While you were sleeping: 20th December 2016

By John Stupart 20 December 2016

Truck attack in Berlin Christmas market kills 12, Russian ambassador slain in terror attack in Turkey, and Trump vows to eliminate terrorism.

Monday, 20th December

“Lucky are the people of Yugoslavia and Somalia as the world’s eyes rest on them. Condemned are the people of Juba … It may be a blessing to die in front of a camera – then at least the world will get to know about it. But it is painful to die or be killed, without anybody knowing it.”
Handwritten letter smuggled out of the besieged Southern Sudanese town of Juba, August 1992.



Berlin truck attack kills 12

A truck ploughed into a busy crowd at a popular Berlin Christmas market in the Breitscheidplatz outside the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church on Monday evening. Killing 12, the attack was believed to have been an act of terrorism. The lorry’s driver was arrested shortly thereafter. A Polish national was also found dead inside the passenger seat of the truck.


Russian ambassador killed in Turkey

Andrey Karlov, Russia’s ambassador to Turkey, was shot dead by a lone jihadist in Ankara last night. Dramatic press footage shows Karlov shot by Mevlut Mert Altintas, 22, who had worked as an anti-riot policeman. Altintas was later killed by police and Special Forces. He shouted “Allahu Akbar”, followed by, “Don’t forget about Syria, don’t forget about Aleppo. All those who participate in this tyranny will be held accountable”.


Gunfire in DRC as Kabila’s reign ends

Shots have been reported throughout Kinshasa on Monday as President Joseph Kabila’s term came to an official end. Uncertainty over opposition talks, and a highly fragile Congolese civil sector, have combined for what seems to be a week of unrest and general violence. Shops were closed in the city, with police patrolling throughout.


Trump to fix terrorism

Fear not, world, Donald Trump has vowed to “wipe out” terrorism. Speaking in the wake of Monday night’s attack in Berlin, the Sentient Naartjie said, “These terrorists and their regional and worldwide networks must be eradicated from the face of the Earth, a mission we will carry out with all freedom-loving partners.” Because eliminating terrorism, according to Trump, resides less in killing an idea and more in killing, well, everyone.




A Common Thread

A column by PAUL HOFFMAN


In other news...

South Africa is in a very real battle. A political fight where terms such as truth and democracy can seem more of a suggestion as opposed to a necessity.

On one side of the battle are those openly willing to undermine the sovereignty of a democratic society, completely disregarding the weight and power of the oaths declared when they took office. If their mission was to decrease society’s trust in government - mission accomplished.

And on the other side are those who believe in the ethos of a country whose constitution was once declared the most progressive in the world. The hope that truth, justice and accountability in politics, business and society is not simply fairy tale dust sprinkled in great electoral speeches; but rather a cause that needs to be intentionally acted upon every day.

However, it would be an offensive oversight not to acknowledge that right there on the front lines, alongside whistleblowers and civil society, stand the journalists. Armed with only their determination to inform society and defend the truth, caught in the crossfire of shots fired from both sides.

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