Newsflashes

10 June, 2009
The percentage of people living with HIV in South Africa has barely changed in the last six years, but new data reveales that between 2002 and 2008 there were many changes in HIV knowledge, risk behaviour and testing habits.
8 June, 2009
The number of minutes Americans spent on social networking sites nearly doubled in the past year with Facebook and Twitter enjoying explosive growth. This is according to Nielsen Online. Nielsen Online found that the number of minutes Americans spent on social networks such as Facebook, MySpace, Blogger, Tagged, Twitter and LinkedIn grew by 83 percent from April 2008 to April of this year. It says the total minutes spent on Facebook increased nearly 700 percent year-over-year, from 1.7 billion in April 2008 to 13.9 billion in April 2009.
8 June, 2009
Zimbabwe’s prisons, infamous for being dirty and disease-ridden, will get a much-needed injection of help from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the agency has announced. In a press statement, head of the ICRC’s team in Harare, Thomas Merkelbach, points said: “We are working closely with the prison authorities to improve the situation for the most vulnerable detainees." The organisation is already started distributing food to 6 300 detainees.
8 June, 2009
The TV Industry Emergency Coalition (TVEC) has called on the government to immediately appoint a new ‘legally constituted (SABC) board’. In an open letter to the South African public issued after the removal of Kanyi Mkonza as board chairman by her colleagues, the coalition says the entire current board should step down to pave the way for parliament to appoint a new independent board.
8 June, 2009
The creation of another structure in the form of a ministry to promote the rights of women, this time alongside other disempowered groups, is ill-considered. This is according to writer and political analyst, Christi Van der Westhuizen. Van der Westhuizen argues that a more worthwhile effort would have been to fix the problems plaguing the existing gender structures, rather than creating a whole new bureaucracy.
5 June, 2009
International aid organisation Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF) say the influx of illegal Zimbabwean refugees is continuing “unabated” and even showing signs of increasing. The MSF comments come at the time when the arrival of Zimbabwean refugees in the country threatens to overwhelm local aid organisations. Last month, the Department of Home Affairs announced a controversial new strategy to deal with the escalating problem of illegal immigration, waiving visa requirements for Zimbabwean immigrants.
5 June, 2009
The University of Cape Town vice-chancellor, Max Price, says making education free to all undergraduate students will reduce universities revenue by 30 percent. Price argues that the move will also deprive universities of important sources of revenue in the form of fees from students who can afford to pay them as well as from the private sector which gives financial support to students.
5 June, 2009
Fundraisers in the United Kingdom have fallen behind their counterparts in the United States by at least 18 months in using the online environment in enhancing their fundraising efforts. This claim was made during a recent presentation by Alan Clayton, Director of Innovation at The Good Agency, on the interim report of an ongoing research project combining research into donor values and motivations, and online behaviour.
5 June, 2009
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) says Somalis fleeing war and hunger at home are entering neighbouring Kenya at an average rate of 7 000 per month, swelling what is already the world's largest refugee settlement. Head of the UNHCR’s sub-office in Dadaab, north Kenya, Anne Campbell, says the refugees are leaving their country because of increasing insecurity.
5 June, 2009
Russian police have arrested two men who staged audacious robberies in a chic Moscow suburb near the presidential palace after studying satellite images of the area on Google. The men had pored over street pictures hosted on Google Maps and on May 21 raided several homes, including those of lawmakers and businessmen. They used night vision goggles and broke into mansions, opening safes and spiriting away cash, jewellery and designer watches.
5 June, 2009
User resistance to change remains one the major obstacles to overcome in any successful open source migration. This is the view of Michael Bohn, senior consultant for office migration at Sun Microsystem. Bohn points out that the reasons to migrate to OpenOffice.org are numerous and include significant cost savings, cross-platform support and open standards, helping organisations avoid being locked into proprietary solutions.
5 June, 2009
South African consumers and businesses should not expect broadband prices to fall dramatically overnight when the Seacom cable goes live in a few weeks from now. This is according to Steve Briggs, Head of Commercial at iBurst. Briggs says that the 1.28 Tbps East African undersea fibre-optic cable system promises some relief from high international bandwidth prices over the medium-to-long term.
3 June, 2009
Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT) has announced that it will be launching a series of activities this month, in the run up to their submission to the South African Law Reform Commission discussion paper on adult prostitution. In collaboration with the Sisonke sex worker movement, SWEAT is planning a host of information sharing and gathering workshops around the country, as well as to increase its outreach activities.
3 June, 2009
President Jacob Zuma says the National Youth Development Agency, an institution formed through the merger of the Umsobomvu Youth Fund and the National Youth Commission, will be launched on 16 June 2009 in Ekurhuleni. Speaking in the joint sitting of the parliament where he delivered his first state of the nation address since assuming office last month, Zuma said the merger will enhance service and development opportunities provided to the youth.
3 June, 2009
The Kellogg Foundation, which donated R215-million in grants to southern Africa in the year ending August 2008, and about R2.8-billion since 1986, has closed its office in South Africa. The foundation’s chief executive, Sterling Speirn, points out that while the withdrawal takes place against a backdrop of an ongoing forensic investigation into financial irregularities in its South African office, the decision to close the office was made for budgetary reasons.

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