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South Sudan no longer in famine, but situation is critical

South Sudan no longer has areas in famine, but almost 2 million people are on the brink of starvation and an estimated 6 million people - half the population - will face extreme food insecurity between June and July, according to reports by the government and the United Nations released Wednesday. South Sudan's famine was the first to be formally declared anywhere in the world since 2011's crisis in Somalia.

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England beat South Africa by nine wickets in first T20 international – as it happened – The Guardian

The bilateral Twenty20 international series is a curious beast. While T20 has transformed the game’s economics, its schedules and its techniques over the past decade, your common or garden international version of the format still has the feel of a tagged-on afterthought. While the IPL may sweep all before it and the World T20 can dazzle, a three-match series crowbarred into the timetable is never really a showpiece event. Stop anyone in the street and ask them to name either of England and South Africa’s most recent T20 results and they’ll stare at you blankly. Mind you, stop anyone in the street and ask them to name anything that’s happened in cricket in the past decade and you might get the same blank gaze, if the bleakest narratives are anything to go by.

Anyway, it’s 21 June, high summer, gloriously/insufferably hot and two talented teams await us. South Africa performed poorly in the Champions Trophy, England did not – until their most important game, in which they were steamrollered by the sport’s most gloriously unpredictable life force. Both these sides also lost their most recent T20 series, South Africa 1-2 at home to Sri Lanka and England by the same score away to India, where they at least performed more creditably than they had in the 50-over and five-day formats during that tour. So, there’ll be some T20 rust to be shaken off today.

And, importantly, some new faces, which is part of what this is all about. England are set to give a debut to the Hampshire leg-spinner Mason Crane, a decision alive with possibility not least because English conditions at Crane’s home venue will never more closely resemble those in the UAE than they do today (did I mention it was a bit hot?) and England may also in this series get a look at other promising talents such as Liam Livingstone, Tom Curran and Craig Overton, as well as Dawid Malan, who seems to have been making respectable piles of runs for Middlesex for decades.

South Africa will be without Faf du Plessis and the wonderfully watchable Kagiso Rabada (who hasn’t played a T20 international this year in any case), both being rested before the Test series, for which this series will also serve as a chance to land some psychological blows. Mind games, and that.

So, put your feet in a bucket of ice and a hanky over your head, kick back and enjoy.

Play starts at 6.30pm BST.

And while you’re waiting …

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Give a Reagan-era peace institute a chance

Africa News – Our generals will be the first to tell you it's cheaper to prevent a war than fight one. Lawmakers should keep this in mind as they face an unusually complex budgetary environment this year. (c) Africa News – Read entire story here.

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Africa: Refugee and Displacement Crisis Hits Record High

Photo: The Observer

South Sudan refugees.

By Emma Batha

London — One in 113 people worldwide is displaced.

A record 65.6 million people worldwide were forced from their homes due to conflict or persecution by the end of 2016, the United Nations said on Monday.

Below are some facts from the U.N. refugee agency's Global Trends Report published ahead of World Refugee Day on Tuesday.

- One in 113 people worldwide is displaced.

- A record 65.6 million people were forcibly displaced at the end of 2016 - more than the population of Britain - and an increase of 300,000 over the previous year.

- This included 22.5 million refugees, 40.3 million uprooted within their countries and 2.8 million asylum seekers.

- One person became displaced every three seconds in 2016.

- More than half of refugees globally come from three countries: Syria, Afghanistan and South Sudan.

- The fastest growing refugee population was spurred by the crisis in South Sudan.

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- Nearly two-thirds of Syrians have been forced to flee their homes.

- Developing regions host 84 percent of the world's refugees.

- Lebanon cares for the largest number of refugees relative to its national population, with one in six people a refugee, followed by Jordan (one in 11) and Turkey (one in 28).

- Turkey hosts the largest number of refugees (2.9 million) followed by Pakistan (1.4 mln) and Lebanon (1 mln).

- Children under 18 make up just over half the refugee population.

- There were 2 million new asylum claims in 2016. Germany received the highest number, followed by the United States, Italy and Turkey.

- Unaccompanied or separated children - mainly Afghans and Syrians - lodged some 75,000 applications in 70 countries in 2016. But this is thought to be an underestimate as the data is incomplete.

- Some 189,300 refugees were accepted for resettlement by 37 countries.

- Some 552,200 refugees returned to their countries of origin - more than double the previous year. Most returned to Afghanistan.

- At least 10 million people are estimated to be stateless.

(Editing by Astrid Zweynert; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, which covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, corruption and climate change. Visit news.trust.org to see more stories.)

Africa

As Doors Close to Refugees, Ethiopia's Stay Open

Over 65.6 million people around the world were forcibly displaced by the end of 2016 - the highest level ever recorded.… Read more »

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10 South African cricketers With Their Lovely Wives

10 South African cricketers With Their Lovely Wives 12 Indian Cricketers With Their Lovely Wives 15 Pakistani Cricketers With Their Lovely Wives Music Credits : Music Credits : Electro-Light – Symbolism [NCS Release] Electro-Light ➞ Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ElectroLight… ➞ SoundCloud https://soundcloud.com/maskedacoustic ➞ Twitter https://twitter.com/ElectroLightEDM ➞ YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/ElectroL… source

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SA’s pre-teen queen with ‘rainmaking’ powers

Masalanabo Modjadji is no ordinary pre-teen - she is South Africa's only female traditional ruler, with claims of mystical rainmaking powers. Queen Modjadji is the hereditary ruler of the Balobedu, an ethnic tribe in South Africa's northern province of Limpopo.

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AIIB approves membership of Argentina, Madagascar, Tonga

The China-initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank on Friday approved the membership of Argentina, the Republic of Madagascar and the Kingdom of Tonga at its second annual meeting of governors. The AIIB's board of governors adopted resolutions approving the three applicants to join the bank at the second annual meeting, which kicked off earlier in the day in South Korea's southern resort island of Jeju.

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South Africa: Broadcaster Paid Millions for Guptas’ Breakfast Briefings

Photo: The Presidency

President Jacob Zuma , Atul Gupta and Eastern Cape Premier Noxolo Kieviet at the Breakfast with the President in Port Elizabeth (file photo).

The SABC paid R20m for the broadcasting of the Gupta-owned newspaper The New Age's breakfast briefings, in contradiction to earlier testimony before Parliament.

Chairperson of the interim SABC board Khanyisile Kweyama told the portfolio committee on communications on Tuesday morning that the board was initially told that it didn't cost the public broadcaster anything, but further investigations revealed that it cost R20m.

This contradicts the testimony of Dr Ben Ngubane, who was SABC board chairperson when the deal was concluded.

He told the ad hoc committee that investigated the SABC board at the time that the SABC did not pay for the breakfast briefings.

Ngubane resigned as Eskom board chairperson on Monday night.

Disciplinary proceedings

Chairperson of the portfolio committee on communications Humphrey Maxegwana said since he came to the committee in 2016, James Aguma, suspended SABC CFO and former acting CEO, said that the SABC did not pay for the briefings.

Kweyama confirmed that they have cancelled the contract, despite it still being valid for 11 more months.

"It was not good for our reputation," said Kweyama. She said Friday's breakfast briefing will be the last one that the SABC will broadcast.

The interim board has asked Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo to approach the Presidency to appoint the Special Investigations Unit to investigate several contracts at the SABC.

She also said the SABC will proceed with disciplinary proceedings against Aguma, who has been charged with lying to Parliament as well as other charges "relating to honesty".

The next meeting will be on Thursday, where Aguma will be furnished with documents that he has requested for his defence.

She also confirmed that controversial former COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng is serving one month's notice after he was found guilty of misconduct in light of his four-hour long press conference in April.

He will also be subjected to another disciplinary hearing relating to the string of findings the Public Protector made against him in 2014, but Kweyama expects that this process won't be completed before Motsoeneng's month is over, given his apparent tendency to use delay tactics.

Huge loss

Motsoeneng won't be paid the remainder of his contract, as he was found guilty of misconduct.

Furthermore, the SIU will be investigating the bonus of R11m he received as a finder's fee for the SABC's controversial deal with MultiChoice, as there seemed to be irregularities in the awarding of the bonus.

"It didn't follow proper government processes," said Kweyama.

The SABC expects to make a nett loss of R1.1bn for the 2016/2017 financial year.

Dlodlo said she is finally happy with the board's proposal to go to the treasury to ask for financial assistance.

She did not want to disclose the amount before she spoke with the minister of finance. She said the proposal will be sent to treasury this week or at the latest next week.

Members from all the parties represented in the committee congratulated Dlodlo and Kweyama and her interim board for the work they have thus far done to turn the SABC around.

Source: News24

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DR Congo: Armed men attack prison, killing 8 guards

News selected on topics and regions - oil and gas, business, politics, IT, the South Caucasus, the Caspian Sea region, Central Asia Ranking of the Azerbaijani banking sector Eight guards were killed when a group of armed men attacked the central prison of Kangbayi in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, a security officer told Anadolu Agency on Sunday. Also, over 900 prisoners escaped in the attack staged on the prison located in Beni territory in North Kivu province in eastern DRC, said Lt.

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Namibian independence leader ya Toivo to get state funeral

Namibia is planning a state funeral for Herman Andimba Toivo ya Toivo, an independence leader who was jailed alongside Nelson Mandela during South Africa's era of white minority rule. Ya Toivo, 92, died on Friday, drawing tributes from Namibian President Hage Geingob and others who recalled his role as a founder of Swapo, the anti-apartheid movement that evolved into Namibia's ruling party after independence in 1990.

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South Africa: Cape Town Gets Clinic for Sex Workers

Photo: Lilly Wimberly/GroundUp

This new clinic in Observatory is aimed at serving the health care needs of sex workers.

By Lilly Wimberly

Facility aims to provide health care to people who are often stigmatised in the state system

A new clinic to serve the healthcare needs of sex workers and their families opened at the Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT) head office on Thursday. SWEAT is an organisation working throughout South Africa to provide services and advocacy for the sex workers' community since the 1990s.

The facility itself is a brightly painted structure just behind SWEAT's headquarters in Observatory. In attendance were partners in the clinic's launch: AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) South Africa, SWEAT, and national sex workers' movement Sisonke as well as community members. This is the first clinic of its kind in Cape Town.

Sally Shackleton, Director of Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce at SWEAT, explained that the goal of the clinic is to provide holistic general health care for sex workers, their families and wider communities. She also said that the success of the clinic is dependent on collaboration between stakeholders. Service users at the clinic will be the ones directing the services provided. "All of us in this room need to be committed to making this clinic work," said Shackleton.

Sex work remains illegal in South Africa. Sisonke representative Zukiswa Ngobo said that sex workers are often stigmatised or turned away from healthcare facilities used by the general public. She said, "So called nurses and doctors... fail to render us services, call us irresponsible and call us names. They don't know how it is like to be a sex worker." Ngobo expressed the community's gratitude to now have a space at SWEAT to seek treatment.

"This clinic is a milestone," said Hilary Thulare, Country Programme Director for AHF. Thulare said that though AHF's main drive was fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS, the organisation knows the disease "exists because of other issues" and reiterated the importance of treatment for sex workers' general health needs. She too appealed to sex workers in attendance: "You need to be leaders... we need to hear your voice."

Throughout the programme, members of SWEAT's trans support group Sistazhood Choir sang and danced to commemorate the opening of the clinic.

The clinic is named in memory of Cym Van Dyke, a trans sex work activist who was involved with SWEAT's mission to advocate for sex workers from the organisation's beginning. Diana Hoorzuk of AHF spoke about Van Dyke's life, remarking that because of the clinic's opening, Van Dyke was now surely "smiling down and saying Amen."

A friend of Van Dyke's commented that a clinic to provide services to sex workers was "something [Van Dyke] longed for."

South Africa

National Broadcaster Dismisses Motsoeneng

Interim board chair Khanyisile Kweyama said the board was given recommendations by hearings chair Nazeer Cassim that… Read more »

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MPs urged to support no confidence vote against Zuma in honour of Kathrada – Times LIVE

MPs urged to support no confidence vote against Zuma in honour of Kathrada

Timeslive | 2017-06-12 19:56:58.0

The late Ahmed Kathrada.
Image by: Esa Alexander

Parliamentarians who plan to honour the late struggle stalwart Ahmed Kathrada should put the country first by wholeheartedly supporting the motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma.

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The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation made this call on the eve of a planned special sitting in the National Assembly to honour Kathrada‚ who passed away in March this year aged 87.

The foundation said it learnt last Friday about the planned National Assembly tribute to Kathrada‚ which is to take place on Tuesday.

It said invitations were extended to Kathrada’s wife‚ Barbara Hogan‚ and the Kathrada family on the same day.

The foundation said due to the late notice and it being the Muslim month of Ramadaan‚ the Kathrada family would be unable to honour the invitation.

Hogan would also be unable to attend due to another family bereavement.

The foundation said it appreciated that the National Assembly was dedicating time to pay tribute to one of its first members.

“However‚ a truly fitting statement to Kathrada would be to speak to the issue that troubled him up to his last days: the conduct of President Jacob Zuma‚” the foundation said in a statement.

It said Parliament could fulfil its core obligations to the people of South Africa‚ and truly honour Kathrada’s memory.

It was the National Assembly’s failure to hold the President to account for the Nkandla issue and the subsequent ruling by the Constitutional Court on the matter‚ that prompted Kathrada to write to Zuma imploring him to resign‚ the foundation said.

“If the National Assembly was serious in its intention to honour Kathrada‚ it would not only lend its voice to the call made by Kathrada and many others – it would act on it when the motion of no confidence in the President comes up in the near future.”

The foundation said the National Assembly had the opportunity‚ through the motion of no confidence‚ to start the process of putting the country back on track and re-focusing on the core challenges that South Africa faced. “We would urge parliamentarians to wholeheartedly support the motion of no confidence‚ whether it is through a secret ballot or not.”

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Bafana Bafana stun Nigeria in opening 2019 Afcon qualifier in Uyo

Marc Strydom, At Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo | 2017-06-10 20:14:53.0

Nigeria's tormentor-in-chief Tokelo Rantie put Bafana Bafana ahead in the 56th minute, Percy Tau making it 2-0 in the 80th, in the shock result of the opening round of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

It could have been more - the unfortunate Themba Zwane somehow struck the upright twice.

Baxter, on his return to coach Bafana, oversaw the end to the drought against the team South Africa could never beat.

'Rantie and Khune are big names in Nigeria,' says Nigerian journalist 

Remarkably, he had also been in charge of SA's one previous friendly win against Nigeria, 1-0 at Ellis Park in 2004.

Bafana are now in poll position to qualify for Cameroon 2018. Seychelles will be whipping boys in Group E, Libya perhaps a little more than that although the north Africans got off to a flying start with a 55-1 thumping of the islanders.

Baxter will dissect what he got right to achieve this frankly spectacular starting result.

Bafana Bafana keeper Khune may come across as a ‘softie’ but is in fact a ‘warrior’ 

Largely, this Nigeria team, as the Bafana players had played up during the week, are new-look, inexperienced, lack the monstrous physicality of previous generations, and just do not look so invincible any more.

Bafana had softened them up under Baxter's predecessor Shakes Mashaba, and given themselves confidence against their nemesis with two draws that eliminated the Super Eagles from the 2015 Nations Cup.

And especially the 2-2 away draw, in which Rantie's brace had given SA a once-unthinkable 2-0 lead.

Baxter names strong‚ balanced starting XI to face Nigeria 

The signs had been there that Bafana might end their drought. Even then, in an away match it seemed almost unthinkable, especially for a team that had four days' training under their new coach, against a side that had a three-week camp in France that included two friendlies.

Bafana were patchy, but not appallingly so, clawing their way to a goalless break. They improved markedly killing the game off  in the second half.

Bafana had been nervy in the first half, as teething problems showed.

They started particularly so, but there were glimpses of an improvement as the half wore on.

Heavy police presence in Uyo for Bafana's away Afcon qualifier against Nigeria 

The South Africans conceded four corners in the opening 12 minutes.

Manchester City danger forward Kelechi Iheanacho's cross was headed dangerously close to Itumeleng Khune's upright by Alex Iwobi.

South Africa looked scared to play. And they allowed Nigeria to play. When Bafana tried things, they were caught in possession.  

Nigeria were not deadly in the final third, letting SA off.

Meticulous Baxter prepares for all possible scenarios for Bafana's clash against Nigeria 

Moses Simon's cross-cum-shot was tipped over by Khune. Then Daniel Akpeyi nearly did gift the game to the travelling team.

The Chippa United goalkeeper stretched for a cross by Tebogo Langerman, and fumbled, allowing Zwane a chance at an open goal, the winger hitting the upright.

But Bafana came out from the break looking far sharper. And nine minutes in Ramahlwe Mphahlele's cross found Rantie sneaking into the near post to get the header deflected neatly past Akpeyi.

Tension begins for Bafana Bafana as they land in Nigeria 

As the pressure grew on Nigeria - who knew a loss at home would be the worst start as they try to make up for failures to qualify in 2015 and 2017 - the Super Eagles struggled for ideas.

South Africa started to string passes together. Mostly they battled for everything.

They were also far calmer than they had been in the first half.

Then Bafana opened Nigeria for what should have been the killer goal, Rantie feeding Zwane on the right, the unfortunate forward inconceivably striking the upright again.

Bafana Bafana's unbeaten run faces mighty test in Nigeria 

The final 15-minute pressure always seemed likely. Alex Iwobi scrambled an attempted finish past Khune, Dean Furman clearing off the line.

But on a counterattack Percy Tau, on for a tired Rantie moments earlier, ran onto Dolly's pass, beat Akpeyi outside the keeper's area, and beat a defender the finish.

- TMG Digital/TMG Sport

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Nigeria/South Africa: Super Eagles Fail to ‘Rohr’

Photo: Bafana Facebook

Bafana player Tokelo Rantie scored for the South Africans.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria began their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign on a sour note after succumbing 0-2 to the Bafana Bafana of South Africa.

Strikes by Rantie and Percy Tau in the 54th and 81st minutes ensured that South Africans got only their first victory over the Eagles in a competitive game.

Nigeria dictated things for a larger part of the game but failed to take the initiative and would now seek redemption in their next qualifying game against Seychelles.

The Eagles paid dearly for failing to convert the numerous chances they got while also making very obvious the absence of John Mikel Obi and Victor Moses.

The flat-footedness of the team's defence paved way for Rantie sneaking in to head in after Elderson Echiejile failed to deal with Mphahlele on the right hand side.

A bid to salvage the situation saw the team go all out for a corner kick and left the goalkeeper unprotected. The South Africans took advantage of this mistake when Percy Tau scored with his first touch of the game after beating the offside trap, went round Daniel Akpeyi and finished it off brilliantly to make it 2-0.

Nigeria

Shekau's Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Maiduguri Attack

The Boko Haram faction of Abubakar Shekau has said that it was responsible for the of attacks on Maiduguri, capital of… Read more »

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