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Nurse wounded by patient at Polokwane Provincial Hospital
23 August 2019, 8:36 PM

The Limpopo Health Department says a nurse who was shot and wounded by a patient earlier Friday evening, is recuperating well.

The patient allegedly shot and wounded the nurse at the Polokwane Provincial Hospital, before turning the gun on himself.

Health spokesperson Neil Shikwambana,”He’s stable, he’s OK. I was talking to the surgeons now they are busy with all other tests but unfortunately the patient took his life. When you look this is a patient who is being referred from our per referral hospitals. They come through our planned patient transport. When such vehicles come at the gate we usually do not search them, we are told its a legal gun. The police are busy with the work that they are doing. ”

Trump’s G7 attendance injects air of unpredictability around the event
23 August 2019, 8:30 PM

United States President Donald Trump will depart Washington for the French seaside town of Biarritz where he’ll attend this year’s summit of the Group of 7 industrialized nations.

Climate Change, instability in the world economic order and a new arms race between the world’s top nuclear powers are just some of the issues likely to dominate discussion among the leaders of countries who represent 58% of global net wealth and 46% of global gross domestic product.

President Trump’s attendance expected to inject an air of unpredictability into this year’s event – much as he did at the last summit of the G7 in Canada last year.

Diplomatic customs out of the window, this is a President who does things his way. Whether praising his adversaries or insulting his allies, there is no calibrating the brash style that President Trump has come to epitomize – whether at home or abroad. And again appears to be gearing up for a butting of heads in France if his comments on ISIS are anything to go by.

“We’re holding thousands of ISIS fighters right now. And Europe has to take them. And if Europe doesn’t take them I’ll have no choice but to release them into the countries from which they came which is Germany and France and other places because we, we beat them, we captured them. We’ve got thousands of them. And now as usual our allies say oh no we don’t want them. Even though they came from France and Germany and other places. So we’re going to tell them, that we’ve already told them, take these prisoners that we’ve captured because the United States is not going to put them in Guantanamo for the next 50 years and pay for it.”

Who could forget last year’s G7 meeting in Quebec, Canada, at the height of President Trump’s trade dispute with America’s northern neighbour when he accused Ottawa of being a national security threat. At the conclusion of the summit, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said they would not be pushed around and would respond with retaliatory measures on new proposed US tariffs.

President Trump, who by then had departed the meeting on Air Force One, saw the live remarks and tweeted his withdrawal from the final agreed summit communiqué. Trump’s recent comments on Russia are also unlikely to be well received at this year’s event.

“So it was the G8 for a long time, and now it’s the G7, and a lot of the time, we talk about Russia. We’re talking about Russia because I’ve gone to numerous G7 meetings. And I guess President Obama, because Putin outsmarted him, President Obama thought it wasn’t a good thing to have Russia in, so he wanted Russia out. But I think it’s much more appropriate to have Russia in. It should be the G8 because a lot of the things we talk about have to do with Russia. So, I could certainly see it being the G8 again, and if somebody would make that motion, I would certainly be disposed to think about it very favorably.”

Adding insult, a tweet from the President in late July expressing frustration over trade and tax issues with G7 host France, going as far as to threaten tariffs on French wine. “I’ve always said American wine is better than French wine” – from a President who doesn’t drink alcohol.

UN Chief Antonio Guterres is also expected in Biarritz this weekend and is hoping the focus moves beyond the personalities in the room.

UN Spokesperson Eri Kaneko says, “The SG will participate in sessions on climate change, Africa and inequalities and he’ll be in meetings with world leaders and will stress the need for political will for example ahead of his climate action summit but while he’s there he’s also at the G7 to listen and he hopes to listen to the views of the world leaders on all the topics of the day – not just climate change, sustainable development but also issues such as trade or arms control and disarmament. We welcome the Presidency of the G7, president Macron stressing the importance of multilateralism. The SG hopes the G7 will be a forum for world leaders to get together to move forward in addressing the challenges of the day.”

Early indications are that the summit will conclude without an agreed statement- the first time since the meetings began in 1975. And a United States President more inclined to accept responsibility for the deepening rifts as a badge of honour.

 

Busisiwe Mkhwebane
Mkhwebane accuses SABC of being biased in its reporting about her office
23 August 2019, 7:25 PM

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has accused the SABC of being biased in its reporting about her office.

Mkhwebane was speaking during a panel discussion titled, “How South Africa’s media told my story” at the launch of the University of the Western Cape’s (UWC) Media Society at its Bellville campus.


Mkhwebane says media houses are in collusion and have separated the person from the office she holds. She says she is not playing a victim when she says she is being unfairly portrayed in the media.

During her speech she blamed the media of having ulterior motives. She also accused the SABC of interrogating her during television interviews and not giving her office a chance to to tell their side of the story.

Gripen jet
Seriti Commission findings on arms deal set aside
21 August 2019, 10:50 AM

The High Court in Pretoria has ruled in favour of an application to review and set aside the findings of the Seriti Commission of Inquiry into the controversial arms deal.

Civil organisations, Right2Know (R2K) and Corruption Watch have argued that Judge Willie Seriti’s 2016 findings misled the public by exonerating politicians and public servants in wrongdoing during the arms deal saga. R2K says they believe the commission was selective in choosing who would testify or present evidence.

Judge President Dunstan Mlambo handed down the judgment.

Click below to watch court proceedings:

 

SA firmly believes that Palestine-Israel issue core to bringing peace to Middle East
21 August 2019, 5:43 AM

South Africa firmly believes that Palestine-Israeli question remains the core issue to peace and stability in the Middle East.

That was the view expressed by Pretoria’s envoy to the United Nations, during a Security Council debate on challenges to the maintenance of peace and security in the region. The meeting was also attended by United States Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, who accused Iran of fomenting terror and unrest in the region.

China – for its part – urged a reduction of tensions by removing power politics and bullying from engagement in the region.

Crises abound in the Middle East.

From the largest humanitarian emergency in the world in Yemen, to protracted conflicts in Syria, tensions in the Persian Gulf particularly over freedom of navigation, terrorist activities and the long-standing conflict between Israel and Palestine.

Ambassador Jerry Matjila says, “South Africa believes that in order to address the root causes of the peace and security challenges in the Middle East, the Council needs to display the necessary political will and good faith to resolve long standing and festering conflicts such as the question of Palestine, which has been a source of tension in the region for many decades. South Africa believes that only multilateral and collective actions and a continued commitment to preventative diplomacy and inclusive dialogue as to opposed confrontations and conflicts, will reduce such tensions, culminating in a more peaceful and prosperous region.”

South Africa joined a majority of countries that lamented the United States withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal – known as the JCPOA –urging Washington to reconsider its position.

UK Ambassador Karen Pierce, “While our efforts at multilateral solutions have not always worked out as well as we might have hoped, the alternative looks decidedly worse. Experience tells us that however imperfect, de-escalation and dialogue, political processes and support for the international rules based system are the best means to address tensions that risk undermining our collective interest in security, stability and prosperity. We know this is true around the world; it’s so true in the Middle East today.”

Russia warned that tensions in the Persian Gulf would have devastating consequences while China’s envoy Zhang Jun said it was firmly opposed to the threat or use of force.

“China is against external intervention, power politics and bullying. The issue of Palestine is are the core of the Middle East issue – it is the root problem in the Middle East. Maintaining legitimate Palestinian rights is the common responsibility of the International Community. The two-state solution is the only right way to address the Palestinian-Israeli issue.”

Secretary Pompeo said his government continued to work to revive America’s leadership role in the region while accusing Iran of creating instability.

Pompeo said,”The Islamic Republic of Iran and its proxies continue to foment terror and unrest in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen, with devastating humanitarian consequences. Since the US declared our intention to bring all Iranian oil purchases to zero in April, the Ayatollah has gone all-in on a campaign of extortion diplomacy.”

Several countries also reiterated calls for the strengthening of the multilateral and international rules based system as the only means to ensure progress in the Middle East.

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