Newsflashes

16 March, 2009
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has warned of a repeat of last year’s xenophobic violence that swept through South Africa will return if the government continues to ignore its roots. In a report entitled “Towards Tolerance, Law, and Dignity: Addressing Violence against Foreign Nationals in South Africa”, IOM points out that, "Although initially condemned by actors across the political spectrum, the violence has rapidly faded from public debate. This is a mistake.”
16 March, 2009
The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has denied allegations of blacklisting between 2005 and 2006 at an Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) hearing. The denial is contrary to the findings of the Sisulu Commission of Inquiry, which was appointed by the SABC to investigate claims that certain commentators were banned from SABC programmes by news head, Snuki Zikalala.
16 March, 2009
Tim Berners-Lee, one of the founders of the World Wide Web, has expressed concern about the emergence of user profiling on the Internet and "snooping." Speaking at an event to mark the 20th anniversary of the first proposal to create the web, Berners-Lee argued that, "The fact that when information travels across the web it isn't interfered with, snooped or molested, is very important."
16 March, 2009
The Department of Agriculture and Land Affairs has taken over a farm under a controversial new policy of taking back unproductive farms allocated to blacks as part of a land redistribution programme. The move comes shortly after minister Lulu Xingwana, announced the "use it or lose it" initiative for farms which black beneficiaries have left idle. An ostrich farm in Hammanskraal was repossessed following demeaning reports regarding the poor conditions of the ostriches.
16 March, 2009
The Global Witness is accusing several of the world's largest banks of playing a role in supporting some of West Africa's most corrupt regimes. In a report entitled "Undue Diligence", the organisation tracked the flow of money out of a number of the world's most criticised regimes. It argues that the trail leads to, and through, a handful of the world's largest international banks, including Citigroup, Barclays, and HSBC.
11 March, 2009
NGOs in Cuba say the transition from Fidel to Raul Castro has failed to improve the human rights situation in Cuba. Their comments come ahead of last week’s United Nations hearings into that country’s human rights record. Human Rights Watch's director for the Americas, Jose Miguel Vivanco, pointed out that, "Despite the passing of power from Fidel to Raul Castro, the regime's repressive machine, which was constructed over 50 years, is intact and fundamental rights continue to be systematically denied."
11 March, 2009
Aid workers have warned that the decision by Sudan to expel or close down 16 relief organisations may trigger a severe humanitarian crisis in the war-ravaged western Darfur region. In a press statement, the United Nations warns that halting NGOs’ operations would leave 1.1 million people without food, 1.5 million without healthcare and at least one million without drinking water. It describes the groups as "integral" to the world's biggest humanitarian operation.
11 March, 2009
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned that the world economy will likely contract this year in a “great recession”. “The IMF expects global growth to slow below zero this year, the worst performance in most of our lifetimes,” says IMF managing director, Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
9 March, 2009
A report on corporate governance at the public broadcaster prepared by Deloitte & Touche for Communications Minister, Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri, has criticised the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) human resource department for lacking accountability.
9 March, 2009
The Department of Education has warned political parties against campaigning at schools. In a press statement, Education Minister, Naledi Pandor, warns against any campaigning directed at learners or teachers during school time. Pandor states that she noted with “grave concern” that teachers in Gauteng had attended a political meeting in school time. “Teachers and learners should not be allowed to attend campaign meetings during school hours,” says Pandor.
9 March, 2009
Only countries at war suffer as much sexual violence as South Africa. This is according to a Doctors Without Borders’s (MSF) global report that highlights the problem of rape. The organisation’s operational director, Meinie Nicolai, says, “The figures we have are alarming, but they are just a tip of the iceberg as most cases go unreported." Although sexual violence is exacerbated in war, MSF says it also affects millions of people living in post-conflict countries or even in stable environments.
9 March, 2009
The Sex Worker Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT) has criticised Cape Town police sometimes ask sex workers for sexual favours in exchange for not arresting them. In an affidavit filed in the Cape High Court, SWEAT is asking the court to order the South African Police Services and the municipal police to stop what it says are ongoing arbitrary arrests and harassment.
9 March, 2009
According to a Synovate global survey, nearly seventy percent of South African woman consider themselves financially independent. The survey found that South African women emerged as one of the most emphatically independent, (69 percent), together with French women (80 percent) and British women (76 percent) who consider themselves financially autonomous.
9 March, 2009
Zimbabwe's Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, says that cases of infections and deaths from the country's worst cholera epidemic are far higher than those reported. “This is most likely a dramatic underestimate of the real figures given the unreported cases and deaths in communities," he says. According to the World Health Organisation, more than 80 000 people have been infected since the outbreak six months ago with nearly 4 000 killed.
9 March, 2009
The Department of Agriculture has warned that its top officials will enforce a “use it or lose it” policy to ensure land-reform beneficiaries run productive farms. Agriculture minister, Lulu Xingwana, has also warned that the government will take back farms allocated to blacks under its redistribution programme if they do not farm productively. She states that the government does not have enough money for land reform in its current budget. Xingwana also blamed white farmers for charging the state inflated prices for land-reform farms.

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