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While you were sleeping: 27 March 2017

By John Stupart 27 March 2017

Russian opposition leader arrested, Trump sets sights on restoring coal burning, and Proteas' lead threatened by New Zealand resurgence.

FIRST THING with JOHN STUPART

Monday, 27 March 2017

“Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t.”
Erica Jong

 
 

Gwede Mantashe was conspicuously absent from the public eye for several weeks, notably silent on the social grants fiasco. He plunged back into the news, crossing swords with Andile Lungisa, who was elected as chairperson of the ANC’s Nelson Mandela Bay region against his instructions. Last week, suspended ANC Western Cape chairperson Marius Fransman attacked Mantashe, which elicited advice from the secretary-general that he should “go sell ice-cream”. With a high-stakes succession race under way and factional battles raging, the secretary-general should ordinarily try to hold things together. But Mantashe is the target of the pro-Zuma camp and does not seem to have a survival strategy.

 
 
 

Russian opposition leader arrested

Kremlin pain-in-the-arse Alexei Navalny has been arrested along with hundreds of anti-Putin protesters. The protests, organised by Navalny, had been encouraged in the wake of the leader’s accusations that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev wielded illegal connections in a massive property empire. Shouts of “impeach Putin” were heard on Sunday at the main protest site in Pushkin Square.

 

Trump to take the lid off coal limits

Looking for a quick rally from his about-face on health care, President Donald Trump is now setting his spray-tanned sights on coal-burning power. Trump will sign an executive order on Tuesday recommending the White House lift a limit on coal-burning power plants. Trumped up as a jobs-creation effort, the move has been backed by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, an outspoken climate change sceptic who has gone on record denying the link between CO2 emissions and global warming.

 

US-backed rebels take Isis-held airport

Syrian Democratic Forces, a US-backed Kurdish-Arab alliance, have reclaimed an airport in Northern Syria from Isis. The capture of Taqba airport clears a significant part of the way for an upcoming assault on Isis-held Raqa. With some parts of the front now just eight kilometres from the Isis capital city, Taqba represents just the beginning of a lot of fighting yet to be done.

 

New Zealand cut into South African lead

Half centuries by Jeet Raval and Tom Latham have helped propel New Zealand closer to South Africa’s 314 first innings. The rain-shortened Monday innings saw the Black Caps at 132-1 at lunch. Although a good start, New Zealand will need to keep it up for quite a while longer in order to threaten South Africa’s lead.

 
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IN NUMBERS

65-85

The percentage of cats with blue eyes who are born deaf.

 

FACTS OF THE DAY

Today is World Theatre Day.

Albert Einstein worked as an electrician at Oktoberfest 1896.

 

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OPINIONISTAS

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A column by IRVIN JIM

 
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