South Africa

South Africa, World

While you were sleeping: 15 December 2016

Yahoo hack targets more than a billion users, Fed to raise interest rates, and Aleppo truce back in effect.

Thursday, 15th December

“The wind in the trees was like to the sea, And over the mountains’ teeth It whistled bitter-cold and free, As a sword leapt from its sheath.”
JRR Tolkien

 
 
Elections aftermath: Why did the ANC ignore its own research?

STORY OF THE DAY

amaBhungane: Serge Belamant, SASSA, and the ‘useful blacks’

By Craig McKune for AMABHUNGANE

The payment of social grants next year to millions of South Africa’s poorest people is in jeopardy – and that appears to have much to do with the chaotic and dubious management of the relationship between the South African Social Security Agency and one company, Cash Paymaster Services. In this investigation, amaBhungane shows how the company got its current multibillion-rand contract using an apparently fraudulent empowerment deal – and then dumped its expedient fronts in favour of a politically connected businessman.

 
 
 

WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING

Yahoo reveals massive hack

Over a billion Yahoo users were hacked in 2013, the tech company announced. While investigating other hacks in the former search engine giant’s files, the company discovered that well over a billion users have had their data stolen. Three years on, it might be a good time to change your Yahoo password, and maybe switch to another service.

 

Dollar soars from Fed rate hike call

The dollar has strengthened after a surprising call by the Federal Reserve to increase interest rates dramatically. The boost, the second since 2008, will see the interest rate hiked by a quarter point. The Fed also released projections for three rate increases next year, aiming for an eventual rate of 1.4 percent by the end of 2017.

 

Aleppo truce back on

After Syrian regime forces broke an agreed ceasefire on Wednesday, reports emerging from Aleppo pointed to the return of a fragile peace to what is fast becoming hell on earth. Aleppo’s civilians and wounded will now be allowed to evacuate, they said. Regime forces, it was hoped, would not open fire on those trying to leave the city this time.

 

Boko Haram ‘defeated’, says local leader

The governor of Borno state in Nigeria has insisted that Boko Haram had been defeated. Speaking to media, Kashim Shettima argued that since Boko Haram had lost most of its territory, it had been beaten. With an attack killing 30 people just last week, it doesn’t appear as though anyone has explained to Shettima that terrorist groups don’t necessarily need territory to remain lethal.

 
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IN NUMBERS

666,000

The amount, in dollars, of federal funding used to investigate whether distant prayer could cure AIDS. They found that it could not.

 

FACT OF THE DAY

Today is International Tea Day. The perfect day to go Rooibos!

Watermelons were originally cultivated in Africa. 

 

FEATURED ARTICLES

2016: The Year the World went crazy

BY J BROOKS SPECTOR

 

OPINIONISTAS

A Common Thread

A column by PAUL HOFFMAN

 
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