Barack and Michelle Obama have made their Hollywood debut with a documentary set in Ohio that movie reviewers are calling compelling and timely.
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CAPE TOWN – Western Province assistant coach Norman Laker perfectly summed it up when he said their last league game against the Free State Cheetahs is virtually a quarter-final lose and you’re out.
After three Currie Cup losses to the Sharks, Golden Lions and Griquas, Province have no chance of hosting a home semi-final anymore, but their chances of booking a last-four spot is very real – if they pull through in Bloemfontein on Saturday. There have been a lot of lessons for the Cape side this season, but it hasn’t been all bad. So, here are five things that could have a big say in whether or not John Dobson’s team make it into the semis.
1. Spread it out
Following their win against the Pumas at Newlands, Dobson said that they were a bit tight on defence and added that it’s something they needed to work on. WP were lucky that Jimmy Stonehouse’s eager runners didn’t capitalise on the space out wide, but that wasn’t the last time we saw that from Province, and it’s going to be vital that it doesn’t happen again this weekend.
The Cheetahs’ ball-in-hand approach means a strong defensive performance by WP will be key.
2. Check those final passes
When it comes to attack, the only thing sadder than not being able to create opportunities is creating them, but not being able to finish and WP know all about that.
They put together some promising displays in Kimberley, but handling errors and that final pass not going to hand, especially later on, saw them lose 27-23.
Patience, focus and communication are going to have to be the 2017 champions’ best friends going up to Bloem, but I hardly doubt that’s something they are unaware of at this stage.
3. Be consistent
While it was a case of too little, too late against Griquas last week, there have been a number of times this season where WP just didn’t go the distance. Against the Pumas, if you had to look at that first half, they looked well on their way to humiliating the Nelspruit-based side. It was a good performance from WP overall, but in the second half all of that vanished.
They had very little time on the ball after the break, and even when they did, they didn’t make the most of it. Against Griquas, it was as if they had waited for the last part of the game to really get into it, and they did do well to close the gap on the scoreboard with 13 men, by the way, but it wasn’t enough.
Best bet? Avoid those situations in the first place. A strong start followed by a poor finish is no better than a slow start followed by a late surge.
WP haven’t played the best catch-up rugby this season. So, lets hope it’s a strong start and a sustained effort we see from them in the Free State.
4. International injection
With Dillyn Leyds, Wilco Louw and Scarra Ntubeni back in the run-on side for WP – with Damian Willemse also starting this weekend – it wouldn’t be too optimistic to expect some exciting moments. WP were badly disrupted by the departure of a number of key players ahead of the Griquas game, so the contribution of those figures will be crucial.
5. Catch them on the counter
Earlier this week, Laker spoke about how they want to put the Cheetahs under pressure with their defence in order to force turnovers and “create chaos” for the likes of Leyds and Sergeal Petersen. If the magnitude of solid defence wasn’t highlighted enough higher up in this piece, then the prospect of Leyds, Petersen, Willemse and Ruhan Nel wreaking havoc in broken play and making the Cheetahs pay on the counter-attack should do enough to galvanise WP into piling that defensive pressure on the opposition.
Johannesburg – The man accused of killing student Palesa Madiba received a tongue lashing in court for using delaying tactics.
Magistrate Roland Zakwe did not mince his words at the Protea Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday where Dumisani Mkhwanazi made his third appearance in connection with Madiba’s murder. In his first two appearances following his arrest last month, Mkhwanazi did not have a legal representative, although he was asked to bring one.
Yesterday he again arrived in court without a lawyer. He has been in custody since his arrest and is charged with murder and defeating the ends of justice, a crime he allegedly committed in 2013 when Madiba, 19, was visiting her friend Tshidi Mkhwanazi.
The accused is Mkhwanazi’s uncle.
“If you don’t have money to pay (a private lawyer), apply for legal aid,” said the irritated magistrate.
Zakwe said the case cannot continue to be postponed purely because of the accused’s failure to get a lawyer. He also questioned Mkhwanazi as to whether he even knew the name or surname of his lawyer.
A Madiba family spokesperson, Thabiso Tsoledi, said the constant postponements were disheartening but they remained patient.
“Ideally we would like to suspend our feelings but we are not robots. We are frustrated but we remain patient. At the end of the day this is the legal system,” said Tsoledi.
He said Mkwanazi deserved an opportunity to get a lawyer and that the family was happy that the magistrate took a tough stance on the accused.
He said coming to court continually was taking a toll on the family but they were still determined to know what had led to their daughter’s murder and eventually get closure.
“We feel there is no progress in the case. We understand that it might be a long drawn-out process.
“Ideally, we would like everything to start as soon as possible,” said Tsoledi.
NPA spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said: “The matter is in the capable hands of the presiding officer who is in a position to detect unnecessary delays and deal with them accordingly. These unnecessary delays are causing further grief to the family, as you can imagine. As the NPA we accept the court’s decision and the firmness it has shown that the court is ready to deal with the matter. The accused must come to the party as well.”
Brasilia – Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro on Wednesday accused non-governmental organisations of burning down the Amazon rainforest to hurt his government, as a growing global outcry against the wildfires raged through social media.
Presented without evidence and disputed by environmental and climate experts, Bolsonaro’s comments enraged critics and fanned a growing social media campaign over the dangers to the Amazon, one of the world’s key bulwarks against climate change.
#PrayforAmazonas was the world’s top trending topic on Twitter on Wednesday, and millions of people took to Instagram and Facebook to share concerns over the future of the Amazon. With global awareness growing, Bolsonaro’s comments risk creating a spiraling crisis for his government, imperiling an EU-Mercosur trade pact and upsetting key agribusiness clients.
"Everything indicates" that NGOs were going to the Amazon to "set fire" to the forest, Bolsonaro said in a Facebook Live broadcast on Wednesday morning. When asked if he had evidence to back up his claims, he said he had "no written plan," adding "that’s not how it’s done."
The former army captain turned politician said the slashing of NGO funding by his government could be a motive.
"Crime exists," he said. "These people are missing the money."
Bolsonaro said his administration was working to control the Amazon fires, which have reached a record number this year. Brazil’s space research center, INPE, has detected 72,843 fires so far in 2019, an 83% increase on the same period in 2018.
Environmental and climate experts labeled his claims that NGOs were responsible a "smoke screen" to hide his government’s dismantling of protections for the world’s largest tropical rainforest. They said farmers clearing land were responsible for the uptick in fires.
"This is a sick statement, a pitiful statement," said Marcio Astrini, Greenpeace Brazil’s public policy coordinator. "Increased deforestation and burning are the result of his anti-environmental policy."
Bolsonaro, a longtime skeptic of environmental concerns, wants to open the Amazon to more agriculture and mining, and has told other countries worried about rising deforestation under his watch to mind their own business.
Congressman Nilto Tatto, leader of the lower house environment caucus, said Bolsonaro’s "stunning" attack on NGOs was an attempt to obscure his administration’s destruction of 30 years of Brazilian environmental protections.
Climate scientist Carlos Nobre said farmers seeking to clear land for cattle pastures wait for the dry season when forests become combustible and then set them alight. He attributed this year’s spike to illegal deforestation since it has not been unusually dry.
"NGOs working in the Amazon do not use fire in farming. On the contrary, they encourage rural communities to avoid fire," said Nobre, senior researcher at Sao Paulo University’s Institute for Advanced Studies.
Former presidential candidate and environment minister Marina Silva took to Twitter to criticize Bolsonaro.
"The Amazon is on fire," she wrote. "The president says NGOs may be behind this. The lack of commitment to the truth is a chronic pathology. This irresponsible attitude only aggravates an environmental disaster in Brazil."
Speaking later on Wednesday, Bolsonaro also took aim at the Paris climate accord, saying that if it were so good, the United States would have stayed in it. But he added that for the time being, Brazil would remain in the pact.
French President Emmanuel Macron warned in June he would not sign the EU-Mercosur trade treaty if Bolsonaro pulled Brazil out of the Paris accord.
Earlier this month, Norway and Germany suspended funding for projects to curb deforestation in Brazil after becoming alarmed by changes to the way projects were selected under Bolsonaro.
The City of Cape Town has proposed a by-law that stipulates that no one making use of coastal beaches may use foul language.
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The ANC accuses Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba of being responsible for the poor financial status of the City of Johannesburg since he took over three years ago.
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TALLAHASSEE — A serial killer who preyed on older, gay men during an eight-month spree that left six dead on or near the U.S. East Coast a quarter century ago is scheduled to be executed Thursday evening.
Gary Ray Bowles, 57, is set to receive a lethal injection at Florida State Prison in Stark. He drew the death sentence for his conviction in the November 1994 murder of Walter Hinton in Jacksonville Beach — one of the six known killings in 1994 that terrorised the Interstate 95 corridor and won him the nickname the "I-95 killer" before he was caught.
Many of the victims were found not far from the East Coast’s most heavily travelled interstate.
Hinton was Bowles sixth and final known victim in a series of killings that began in Daytona Beach with John Hardy Roberts. In between, there were victims in Rockville, Maryland; Savannah, Georgia; Atlanta and Nassau County, Florida. In each case, Bowles had a signature: He stuffed the victims’ throats with objects, including rags, toilet paper, dirt, leaves — even a sex toy.
Investigators say that if he hadn’t been caught, Bowles would have kept on killing.
"He probably enjoyed it after a while," said Thomas Youngman, a Daytona Beach detective assigned to the Roberts slaying.
"Why do you kill people after the first one? The first one could be a mistake, maybe. But then the second, alright, I’ll maybe give you that. But the third, fourth fifth and sixth? When do you stop?"
It wasn’t hard for Daytona Beach police to figure out who killed Roberts, the first victim in March 1994: Bowles left a probation document at the scene and also was caught on an ATM camera trying to withdraw money from Roberts’ account. What proved more difficult was capturing him, something they were unable to do until after five other men in three states had been slain.
Among Bowles’ subsequent victims was a 72-year-old World War II Navy veteran, Milton Bradley, who was living in Savannah when he met the serial killer in May 1994. A kind and gentle soul well-liked in the Georgia coastal city, Bradley had suffered a severe head injury when his ship sank in the Pacific Ocean. His bludgeoned body was found at a golf course, leaves and dirt stuffed down his throat.
That it has taken 25 years to reach the moment of carrying out Bowles’ death sentence has been frustrating for Bradley’s family. "It’s been a long time coming, hasn’t it?" said Milton Bradley’s nephew Mark Bradley, speaking with The Associated Press.
Bowles was raised in West Virginia, where he experienced drugs and violence at a young age. His father was a coal miner who died of black lung disease before he was born. His mother remarried multiple times, and his first two stepfathers were abusive, according to court records. His mother and brother testified that Bowles began drinking, smoking marijuana and huffing glue when he was 11. When he was 13, he fought back against his second stepfather, smashing a rock into his head and nearly killing him, according to court records.
That’s when Bowles left home. Investigators say Bowles survived by letting gay men perform sex acts on him for money, though he has maintained he is straight.
He also had a history of violence against women.
Bowles was convicted of beating and raping his girlfriend while living in Tampa in 1982 and sentenced to eight years in prison. The victim had severe injuries.
Former Savannah detective John Best remembers hearing details of the crime against the girlfriend as he investigated Bradley’s slaying.
"The Tampa detective, I remember her exact quote, ‘I’ve seen better looking bodies in an autopsy,’" Best said.
Cape Town – How effective has the now 20-year-old Domestic Violence Act (DVA) been in terms of providing justice to victims?
This is the question under discussion at an inter-sectoral dialogue hosted by UCT’s Gender, Health and Justice Research Unit, the Heinrich Böll Foundation, Wits City Institute and the Department of Community Safety in the Western Cape.
Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development John Jeffery said that at the time when the DVA, now under review, was implemented, it was considered a very progressive piece of legislation that strongly focused on victims.
Jeffery said: “Victims of domestic violence often suffer from fear and anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder, low self-esteem and unworthiness. These are the feelings they carry to the criminal justice system when they seek help.”
Jeffery said secondary victimisation stemming from certain systematic dysfunctionalities also contributed to the early exit of victims from the system, which results in a clogged system of pending applications for interim protection orders. This was a serious challenge that would be considered when reviewing the DVA.
Professor at UCT and Director of Gender Health and Justice research unit Lillian Artz said: “The court process has been seen to improve over the past 20 years and the magistrates are making good decisions on behalf of the applicants who apply for protection orders. However, concerns still remain about the process that occurs before the court process.”
Artz said that the initial process of reporting an incident to first respondents remained a problem because there were certain issues preventing a victim from reporting a case effectively. People who experienced domestic violence could either go to a magistrate’s court or to the police station, but when reporting an incident but there was still a tendency for police to refer victims of domestic violence to the court instead because they may not consider it as a high risk situation.
“The DVA says little about the role of first respondents such as the police. There is nothing mandatory in the Act in terms of the duties (of) first respondents.
“We are hoping that the voices of different sectors and respondents will be heard as they are currently not part of the law reform process,” said Artz.
Jeffery said the process of reviewing the DVA 20 years after it was formed had begun.
The South African Law Reform Commission will lead the investigation, working with experts in the domestic violence sector. The investigation is expected to commence next month.
Wellington – As New Zealand lawmakers vigorously debated fuel prices in parliament this week, speaker Trevor Mallard called for order while feeding baby Tūtānekai his bottle.
The six-week-old son of Labour MP Tāmati Coffey and his husband, born via a surrogate mother last month, was being cuddled by his father in the debating chamber on Wednesday when the speaker offered to hold him.
"There are times when I can be vaguely useful," Mallard told Reuters, adding that he tried to help care for lawmakers’ babies when possible.
The newborn joins many other babies in the legislature after Mallard relaxed rules in 2017 to make parliament more child-friendly.
About a dozen MPs have had infants in a parliamentary baby boom, and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern last year became New Zealand’s first premier to take maternity leave and the world’s second elected leader to give birth in office.
Her daughter Neve Te Aroha made headlines in September when she accompanied Ardern to the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
But worker rights advocates told Reuters that few New Zealanders get the same rights to balance caring for their families with work, and they hope the high-profile parliamentary babies will bring a wider change in working conditions.
Tania Te Whenua, a Māori lawyer who is working on a case for New Zealand’s largest union, the Public Service Association, alleging discrimination against indigenous Māori women employees, said she had felt hostility in previous workplaces over her young children visiting her at work.
"The ability to have, nurture and raise children is a celebrated aspect of Māori culture….and to be made to feel as though that is frowned upon in the workplace leaves Māori feeling like the outsider," she said.
She expressed support for the parliament speaker’s family policies.
Mallard, a political veteran, and father of three adult children, with six grandchildren, hoped more employers would follow his lead.
"What I’ve found is that it adds to the positive atmosphere of the workplace," he said, adding that he regularly encountered babies in the halls of power and even the indoor parliamentary swimming pool.
Their presence provides a boost to morale, evidenced from the eagerness of official messengers to swap their usual document deliveries for the task of taking an infant into parliament instead, he said.
"When there’s a baby to be carried in….there’s a fair bit of competition to do the job," said Mallard.
The IPID is investigating the death of Tshegofatso Selahle who died after being arrested by metro police in Johannesburg.
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The National Heritage Council (NHC) says it hopes the old apartheid flag will not re-surface again in the country.
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WELLINGTON – New Zealand’s team bidding for a rugby sevens gold medal at next year’s Tokyo Olympics will not include any All Blacks after several approached declined to be involved.
New Zealand Rugby said on Thursday that four players – Caleb Clarke, Etene Nanai-Seturo, Salesi Rayasi and Scott Gregory – had been granted leave from their Super Rugby teams to be part of the sevens campaign ahead of the Tokyo Games.
NZR had begun approaching Super Rugby teams last September to gauge interest from 15s players, including current All Blacks, about transitioning to sevens for the Tokyo campaign.
“At that point a number of them ruled themselves out when we got responses either from the players or their agents,” NZR’s Head of High Performance Mike Anthony told Stuff Media.
“At the end of the day those (All Blacks) players have made a decision that they want to focus their energy elsewhere, given the challenges at the end of the year and coaching and so on.
“They have made that choice pretty early on in the process. So they let us know, which allowed us to focus on the group that were keen to be a part of it.”
Sonny Bill Williams was the only capped All Blacks player in New Zealand’s squad for the Rio Olympics.
Several others, including Ardie Savea and Beauden Barrett, indicated they would be keen on joining the sevens programme ahead of the Olympics but all subsequently withdrew.
Then coach Gordon Tietjens, who left after his team lost to eventual gold medallists Fiji in the quarter-finals, later wrote he felt he had lost the support of the organisation and pressure had been placed upon the players to withdraw.
All four of the Super Rugby players named on Thursday have been previously involved in the All Blacks Sevens team.
Anthony added that NZR had to be mindful that introducing new players into the core group of centrally contracted Sevens players had to be managed carefully.
“One of the biggest considerations in this process has been the team environment,” Anthony said. “We have a group of contracted players that have won the Commonwealth Games Gold and Rugby World Cup Sevens last year, so were very mindful that those coming in need to complement that group.”
The All Blacks sevens team clinched the Commonwealth Games gold medal on the Gold Coast and then won the World Cup in San Francisco last year.
They finished third behind Fiji and the United States on the 2018/19 World Sevens Series and qualified automatically for the Tokyo competition.
ATLANTA – Rory McIlroy is unconvinced by the new staggered start to be used at this week’s season-ending Tour Championship in Atlanta and questioned on Wednesday whether it could affect the tournament’s prestige.
The PGA Tour has instigated the scoring system, based on accumulated points, so that top seed Justin Thomas starts the event at 10 under par, with the second seed at eight under, and so on, down to even par for the 26th-to-30th ranked players in the elite field.
This has been done so that, for the first time, the winner of the season-long FedEx Cup points-race and the winner of the Tour Championship are guaranteed to be one and the same person.
Last year, with no staggered start, Tiger Woods won the Tour Championship but Justin Rose won the FedEx Cup. The Englishman almost anonymously collected a $10 million bonus as Woods justifiably earned the headlines for ending his five-year victory drought.
Best birdie-eagle streak (🐦-🐦-🐦-🐦-🐦-🦅). Lowest 9-hole score on the back nine (28). Lowest second-round score (63). Lowest 72-hole total.@TigerWoods rewrote the @playofffinale’s record books in 2007 on his way to winning the #FedExCup. 🏆#TOURVault pic.twitter.com/3EYQyQx6FH
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) August 22, 2019
Woods did not qualify to defend his title this week.
“You can shoot the best score of the week and not win the golf tournament,” McIlroy told reporters at East Lake. “If that happens to someone it’s going to be hard for them to wrap their head around.”
The four-time major champion added: “If the FedEx Cup really wants to have this legacy in the game, like some of these other championships do, is people starting the tournament on different numbers the best way to do it?”
The Northern Irishman is also unconvinced that the tournament’s relentless focus on the first prize of $15 million is helping the event’s prestige.
Network TV golf coverage in the United States for the past couple of weeks has breathlessly discussed the game’s biggest payout ever.
“I don’t think the money needs to be front and centre, because I don’t think that’s what the fans care about,” McIlroy said. “Players might care about it, and we want to be rewarded and paid for what we do, but at the same time, competitively, it’s not about that. It’s about trying to win golf tournaments.
“Who knows what the winner wins at the Masters? I don’t know because that’s not what it’s about.”
Woods received $2.07 million for his famous victory at Augusta National in April.
Fifth seed McIlroy, who will start at five under par, has PGA Tour career prize money of nearly $50 million, not to mention earnings on other tours and in sponsorship deals.
Among this week’s participants, Dustin Johnson leads career earnings with $61 million, while tour rookie Im Sung-jae is last with just under $3 million.
“If the FedEx Cup wants to create a legacy that lasts longer it doesn’t need to be about the money, it should be about the prestige of winning an event that you’ll be remembered for,” McIlroy said.
Federal Reserve policymakers were deeply divided over whether to cut interest rates last month but were united in wanting to signal they were not on a preset path to more cuts, a message not likely to sit well with US President Donald Trump.
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Rulani Mokwena says he understands what the CAF Champions League means to Orlando Pirates Football Club as they aim to overcome a first-leg deficit and stay alive in the preliminary stages of the competition.
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South Africa Rugby Union president Mark Alexander strongly believes that the Springboks are ready to go and compete for the upcoming 2019 Rugby World Cup starting next month in Japan.
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