First Thing, Daily Maverick's flagship newsletter

Join the 230 000 South Africans who read First Thing newsletter.

While you were sleeping: 26 June 2017



While you were sleeping: 26 June 2017

Colombia boat toll kills six, dozens missing, 60 London buildings deemed hazards, and Takata files for bankruptcy.

Monday, 26th June 2017

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
Eleanor Roosevelt


On 9 June, due to a neat trick of scheduling that ensured that the National Assembly would be packed with ANC MPs, Parliament passed the Border Management Authority (BMA) Bill—widely considered to be one of the worst pieces of legislation ever to come before the big house. Opposition parties had on two occasions successfully blocked the bill’s passage, on the grounds that it would change how revenue was collected at ports of entry, while mandating the establishment of a standalone National Public Entity of the kind that has bled South Africa into recessionary anemia. Two leaked documents obtained by the Daily Maverick show how the National Treasury, under Pravin Gordhan (and his sort of predecessor, Nhlanhla Nene), went to war against Home Affairs, under Malusi Gigaba, to ensure that the BMA didn’t supersede the functions of the South African Revenue Services (SARS) and Customs. We know who won that war. Now we know why. 


Colombia boat disaster kills six

A boat transporting tourists in Colombia has sunk, killing six. 31 people also remain missing after the vessel sank in a reservoir in Guatape. A local official confirmed that all missing and deceased were Colombians and that no children were reported amongst them. With so many yet to be found, this toll is likely to increase.


Study announces Great Barrier Reef ‘too big to fail’

A new study has defined the Grat Barrier Reef as worth US$42 billion and that it is “too big to fail” as an economic driver. The Deloitte report noted that the reef contributed 64,000 jobs to Australia’s economy. However, with unprecedented levels of bleaching due to climate change and agricultural run-off, “too big to fail” may well be put to the test.


60 London buildings deemed unsafe fire hazards

London officials have announced that 60 buildings are unsafe. In the wake of the west London fire that killed 79, at least 60 structures failed safety tests. This is a major increased from the initial 34 high-rise buildings deemed fire hazards. Local councils must now decide on whether to evacuate residents in the affected buildings. Local Londoners ought to decide on whether to evacuate their landlords.


Takata declares bankruptcy

Japan’s controversial parts maker Takata announced that it has filed for bankruptcy today. A massive airbag fault scandal seemed to have proved the company’s ultimate death knell. Criticised globally for knowing about the fault and staying silent about it, the erroneous component is believed to have killed at least 16 and injured many others. For Takata, bowing out of business entirely might be for the best right about now.




A young hill tribe boy reacts as his hair is shaved off by a Buddhist monk during a head shaving rite as part of mass Buddhist monk ordination ceremony for hill tribe at Wat Benchamabophit, also known as the Marble Temple in Bangkok, Thailand, 23 June 2017 (issued 25 June 2017). The annual ceremony this year has 349 hill tribe men and young boys being ordained as monks and novices at the temple to mark the beginning of the three-month Buddhist Lent or Khao Pansa which this year begins on 09 July and also to honor the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej. In Thailand every Buddhist man is expected to become a monk during some period of his life. 




The minimum amount of dollars of child support that forbids Americans from getting a passport.



Today in 1906 the first Grand Prix was held.

The Bluetooth symbol is actually an old Viking-era bind-rune. It represented the initials of a Viking King.






BFN: min: -3° max 15°, sunny
CPT: min: 8° max: 14°,  cloudy
DBN: min: 11° max: 18°, cloudy
EL: min: 8° max: 19°, sunny
JHB: min: 3° max: 19°, sunny
KIM: min: 2° max: 16°, sunny
NLP: min: 8° max: 20°, sunny
PMB: min: 4° max: 14°, cloudy
PE: min: 4° max: 18°, sunny
PTA: min: 4° max: 22°, sunny

Financial Data
JSE All Share=51,503.52
FTSE 100=7,424.13


Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted