South Africa, World

While you were sleeping: 6 March 2018

By John Stupart 6 March 2018

Russian double agent potentially poisoned, American aircraft carrier wreckage found, and truffle smuggler in a sticky Turkish wicket.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

“A lot of people ask me if I were shipwrecked, and could have only one book, what would it be? I always say, ‘How to Build a Boat’.” 
Stephen Wright

 
 

The rise of Cyril Ramaphosa was supposed to give South Africans a chance to have a nice cup of tea following the nine-year Zuma donnybrook. Instead, the ANC reboot has sent ripples into the farthest corners of the country’s body politic. The single most explosive issue – land – has now been detonated, and it’s worth asking whether Ramaphosa has the nous, the power and the personnel to deal effectively with the challenges that lie ahead. Or will he be force-fed the political equivalent of a meat tube made of the assholes and snouts of pigs? 

 
 
 

WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING

Russian double agent in critical condition

Sergei Skripal, a Russian double agent involved in one of the United Kingdom’s greatest spy swops, is in a critical condition after exposure to an “unknown substance”. Russia has a proven track record for poisoning its old spies, having killed Alexander Litvinenko with radioactive polonium (non-Enterprise brand). Skripal and a 30-year-old woman were found unconscious in Salisbury, forcing the area’s closure and subsequent hazmat-suited scouring.

 

Historic talks begin between North and South Korea

Dear Leader Kim Jong Un has conducted talks with an envoy from Seoul. Discussions focused on a possible summit with a delegation from South Korea. Also, South Korea’s envoys stated their intention to encourage the North’s engagement with the international community. Given the White House’s views on “Little Rocket Man”, reunification might be a more realistic objective.

 

USS Lexington wreckage discovered

Lost during the Battle of the Coral Sea in 1942, the American carrier USS Lexington has been found. The Lexington suffered significant damage by the Japanese in the first engagement between aircraft carriers in history. Microsoft’s co-founder Paul Allen discovered the wreck using his own research vessel. Settled 3,000m underwater and 800km from Australia, the ship is not likely to be a well-visited attraction any time soon.

 

Turkey fines Italian for truffle smuggling

Hold on to your truffle pigs, Turkey is on the prowl for smugglers. An Italian citizen was fined almost 100,000 euros for attempting to bring white truffles out of Turkey. Holding nearly 29kg of white truffles, the culprit would have made a tidy sum had he got away with it. With the going truffle rate at 250 euros a kilo, trying to get Turkey to play nice with truffles has never been harder.

 

IN NUMBERS

19

The number of years in prison that journalist Yusuf Ruzimuradov spent. He had been convicted of sedition charges in Uzbekistan.

 

FACTS OF THE DAY

Today is the Day of the Dude. If you practice Dudeism , this is your dudesmas. Your dudedan, if you will.

The average European eats less than one tablespoon of American Peanut butter in an entire year.

 

FEATURED ARTICLES

OPINIONISTAS

Who gives in South Africa and to whom?

A column by SHELAGH GASTROW

 
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