEPH SHAW.
Obama’s final State Of The Union speech over, the 2016 fight resumes
President Barack Obama delivered a rhetorically soaring State Of The Union speech, his final, on Thursday, but the real action is now on the race for his successor. J. BROOKS SPECTOR sets the scene.
Kenyan civil society: Down, but Not Out
Kenyan non-governmental organisations (NGOs) head into 2016 facing a deeply uncertain future as their government intensifies its effort to crack down on an independent civil society. Between administrative harassment, legislative hurdles and a public campaign to tarnish their reputation, many NGOs are finding it harder and harder to perform their core function of holding the government to account. By SIMON ALLISON for ISS Today.
SA vs ENG, 3rd Test, day one: South Africa bat like its 2015
South Africa squandered their advantage of winning the toss by gifting England wickets on day one at the Wanderers; suddenly they are looking like the 2015 team again. With a bowling attack that shares just 77 caps between them – 70 belonging to one player – some hard graft awaits. By ANTOINETTE MULLER.
Football and Society: Exciting young African player signs for the Arsenal
Mohamed Elneny joins a long list of exceptional and some not so exceptional African players in the English Premier League. We will have to wait and see if he can give Arsenal an extra surge towards the Premier League title. By ISMAIL LAGARDIEN.
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.
Trump, Cruz exchange barbs over Cruz’s Canadian birth in Republican debate
Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump and his top challenger Ted Cruz clashed sharply on Thursday over the Texas senator having been born in Canada, with the real estate mogul saying Cruz had a question mark over his head that Democrats would exploit.
Twitter sued by widow of ISIS attack
Jan 14 (Reuters) – Twitter Inc is being sued by the widow of an American killed in Jordan who accuses the social media company of giving a voice to Islamic State, adding to the pressure to crack down on online propaganda linked to terrorism.
Operation underway at Sydney Opera House.
Australian police say operation underway at Sydney Opera House.
GE moving headquarters to Boston for tech talent
BOSTON/FAIRFIELD, Conn., Jan 13 (Reuters) – General Electric Co’s decision to move its corporate headquarters from Connecticut to Boston will boost the city’s efforts to revitalize a once run-down district where mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger carried out some of his most notorious murders.


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