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India team
India grab test series victory against Australia
7 January 2019, 6:15 AM

India won a test series in Australia for the first time when the rain disrupted the fourth match petered out in a draw with no play possible at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Monday.

Wins in Adelaide and Melbourne had given Virat Kohli‘s side a 2-1 lead going into the final test and a draw was enough to secure a break-through that had eluded all previous Indian touring parties for 71 years.

The draw looked assured after India scored 622 for seven declared in their first innings. Australia were forced to follow on after being dismissed for 300 and made six without loss in their second innings.

Wet weather forced an early finish on day three and allowed less than two hours play on day four before washing out the final day on Monday.

ER24
Man airlifted from Table Mountain with broken leg
7 January 2019, 5:59 AM

A Cape Town man has been airlifted from Table Mountain with a broken leg. ER24 spokesperson Ross Campbell says the man, who is a volunteer with the Wilderness Search & Rescue team, was walking up the Constantia Nek trail when he slipped and broke his leg.

ER24 paramedics met the helicopter in the Kirstenbosch Gardens late Sunday afternoon for a transfer through to Victoria Hospital in Wynberg.

Faroe Petroleum
Oil company DNO achieved increase in Faroe Petroleum
4 January 2019, 12:09 PM

Norwegian oil company DNO has achieved another slight increase to its stake in Faroe Petroleum, it said on Friday as it continues its battle for control of the British business.

DNO’s combined ownership and bid acceptances now stand at 43.8%, up from about 43% on Thursday but still short of a controlling stake in London-listed Faroe.

It had previously required backing from 57.5% of Faroe shareholders to take control but that fell to 50% on Thursday after it lifted its holding sufficiently to turn the bid from voluntary to mandatory and thus subject to take over regulation requiring a lower threshold.

Faroe separately reiterated its view on Friday that the 610 million pound ($772 million) offer was inadequate, under valuing the North Sea portfolio that DNO covets as it seeks to expand its operations, which are primarily based in the Middle East.

A report by oil industry analysts Gaffney Cline &Associates, first released by Faroe on Wednesday, valued the Aberdeen-based company’s shares at between 186 and 225 pence, a premium of up to 48% on DNO’s offer price of 152 pence.

DNO’s shares traded up 4% by 0843, supported by a 1.6% increase in the price of crude oil, while Faroe shares rose 0.5% to 154 pence.

Faroe shareholders have set a deadline of January the 8th to decide whether to accept DNO’s bid.

Matric exam
DA says learners are lost with ANC’s education system
4 January 2019, 10:21 AM

The Democratic Alliance (DA) says nearly half of the learners who enrolled in Grade 1 in 2007, didn’t write the full-time matric exams in 2018. The party says these learners are either stuck repeating grades or being lost to what it says is the African National Congress’s failing education system.  The DA’s Shadow Minister of Basic Education, Nomsa Marchesi was commenting on the latest matric results announced last night.

“We must also confront the shocking truth which is the matric pass rate which is thirty seven point six percent if you include the number of 2016 Grade 10s who actually passed matric in 2018. These Grade 10s should be celebrating but unfortunately they’ve been lost within the system, which means that more than half didn’t write matric, which means only thirty seven point six percent of these Grade 10s passed matric,” says Marchesi.

 

 

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador
Mexico bank files a suit with Supreme Court against a law backed by President
4 January 2019, 9:57 AM

Mexico’s central bank said it has filed a suit with the Supreme Court over a law backed by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador that caps public sector salaries, in the latest challenge to the new-leftist leader’s populist agenda.

The Bank of Mexico said in a statement late on Thursday they had filed the suit in order for the court to rule on whether the new law compromised its constitutionally-guaranteed independence.

Lopez Obrador took office in December and is pushing through a raft of cost-cutting measures to fund increased social spending and infrastructure projects.

Recent moves by his government and leftist majority in Congress have rattled financial markets but Lopez Obrador has repeatedly stressed that he will respect the central bank’s autonomy.

Citing risks to inflation from new policies, policymakers at the bank hiked interest rates in November and December. Taking rates to an over 10-year high and saddling the new government with higher borrowing costs.

The central bank said in its statement that some of its employees had filed their own injunctions against the new law and that it would follow court rulings on those suits.

Lopez Obrador cut his own salary to 40 percent of what his predecessor earned, to around $5,500 per month, well-below salaries that high level bureaucrats were being paid. The law would cap public sector salaries at the same level he is getting.

Earlier this week, the country’s anti-trust agency also filed suit over the law, claiming its investigators qualified as technical experts who are an exception under the new rules.

In early December, the Supreme Court issued a suspension of the law until it had made a definitive ruling after opposition lawmakers filed a challenge.

Lopez Obrador is set to name two new members to the central bank’s five member board soon and he will be able to replace all but one deputy governor during his six year term.

He has said he will nominate left-leaning economist Gerardo Esquivel, who was first tapped as Lopez Obrador’s deputy finance minister and independent economist Jonathan Heath to the board but he has yet to formally name them for Senate approval.

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