South Africa, World

While you were sleeping: 9 February 2018

By John Stupart 9 February 2018

Second Government shutdown looms, CAR fighting erupts, and VR helps in reducing paranoia in pychotics.

TGIF, 9 February 2018

“Until we’re rotten, we cannot be ripe.” 
Geoffrey Chaucer


It’s insane, really, that a private individual should have played a significant role in ensuring, in a little over 16 years, that two SAPS National Police Commissioners have found themselves in the dock accused of fraud and corruption. As former acting National Commissioner, Khomotso Phahlane, his wife and a Pretoria car dealer appeared in the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes court on Thursday, forensic investigator Paul O’Sullivan vowed to continue exposing high-level corrupt cops and other officials who have captured SAPS and who have been running it like a branch of a criminal syndicate. 



Second US government shutdown looms

A midnight deadline for an agreement on a budget is likely to be missed, forcing yet another government shutdown. Critics would be eager to blame Democrats, but it was 2016 Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul who set the nail in the financial coffin. Criticising “out-of-control” government spending in a long speech, Paul’s delay will now probably create a second government shutdown in less than a month.


Fighting rages in CAR

At least 7,400 people have fled fighting in north-west Central African Republic. Inter-militia clashes in the area flared up according to the ICRC. Violence in the region has been dominated by fighting between the National Movement for the Liberation of the Central African Republic and Revolution and Justice. UN peacekeepers have been struggling since January to contain the fighting, evidently to no avail.


Oxfam aid workers in prostitution ring scandal

Senior Oxfam relief workers in Haiti have been accused of hiring sex workers while deployed to the country during the 2010 earthquake. Oxfam’s country director Roland van Hauwermeiren resigned after admitting to the allegations. Oxfam, meanwhile, declined to institute any disciplinary actions against him.


VR could help psychotics – study

The use of virtual reality combined with regular treatment can reduce paranoia and anxiety in those with psychotic disorders. Scientists in the Netherlands conducted trials involving 116 patients using VR exercises to aid in lowering tension relating to social interactions. The result, the study found, was considerably reduced paranoia and anxiety during real-life interactions after simulating similar events in VR. 




The age of Disney artist and animator Ruthie Thompson. She is alive to this day.



Today in 1986 was the last time Halley’s Comet appeared in the inner Solar System.

Hours before his fatal heart attack, James Gandolfini had consumed a double order of fried king prawns, a pile of foie gras washed down with two pina coladas, four shots of rum, and several beers.



The Final Countdown: How should Zuma go?




The Other News Round-Up: When the Chips are Down



BFN: min: 18° max 31°, cloudy
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JHB: min: 15° max: 23°, cloudy
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PE: min: 20° max: 36°, cloudy
PMB: min: 17° max: 32°, sunny
PTA: min: 17° max: 27°, cloudy

Financial Data
JSE All Share=56,635.69
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"Housework won't kill you but then again, why take the chance?" ~ Phyllis Diller