Johannesburg, South Africa
Global food prices reached a historic high last month, a fact that may cause even the most comfortable of Americans to cinch in their belts and cut back on spending.
But what about the world’s poor?
“Global food prices are rising to dangerous levels and threaten tens of millions of poor people around the world,” World Bank Group President Robert Zoellick said Tuesday as he announced the bank’s findings that about 44 million people in developing countries have been pushed into poverty since Read more…
By Joshua Howat Berger
WESSELTON, South Africa — Police fired rubber bullets as protestors set alight tyres in a destitute South African township on Wednesday in a third day of demonstrations to demand jobs and improved services.
Riot police deployed into the streets of Wesselton, around 200 kilometres (124 miles) east of Johannesburg, to disperse protesters who also dragged the charred remains of Tuesday’s barricades back into the road.
However calm returned on the streets of the township after South African police commissioner Bheki Cele visited the area and warned residents that law enforcements officers will not tolerate any further violent protests.
“It is their constitutional right to participate in mass action without violence, if they do that then police can go home,” he told reporters.
“But it is not their right to burn tires, it is not their right to loot, it is not their right to injure and attack people. If they do that we (police) will respond accordingly. It looks for now we have agreed on that approach. I hope that approach stays that way.”
He said 160 police officers were deployed to Read more…
A South African man was arrested this weekend on suspicion of threatening to attack the United Kingdom and the United States with foot and mouth disease, the Associated Press reported today (see GSN, June 30, 2010).
Brian Roach, the owner of a Johannesburg-area engineering company, was apprehended on Saturday and brought into court today. The 64-year-old man allegedly warned the British government through e-mail and written communication that he planned to release the biological agent in the United Kingdom and the United States if he was not paid $4 million.
“We have the expertise and resources to do this very effectively and will be able to devastate the industry in the U.K. which will cost billions to the economy,” Roach said in an e-mail message sent to the British government. “We will devastate your farms and then we will then take the problem to Read more…
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — South Africa is reeling from unusually heavy rainfall that has caused flooding in many parts of the country, wiping out crops in what is the continent’s main breadbasket.
More than 120 people have been killed in the thunderstorms and flooding since mid-December, and some 20,000 people are in need of assistance. The South African government has declared disaster areas in eight of its nine provinces.
And it’s not over yet. Above-average rainfall is forecast for South Africa and neighboring countries for the next few months.
Much of southern Africa is now on flood alert, including Mozambique, where at least 13 people have died from floods and thousands have fled their homes for higher ground. Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia are also on alert for flooding.
While this is the annual rainy season in southern Africa, the heavier than usual rainfall has been blamed on La Nina, the weather pattern behind the severe flooding in other southern hemisphere countries including Australia, Brazil and the Philippines.
In South Africa, the government has put the flood damage at $211 million, but this is an early estimate and expected to rise. At least Read more…
At China’s invitation, South Africa is set to join the Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) group of emerging nations and will attend the first summit of the leading emerging economies in April this year. The group will thus be renamed the “BRICS,” but doubts remain over the suitability of the African nation to join the exclusive club of the fast-growing economies.
Lauding the Chinese decision to invite her country to the BRIC bloc, South Africa’s Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said the invitation was conveyed to her by China’s Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi. She said Chinese President Hu Jintao also sent an invitation to President Jacob Zuma to attend the third BRIC leaders’ summit to be held in China. Read more…