Human rights

Greece Floods

Flash floods killed at least 15 people, made scores homeless and destroyed infrastructure in Greece on Wednesday after a raging torrent inundated two coastal towns west of Athens following a night of heavy rain.

In devastation locals said was unprecedented in scale, an overnight deluge triggered flash floods in the industrial towns of Nea Peramos and Mandra in the foothills of a mountain just west of Athens.

Army to Cape Flats Before Christmas - Mbalula

Christmas may come early on the Cape Flats after Police Minister Fikile Mbalula announced that the army will take to Cape Town’s streets before December 25.

Mbalula was speaking at a press briefing at Philippi East Police Station on Wednesday where he said they were working on an operational plan to determine where soldiers would be deployed.

In October, Mbalula called on the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to assist police in stemming high levels of crime in the Western Cape and Gauteng.

Appeal for Calm in Zimbabwe - UN Chief

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday called on all sides in Zimbabwe to show "restraint" after the country's military took control and President Robert Mugabe said he was under house arrest.

Guterres is monitoring the situation and "appeals for calm, non-violence and restraint," said UN spokesperson Farhan Haq.

Guterres "stresses the importance of resolving political differences through peaceful means and dialogue, and in line with the country's constitution," he added.

Special SA Envoy to Zimbabwe

President Jacob Zuma, as chair of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), has decided to deploy a special envoy to Zimbabwe in light of the developments regarding President Robert Mugabe.

The envoy, which will start in Angola, will be led by Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and State Security Minister Bongani Bongo.

"The Special Envoys will also be sent to the Republic of Angola to see President Joao Lourenco, Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security to brief him on the situation," the presidency said in a statement.

319 years for Durban Serial Rapist

A 47-year-old serial rapist has been sentenced to 319 years in jail for a series of rapes committed over a period of more than seven years, police said on Wednesday.

Bheki Doctor Magwaza, who worked as a security guard, was sentenced in the Durban High Court on Tuesday.

The rapes were committed from September 2008 to February 2016 around Verulam, north of Durban, Lieutenant Colonel Thulani Zwane said.

NGO: Cuba Doubled Political Prisoners in One Year

The Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation (CCDHRN), an NGO that tracks politically-motivated arrests on the island, revealed this week that, observing its monthly arrest records, there are currently at least 140 known political prisoners in Cuba, up from about 70 such cases a year earlier. The 140 are individuals “convicted of processed [in a court of law] for political reasons or detained under political conditions.”
 

Home Below High-Voltage Lines

Sondela informal settlement in Mfuleni sits between electricity pylons and directly beneath the power lines, but has no access to legal electricity. The settlement’s 250 shack dwellers also have no toilets.

The City of Cape Town says Sondela was formed after an illegal land occupation in the second quarter of 2017, according to a GroundUp report.

"The City has extensively engaged with these residents throughout the course of this year," said mayoral committee member for informal settlements councillor Xanthea Limberg.

​Tax Revolt May Be Brewing in South Africa

A tax revolt may already be brewing in South Africa. This can be deduced from the medium term budget policy statement (MTBPS) indicating that tax compliance concerns are mounting in the context of tax administration challenges and weakening tax morality. 

The expected shortfall in tax collections in the current financial year jumped to R50.8bn, the highest since the international financial crisis in 2008/09. The budget deficit also jumped from 3.1% of GDP projected in February to 4.3% now. 

Millions face Starvation in DRC

More than three million people are facing starvation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), says David Beasley the head of the UN World Food Programme (WFP), who is appealing for aid to avert a humanitarian crisis in Kasai province.

In an interview with the BBC Beasley further warned that hundreds of thousands of children could die in the coming months if urgent aid was not delivered.

Sudan State of Emergency Renewed

US President Donald Trump has renewed the State of Emergency on Sudan, citing an executive order by President Bush in 2006 imposing sanctions on the country, the Sudan Tribune reports.

The State of Emergency on Sudan was declared for the first time on November 3, 1997, allowing former President Bill Clinton to impose economic sanctions on the country for sponsoring terrorism and human rights abuses. 

The November 1997 declaration of a national emergency on Sudan

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