Hong Kong – Protesters tried to storm Hong Kong’s legislature on the anniversary of the city’s return to Chinese rule on Monday, using a metal trolley and poles to smash windows amid anger over planned legislation that would allow extraditions to China.
More than 100 riot police raced towards protesters, beating some with batons as they fell to the ground, and used pepper spray to try to disperse crowds gathered near where officials were preparing a ceremony to mark the 1997 handover.
More than a million people have taken to the streets at times over the past three weeks to vent their anger and frustration at Hong Kong’s Beijing-backed leader Carrie Lam, posing the greatest popular challenge to Chinese leader Xi Jinping since he came to power in 2012.
Opponents of the now-suspended extradition bill, which would allow people to be sent to mainland China for trial in courts controlled by the Communist Party, fear it is a threat to Hong Kong’s much-cherished rule of law and are demanding it be scrapped and Lam step down.
Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule under a "one country, two systems" formula that allows freedoms not enjoyed in mainland China, including freedom of protest and a much-cherished independent judiciary.
Beijing denies interfering but, for many Hong Kong residents, the extradition bill is the latest step in a relentless march towards mainland control.
Police fired pepper spray to disperse some demonstrators, mostly black-clad students wearing hard hats and face masks, with authorities bracing for an annual rally due to start at 0630 GMT.
The protesters once again paralysed parts of the financial hub as they occupied roads after blocking them off with metal barriers and wooden planks.
A tired-looking Lam appeared in public for the first time in nearly two weeks to attend the anniversary ceremony, flanked by her husband and former Hong Kong leader Tung Chee-hwa.
Weeks of unrest forced nervous authorities to deploy a massive security blanket around the waterfront Convention and Exhibition Centre, the venue for the flag-raising ceremony.
Lam said the government needed to change its style of governance and pledged to do more for young people.
"The incident that happened in recent months has led to controversies and disputes between the public and the government. This has made me fully realise that I, as a politician, have to remind myself all the time of the need to grasp public sentiments accurately," Lam said.
RUBBER BULLETS, TEAR GAS
Tensions spiralled on June 12 when police fired rubber bullets and tear gas at anti-extradition protesters near the heart of the city, sending plumes of smoke billowing among some of the world’s tallest skyscrapers.
The uproar over the bill has reignited a protest movement that had lost steam after pro-democracy demonstrations in 2014 failed to force concessions from Beijing and led to the arrests of hundreds of activists.
Activists raised a black bauhinia flag to half mast outside the Legislative Council building before the rally and turned Hong Kong’s official flag, featuring a white bauhinia flower on a red background, upside down.
The demonstrations have brought havoc, forcing the closure of government offices on several occasions and triggering chaos as protesters blocked roads and besieged police headquarters.
The turmoil comes at a delicate time for Beijing, which is grappling with a trade dispute with the United States, a faltering economy and tensions in the South China Sea.
Lam said after suspending the bill she had heard the people "loud and clear". However, she stopped short of activists’ demands to scrap it altogether.
Activists are also demanding the government drop charges against those arrested during the protests, charge police with what they describe as excessive use of force and stop referring to the demonstrations as a riot, a term that can bring a heavier jail sentence.
Opponents of the extradition bill fear it would put them at the mercy of China’s justice system, where human rights are not guaranteed.
Beyond the public outcry, the extradition bill has spooked some of Hong Kong’s tycoons into starting to move their personal wealth offshore, according to financial advisers, bankers and lawyers familiar with the details.
LONDON – Andile Phehlukwayo loves his social media.
But even the Proteas all-rounder admits to staying clear of it all the past month due to the way the national team have been trolled after their poor performances here at the World Cup.
But with South Africa finally winning their second game of the tournament last Friday, defeating Sri Lanka by nine wickets at Chester-le-Street, will “@andileluck19” be logging on again?
“I’ll be staying off social media just a little bit more,” Phehlukwayo said before continuing: “I am just in my own zone.”
The 23-year-old all-rounder has certainly been in his “own zone” during this World Cup. Despite the team’s performances being particularly poor, Phehlukwayo has been one of the few Proteas to actually enhance his credentials over the past month.
Besides the tense loss to New Zealand at Edgbaston where Phehlukwayo’s radar went a bit walkabout, he had found a length here very much to his liking.
He has claimed nine wickets in the competition, and also averages 32.25 with the bat. Unlike his teammates that often star in bilateral series when facing only one team, he’s shown the ability to adapt to facing different teams and the varying conditions encountered at the different grounds all around England and Wales.
Andile Phehlukwayo in action against New Zealand at Edgbaston, Birmingham. Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix
“You’ve got to change your game plans and you’ve got to train differently because the opposition is not the same,” Phehlukwayo said.
“It’s been my first World Cup and it was really tough but we’ve got to adjust. Because it’s international cricket, you’ve got to be able to adjust and execute.”
Although Phehlukwayo is one of the few South African cricketers to have actually won a World Cup – the ICC U-19 title along with Aiden Markram and Kagiso Rabada – the step up to the senior men’s competition has been a real chastening experience, particularly due to the mental pressure that accompanies every game and he is grateful for the lessons learnt.
“It’s just in patches that we’ve lost the game and that’s something in international cricket you can’t do or you don’t win games,” he said. “We’ve just been short at times.
“You need to win those patches in important games and if you don’t it becomes really tough and you are chasing the game all the time. And you don’t want to be chasing the game.
“You want to be either on par or ahead of the game. That’s something we haven’t been very consistent in at this tournament. Hopefully, that’s something we will take with us and learn from.”
Having played each and every game thus far, Phehlukwayo will have the opportunity to sign off his maiden World Cup experience against familiar foes Australia at Old Trafford in Manchester on Saturday.
Considering his record against the Aussies – Phehlukwayo averages 66 with the bat against Aaron Finch’s team – it could be a happy ending.
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LONDON – Defending champion Novak Djokovic shares centre stage on Centre Court with Naomi Osaka on Monday as Wimbledon gets underway.
Top seed and world number one Djokovic is seeking a fifth Wimbledon and 16th major as the Serb attempts to bounce back from his shattering Roland Garros exit.
His five-set semi-final loss to Dominic Thiem ended his hopes of becoming just the second man in history to hold all four majors at the same time on two occasions.
On Monday, he opens proceedings on Centre Court against German veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber.
It will be their third meeting in 2019 – 35-year-old Kohlschreiber winning at Indian Wells before Djokovic triumphed at Monte Carlo and Rome.
“I am fine-tuning. I’m working on my movement. I’m working on the right balance on the court, trying to execute the shots, take short balls, come in,” said Djokovic, who was also Wimbledon champion in 2011, 2014 and 2015.
Japanese second seed Osaka, the US and Australian Open winner, lost her world top ranking to Roland Garros champion Ashleigh Barty recently.
However, the 21-year-old was not too upset by the new order after complaining in Paris that she was suffering from stress and headaches as she exited in the third round.
Osaka could be facing another stressful afternoon on Monday when she starts her campaign against Yulia Putintseva who has a 2-0 career hold over the Japanese.
One of those wins came on grass in Birmingham less than two weeks ago.
Osaka has yet to get past the third round at Wimbledon although her two previous visits saw defeats to 2018 champion Angelique Kerber and five-time champion Venus Williams.
Venus, now 39, first played at the All England Club in 1997.
Her opponent on Court One on Monday, 15-year-old compatriot Cori Gauff was still seven years away from being born.
Gauff is the youngest player ever to have qualified for Wimbledon and comes into the tournament ranked at 313 in the world.
She needed a wild card to play in qualifying while juggling her high school tests in the evening.
“She’s an exciting young player, and she’s so cool,” said Venus’s sister Serena of Gauff. “She’s a great girl. It’s a great moment for her and for Venus.”
Elsewhere on Monday, women’s third seed Karolina Pliskova, fresh from beating Wimbledon champion Kerber in the Eastbourne final on Saturday, faces China’s Zhu Lin.
Pliskova has never got beyond the fourth round at Wimbledon.
Fellow former world number one Simona Halep, the deposed French Open champion, made the semi-finals at the All England Club in 2014.
The Romanian ninth seed starts against Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus.
‘NextGen’ stars Alexander Zverev, seeded six, and seventh-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas face Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic and Italy’s Thomas Fabbiano respectively.
Kevin Anderson, the 2018 runner-up, is seeded four this year but has been battling an elbow injury.
The giant South African, who last year featured in the second longest match ever played at Wimbledon when he overcame John Isner in a 6-hour 36-minute semi-final, starts Monday against Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France.
Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Kimberley – A 33-year-old Prieska woman died just moments after her family found her in the local hospital after she was raped and brutally assaulted on the weekend.
Vanessa “Nessa” Barends, who is the daughter of a well-known retired nurse, was found beaten beyond recognition and connected to a heart machine in the Bill Pickard Hospital by family members yesterday after she was attacked the previous day.
According to information, her clothes were ripped from her body and she incurred severe head injuries after she was beaten to a pulp.
A passer-by who was on their way to work on Saturday found Barends on an open piece of land just a few metres from her home.
The passer-by alerted the police and she was admitted to hospital where she died the next day due to her injuries.
Her uncle, Booi BJ Barends, said the family has been left distraught following the incident.
“As a family we are traumatised and broken by this incident. It is something nobody expects to happen to their child. What is more traumatic is that it happened a few steps from her home. We are going through agony trying to figure out how this happened and whether she had screamed for help but nobody heard her,” he said.
He said that the family had started searching for Barends after she did not come home on Saturday.
“Nessa was at her brother’s house on Saturday. However, after she did not return home we started doing enquiries about her whereabouts. Her brother contacted the police. A detective who was at the scene showed her brother a picture of the woman who was attacked but we could not recognise her from that picture. The person who found Nessa was also not able to recognise her. The community members were also not able to recognise her and she was well-known to everyone in the area.
“We, however, decided to go to the hospital and later found out that it was her. We could hardly recognise her … Her head was swollen and she was hooked to a heart machine.”
He added that although Barends was connected to the heart machine, the family were still hopeful that she would recover.
“The nursing personnel said they had stabilised her but that she suffered severe head injuries. I was optimistic that she would wake up and did not dwell on her injuries.”
He said that Barends’ mother heard about the violent attack on an unknown woman while she was at church.
“The congregation at church was informed about a young woman who was attacked and they prayed for her. Nessa’s mother was amongst the congregants but did not at that stage know that it was her daughter.”
He said that while two people were arrested in connection with the incident, the family’s focus was currently on informing other family members and friends of Barends about her death.
“We are still in shock and many family members want details on what transpired. Currently we ourselves do not have any information and are trying to come to terms with the incident as we have to repeatedly convey the news to others. We are leaving the arrests in the hands of the police and hope the law will deal with those responsible.”
He called on the community to come together to fight the scourge of violence in the town.
“We will have to join hands as a community and realise our children are no longer safe. We used to take care of and protect each other in this town. We need to educate our youth about the dangers they are facing daily.”
He added that while the incident is heartbreaking to the family, they hope that someone will learn from their pain.
“This incident occurred about 30 metres from Nessa’s home. Our youngsters need to be more careful and on the lookout for any danger they might face. One cannot trust anyone nowadays. It is heartbreaking because we do not want to raise our children to constantly look over their shoulders, however, the world is very cruel.”
Police spokesperson Captain Olebogeng Tawana said yesterday that two suspects, one of whom is a minor, have been arrested in connection with the incident.
“A 15-year-old boy and 24-year-old man have been arrested following the rape and murder of a woman in her early 30s. It is alleged that the victim was walking home when the pair accosted her and dragged her into a nearby yard where they took turns raping her,” said Tawana.
“The victim was spotted by a passer-by lying helplessly, half naked and brutally assaulted. She succumbed to her injuries and died while receiving medical treatment.
“The suspects were arrested after the police followed a lead. They are expected to appear before the Prieska Magistrate’s Court soon on charges of rape and murder.”
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Former South African Airways (SAA) Human Resources General Manager Thuli Mpshe will testify before the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture in Parktown, Johannesburg on Monday.
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The man 40-year-old who was arrested for the attempted murder of a homeless man in Pretoria will appear in the city’s Magistrate’s Court on Monday morning.
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STANFORD – Caster Semenya said Sunday she will not take part in this year’s World Championships if she loses her legal battle with the IAAF over new rules governing testosterone levels in female athletes.
The two-time Olympic champion extended her four-year unbeaten streak in the 800m on Sunday after cruising to victory at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meeting at Stanford University in northern California.
Semenya, who won in 1min 55.70sec, had not raced in the 800m since May 3, shortly after she lost a court challenge against the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) new rules which will force her to regulate her testosterone levels.
That ruling was subsequently put on hold by a Swiss Federal Tribunal pending a full hearing, leaving Semenya free to compete until a final decision in her case.
Semenya had previously indicated that if she loses her legal case, she would continue to compete over longer distances, which are not affected by the IAAF’s new testosterone rules.
However speaking to reporters on Sunday, she said there was no chance of her racing at the World Championships in Qatar if she is not allowed to run in the 800m.
“If I’m not running 800m, I’m not running world championships,” Semenya told reporters. ”No 1,500m, no nothing. I’m just going to take a vacation and then come back next year.
“My goals are the 800m and to defend my world title. So if I’m not allowed I’m not allowed.”
Asked if she expected to compete in next year’s Tokyo Olympics, where she will be chasing a hat-trick of 800m gold medals after wins in 2012 and 2016, she replied: “I expect to be in Tokyo. I expect to be in Paris (in 2024), I expect to be in Los Angeles (in 2028).”
Semenya meanwhile insisted she would pursue her case for as long as possible.
“This is like a legal battle, like war,” said the South African. “You don’t give up. If you beat me today, I beat you tomorrow. At the end of the day it’s about me, and doing what makes me happy. I’m a world champion, I’m an Olympic champion, I’ve achieved everything I’ve ever wanted.
“I’m doing this for those that cannot fight for themselves.”
Semenya has not been beaten over 800m since 2015.
Her winning streak was never in danger on Sunday as she pulled away from the field with 300m to go before crossing the line 15 meters clear of the United States’ Ajee Wilson, who took second in 1:58.36. Raevyn Rogers was third in 1:58.65.
In other events on Sunday, US sprinter Christian Coleman blistered to the fastest time over 100m this year, clocking 9.81sec to beat out veteran world champion Justin Gatlin in second, who came home in 9.87sec.
— Caster Semenya (@caster800m) June 30, 2019
Rising American 400m star Michael Norman meanwhile continued his impressive first season as a professional with a comfortable win in the single-lap race, winning in 44.62sec, ahead of compatriots Kahmari Montgomery and Fred Kerley.
Rai Benjamin of the United States won the 400m hurdles with a world leading time of 47.16sec, taking the line ahead of Kyron McMaster of the British Virgin Islands (48.94sec) and Turkey’s Yasmani Copello (49.37).
Benjamin’s time was the ninth fastest of all-time and followed his victory in the Rome Diamond League meeting on June 6.
There was another world leading time in the women’s steeplechase, where Kenya’s world record holder Beatrice Chepkoech finished well clear of the chasing pack in 8min 55.58 sec.
Chepkoech’s time was the fifth fastest in history. The 27-year-old now owns three of the five fastest times ever run over the distance.
In the women’s 100m, Ivory Coast’s Marie-Josee Ta Lou won a slow race in 11.02sec, with Americans Aleia Hobbs and Teahna Daniels placing second and third.
Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Johannesburg residents will pay more for water and electricity from Monday when the new tariff hikes come into effect.
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England are aiming to make history as they prepare to take on the USA with a first ever women’s World Cup final squarely in their sights, as a landmark tournament moves towards a nail-biting climax.
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South Africa’s golden girl, Caster Semenya has extended her four-year unbeaten streak in the 800 metre after cruising to victory at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meeting at Stanford University in northern California.
The post Semenya extendeds four-year unbeaten streak in 800 metre race appeared first on SABC News – Breaking news, special reports, world, business, sport coverage of all South African current events. Africa's news leader..
A 3,000-year-old head sculpture of an eternally-young Tutankhamun – the Egyptian pharaoh known as King Tut – goes under the hammer this week in London despite an outcry from Cairo.
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CAIRO – Mohamed Salah scored from a free-kick as host nation Egypt defeated Uganda 2-0 in Cairo Sunday to win Group A at the Africa Cup of Nations with a perfect three-win record.
Pre-tournament favourites Egypt will remain in Cairo for the round of 16 and play one of the best four third-place finishers next Saturday.
After prolific Liverpool scorer Salah put Egypt ahead against the run of play on 36 minutes, captain Ahmed Elmohamady added a second just before half-time.
Uganda had plenty of possession in both halves and often threatened to score without managing to put the ball in the net.
Egypt topped the final standings with nine points and Uganda came next with four to also qualify automatically for the knockout phase.
The Democratic Republic of Congo came third with three points after trouncing Zimbabwe 4-0 in another Cairo stadium.
Elmohamady said: “Nine points out of three games is something Egypt is used to – the difficult part is what comes next.
“As of tomorrow, we will start to prepare, regardless of the team we will meet in the last 16. We scored five goals in three matches and kept three clean sheets. For me these are good numbers.”
Uganda were more impressive than Egypt for the first 30 minutes on a hot night at a packed 75,000-capacity Cairo International Stadium.
Goalkeeper Mohamed Elshenawy did well to push a sizzling, long-range Allan Kyambadde drive over at the expense of a corner.
Abdu Lumala was a constant threat for the Cranes and had a shot and a header saved in quick succession with the Pharaohs defence not its normal assured self.
Salah then turned the tide toward the record seven-time African champions by lifting a free-kick over a defensive wall and past goalkeeper Denis Onyango into the corner of the net.
It was the second goal of the tournament for the Egyptian idol and Elmohamady notched his second in first-half stoppage time.
A low cross eluded two Egyptians, including Salah, but fell to Elmohamady, who unleashed a low shot that took a slight deflection en route to the far corner of the net.
It was a massive blow for the Ugandans, who did not deserve to be two goals behind as they walked to the changerooms.
The pace of Salah gave him a chance to score his second goal soon after the break, but Onyango made a superb one-hand block to foil the 2018 African Footballer of the Year.
Uganda regained their composure to cause constant problems for the home team, but lacked a clinical finisher like Salah.
Earlier, Africa Cup of Nations newcomers Madagascar pulled off a stunning upset of powerhouses Nigeria with a 2-0 win over the three-time former champions to clinch a place in the last 16.
Lalaina Nomenjanahary gave Madagascar a shock 12th-minute lead in Alexandria and Charles Andriamatsinoro sealed the victory.
At the 30 June Stadium in Cairo, the Democratic Republic of Congo put a two-loss start to the tournament behind them with a 4-0 triumph over Zimbabwe, the biggest of the competition so far.
Jonathan Bolingi punished a blunder by goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze to head the Congolese Leopards in front on four minutes and Cedric Bakambu added a second before half-time.
China-based Bakambu netted again midway through the second half and Britt Assombalonga added a fourth.
The Congolese will know only Tuesday night after the final group matches whether they are among the best four third-place finishers and remain in the competition.
Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Gauteng police have arrested 900 suspects in the province for various offences through operation ‘O kae Molao’.
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Free State Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC, Thembeni Nxangisa, has applauded the councillors of the Maluti-A-Phofung Municipality in Qwaqwa, Free State, for passing the budget vote for the 2019/2020 financial year.
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Africa Cup of Nations newcomers Madagascar pulled off a stunning upset of Nigeria on Sunday with a 2-0 win over the three-time former champions to clinch a place in the last 16.
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The trial of four men accused of the murder of North West businessman, Wandile Bozwana, is expected to resume in the High Court in Pretoria, on Monday morning.
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