First Thing – 15 May 2018

A Palestinian demonstrator throws stones during a protest against the US Embassy move to Jerusalem and ahead of the 70th anniversary of Nakba, at the Gaza-Israeli border, in Abu Safia, Gaza Strip, 14 May 2018. According to media reports, at least 37 Palestinians were killed and more than 1600 wounded during clashes in Gaza-Israeli border during clashes against the US embassy move to Jerusalem as well as marking Nakba Day. Palestinians are marking the Nakba Day, or the day of the disaster, when more than 700 thousand Palestinians were forcefully expelled from their villages during the war that led to the creation of the state of Israel on 15 May 1948. Protesters call for the right of Palestinians to return to their homeland. EPA-EFE/LUCA PIERGIOVANNI

“Where music thundered let the mind be still, Where the will triumphed let there be no will, What light revealed, now let the dark fulfill.” ― May Sarton

In a written submission to the Constitutional Court on Monday, former Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini, said it would be unconstitutional for the courts to hold government executives to account by mulcting them in personal costs orders for legal action. The “remedy”, she argued, lay in the parliamentary and electoral processes. It is an interesting argument considering Dlamini’s parliamentary AWOL record.

While You Were Sleeping

Final Palestinian violence death toll reaches 55

Worldwide condemnation has been resoundingly against Israel’s killing of 55 Palestinian protesters on the Gaza border. Aside from Israel itself, which defended its right to defend its borders, and the United States, who blamed Hamas for the deaths, the majority of global reaction was critical of the violence by Israeli forces. Hamas, meanwhile, has vowed to continue the protests today, risking an even higher number of deaths.

SA recalls Israeli ambassador over killings

With almost three score Palestinians killed by Israeli security forces on Monday, South Africa took the decision to recall its Israeli ambassador. The decision was made on the eve of Tuesday’s nationwide protests expected to kick off in support of Palestine. Department of International Relations spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya slammed the “indiscriminate” killings, repeating a call for an independent inquiry into the Gaza border violence.

Facebook suspends hundreds of apps for misuse

An estimated 200 apps have been suspended on Facebook for misusing user data. The suspensions were a result of a massive internal investigation by the social media giant into how third-party apps pillage your data. One such app, myPersonality, harvested psychometric data on users who took a personality survey. If you ever filled in a page trying to identify what kind of forest creature you would be, be assured that your data was probably utterly abused.

Bancroft to play club cricket

Cameron Bancroft has found a new format to resurrect his career: Western Australian club cricket. The 25-year-old ball tampering batsman was serving his nine-month suspension from state and international cricket. Although automatically banned from club cricket, a meeting of the country’s Western Australian teams decided to let Bancroft play. If the decision was taped, rest assured Bancroft has a copy.

In Numbers


The estimated number of lives saved by K9 units in the US military.

Facts of the Day

Today is 1658 the Treaty of Westphalia is signed.

It was illegal in Nazi Germany for monkeys to give the “Hitler” salute.

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