South Africa

South Africa

While you were sleeping: 26 January 2016

Zika virus threatens the Americas, Twitter loses four executives, and Democrats on the elections warpath.

“Sometimes it’s better to light a flamethrower than to curse the darkness.”

 Terry Pratchett

WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING
With just one week to go until election season starts in Iowa, Democrat front-runners are in the midst of a desperate last-minute rivalry. Hillary Clinton, currently leading the polls ahead of Bernie Sanders, has accused the latter of constantly shifting his policy positions. President Barack Obama, meanwhile, has likened Clinton’s campaign more to “prose than poetry”. This may then imply that Trump’s campaign is akin to public toilet graffiti.

The deadly Zika virus is set to spread throughout the Americas. With the exception of Canada and Chile, the mosquito-borne virus is likely to spread to virtually every other country, including the United States. The virus has been linked to thousands of infected babies in Brazil. 

Two anti-abortion activists have been indicted by a grand jury in the United States. The two individuals had filmed foetal tissue procurement at Planned Parenthood, while claiming the organisation was “harvesting baby body parts”. The two are now charged with tampering with government records, which could see them in prison for up to 20 years if found guilty.

The departure of four Twitter executives has sent the social media giant’s shares tumbling. Falling 5.3 percent overnight, the departure of media head Katie Jacobs Stanton, product head Kevin Weil, the head of the engineering division, Alex Roetter and HR head Brian ‘Skip’ Schipper has had a clear reverberation on perceptions of the company’s growth struggles. Twitter, it seems, is suffering from an inability to grow beyond its staple of dog selfies and food pics.

IN NUMBERS

52

The number of beers Australian cricketer David Boon drank on a flight to England, just before an Ashes tour.

FACTS OF THE DAY

Today in 1905 saw the discovery of the Cullinan diamond. It was unearthed at the Premier Mine near Pretoria.

Fact of the day: Bagpipes, haggis, kilts, whisky and tartan all originated from outside Scotland. Chicken Tikka Masala, however, comes from the exotic city of Glasgow.

WEATHER
Bloemfontein: min: 16° max: 31°, sunny
Cape Town: min: 21° max: 25°, rainy
Durban: min: 19° max: 25°, cloudy
East London: min: 21° max: 26°, rainy
Johannesburg: min: 16° max: 30°, cloudy
Kimberley: min: 18° max: 33°, sunny
Nelspruit: min: 19° max: 27°, rainy
Pietermaritzburg: min: 15° max: 23°, rainy
Polokwane: min: 20° max: 30°, cloudy
Port Elizabeth: min: 19° max: 27°, cloudy
Pretoria: min: 18° max: 30°, rainy
FINANCIAL DATA
Oil=$30.83 Gold=$1,105.80 Platinum=$859.78
R/$=16.48 R/€=17.84 R/£=23.48 $/€=1.07
JSE All Share=47,210.42 DJIA=16,070.26 FTSE 100=5,877.00: Source
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In Lieu of an Obituary: Ellen Meiksins Wood (1942–2016)
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Cook & De Kock: A treasure the SA selectors would love to unlock
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Ian von Memerty:
Confusions of a Patriot: Please help me understand?

Adam Habib:
Goals and Means: Some reflections on the 2015 #FeesMustFall Protests

Stephen Grootes:
The KPMG ‘report’ & the gathering clouds

Ivo Vegter:
The exploitation of poor debtors is routine

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