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David Makhura
Those who try to remove Ramaphosa will fail: Makhura
17 February 2020, 12:00 AM

Gauteng African National Congress (ANC) Provincial Chairperson David Makhura says those who try to remove party president Cyril Ramaphosa will fail.

Makhura says there are people trying to divide the ANC in Gauteng. He stated that the ANC will resist those trying to cause anarchy at the ANC National General Council.

“We can’t be a province that is a playground of rascals, anarchists and people who don’t want to work in the organizational processes. We can’t be that type of a province. Gauteng can’t be a playground of people who think the organization doesn’t matter and they matter more; they organize themselves outside structures all the time, Gauteng can’t be the playground of such people.”

Makhura stamping his authority on the ANC in Gauteng, saying the priority is to restore law and order in the party’s structures and get rid it of factionalism, patronage and corruption.

“We are not going to allow these comrades, we are not going to allow this, you will have to remove me to do that, if you want to cause chaos in Gauteng you will have to remove me.”

A hard-hitting Makhura says the upcoming National General Council of the ANC will not tolerate anarchy and those trying to remove Party President.

“All I will say to you is that they will not succeed, whether they are planning or not they will not succeed. I say that with certainty because I know the ANC in this province and you heard the mood, we are the leadership of the ANC here. In Gauteng all i can tell you is that people can caucus and meet in corners, they will not succeed.”

The ANC’s National General Council will take place the middle of 2020.

It’s largely expected that factions opposed to Ramaphosa will call for his head and try to outmanoeuvre the party’s leadership.

Click video below:  David Makhura briefing structures of the ANC.

Billie Eilish
Billie Eilish releases theme to forthcoming James Bond film ‘No Time to Die’
16 February 2020, 4:00 AM

American teen pop sensation Billie Eilish, fresh off her big Grammy Awards victory and an Oscar night performance, has released her much-anticipated official theme song to the forthcoming James Bond film “No Time to Die.”

The four-minute ballad, a haunting song of betrayal and despair co-written by Eilish and her older brother, Finneas, and performed to an orchestral arrangement, was posted on Thursday to YouTube and various music streaming sites.

The recording, itself titled “No Time to Die,” was produced by Finneas with a musical arrangement by Hans Zimmer and Matt Dunkley. The track, released by Eilish’s Interscope Records/Darkroom label, includes veteran British session musician Johnny Marr on guitar.

Eilish, 18, becomes the youngest artist ever to write and record a James Bond theme song, following in the footsteps of such stars as Adele, Madonna and Paul McCartney.

The song’s foreboding lyrics more than suggest a romance that meets with a decidedly unhappy ending, as Eilish sings in a chorus:

The movie “No Time to Die,” the 25th title in the James Bond motion picture franchise, is due to arrive in theaters in April, with Daniel Craig resuming his title role as the British secret agent for a fifth and final time.

Eilish is slated to perform the theme song live for the first time at the Brit Awards in London February 18, ahead of the March 9 launch of her North American arena tour, Interscope said in a statement.

 

Bryant named Basketball Hall of Fame finalist, three weeks after death
16 February 2020, 4:00 AM

Three weeks after Kobe Bryant, one of the most dominant players in NBA history, was killed with his daughter and seven others in a helicopter crash, the global sports icon was named a finalist to the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Bryant, fourth all time in NBA scoring, played for the Los Angeles Lakers during an illustrious 20-year career that was highlighted by five NBA championships, two NBA Finals MVPs and one league MVP.

The announcement came during the NBA All-Star weekend in Chicago, which culminates on Sunday with an exhibition game featuring the sport’s best players. The three-day event is likely to be muted as the National Basketball Association pays homage to the fallen star.

“I’ve never seen in my long life an athlete passing that had the impact that Kobe’s passing had on people, people on the street, people that didn’t even know him,” said Jerry Colangelo, chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, after the announcement was made.

“In my case it was personal… so much more difficult for me and family,” said Colangelo, a long-time NBA executive who was inducted in the Hall of Fame in 2004.

Bryant won nine All-Defensive First Team honors, four All-Star Game MVP awards and a Slam Dunk Contest title. Bryant also sits as the Lakers’ all-time leader in several categories, including games played and steals.

Bryant wore the No. 24 and No. 8 during his career. Both numbers are retired by the Lakers with his jerseys hanging from the Staples Center rafters.

Joining Bryant as finalists were former NBA stars Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and Chris Bosh, along with former Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) stars Swin Cash and Tamika Catchings.

Venezuela holds military exercises as Maduro attempts to show force
16 February 2020, 3:00 AM

Venezuela’s military on Saturday held exercises that deployed civilian militia and armored vehicles in the capital Caracas and around the country, an effort by President Nicolas Maduro to show strength as Washington prepares to escalate sanctions.

Maduro accuses the United States of preparing an invasion of the OPEC nation, which in 2017 United States (US) President Donald Trump described as a possibility. Since last year the United States has ramped up economic sanctions against his government.

The exercises were launched days after Maduro formally incorporated the civilian reserve, a group of some 4 million volunteers with limited military training, into the armed forces alongside the army, navy, air force and National Guard.

“We have proven the level of command and control of the Bolivarian militia, complemented by the National Bolivarian Armed Forces,” said Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino in statements broadcast on state television.

In one exercise seen by Reuters along a highway in eastern Caracas, a group of several hundred people including soldiers and militia members participated in a 10-minute drill that involved blocking “invaders” from entering the capital.

They were joined by civilian members of the ruling Socialist Party dressed in red shirts who served as look-outs, while soldiers drove armored vehicles.

The “invaders” were represented by a group of cars that blocked the highway.

Over 6000 bodies found in Burundi’s mass graves
16 February 2020, 2:00 AM

Burundi’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission has found more than 6000 bodies in six mass graves in Karusi Province, the largest finding since the government launched a nationwide excavation in January.

The commission chairman Pierre Claver Ndayicariye told journalists on Friday that the remains of 6.032 victims as well as thousands of bullets were recovered. Clothes, glasses and rosaries were used to identify some of the victims.

The tiny East African nation is struggling to come to terms with a violent past, characterized by suffered colonial occupation, civil war and decades of intermittent.

Referring to a massacre which is believed to have targeted people from the Hutu ethnic group, Ndayicariye said families of the victims were able to “break the silence” that was imposed 48 years ago.

Burundi’s population is divided between the Tutsi and Hutu ethnic groups. The civil war – which killed 300,000 people before it ended in 2005 – had ethnic overtones.

The government-run commission was set up in 2014 to investigate atrocities from 1885, when foreigners arrived in Burundi, until 2008, when a stalled peace deal to end the civil war was fully implemented.

So far it has mapped over 4000 mass graves across the country and identified more than 142 000 victims of violence.

Its mandate does not cover most of the rule of the current president, Pierre Nkurunziza, who took office in 2005.

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