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Michael McGlynn wins men’s aQuelle Midmar Mile, Michelle Weber scoops the women’s race
7 March 2021, 12:58 PM

Michael McGlynn has won the men’s elite race in this year’s aQuelle Midmar Mile.

The format of the popular open water swimming race was forced to change this year due to inconclusive discussions between the race organisers and KwaZulu-Natal Ezemvelo Widlife, which owns the race facility.

The annual Midmar Mile draws hundreds of local amateur and professional open water swimmers.

Danie Marais came in second and Connor Buck third.

In the women’s elite race, Michelle Weber scooped the win, followed by Tori Earle in second and Carli Antonopoulos in third place.

Amateur swimmers that make up the bulk of this popular race will be competing for their mile virtually, some in the comfort of their own home swimming pools.

 

Busisiwe Mkhwebane
ANC in parly yet to comment on reports about instructing MPs not to vote with opposition on Mkhwebane
7 March 2021, 12:11 PM

The ANC in Parliament is yet to comment on reports that Luthuli House has instructed the party’s Members of Parliament not to vote with the opposition in the envisaged inquiry into the Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office.

The latest developments follow Parliament’s establishment of an independent panel that has found prima facie evidence of incompetence and misconduct on the part of Mkhwebane.

The National Assembly has since announced that it will decide before the end of this month on whether to proceed with the impeachment process against Mkhwebane.

ANC Women’s League last week issued a statement calling for its members not to vote with those who are against the removal of the Public Protector from office.

Last week, Mkhwebane said she’s confident she will be cleared of any wrongdoing.

Her spokesperson Oupa Segalwe spoke to Morning Live about the matter: 

Former Constitutional Court Justice, Johann Kriegler, says he strongly believes Parliament should act against  Mkhwebane.

Kriegler says, “Independent panel acting in terms of the rules of Parliament has produced a report. I have seen their recommendations, they are perfectly clear. The Portfolio Committee should now take the matter to the floor of the house with a motion for the impeachment for the dismissal of Advocate Mkhwebane.”

The DA has also called on Parliament to immediately start proceedings against Mkhwebane.

 

Fernandes brushes off criticism over his performances against top Premier League clubs
7 March 2021, 10:37 AM

Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes has brushed off criticism over his performances against the Premier League’s top clubs, saying his impact should not be judged solely on goals and assists.

Fernandes has made a big impression after joining from Sporting Lisbon last year, with 34 goals and 21 assists in all competitions.

But the Portugal international has netted just once across seven league games against Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea this season.

“I don’t know what people mean by ‘top six’, because the teams are in top six in the table,” Fernandes told Sky Sports.

“I score and assist against some of them. I scored this season against Tottenham. But some people say penalties don’t count! I know people expect Bruno to score or assist in every game. I want to do that. But as a player, I don’t look for big six or the rest of the league. I look for every game in the same way.”

He says, “…They’re expecting just goals and assists, and not performances. They don’t care about ball recovery or how many chances I create, because I can create 10 chances but if I don’t score, people will say Bruno didn’t play very well.”

Despite the criticism, Fernandes is relishing the pressure of being the team’s talisman.

“I can have that pressure on my back. I’m sure in some moments, I will score, assist, and I will perform. And that will help my team-mates to win,” he said.

United are third in the table on 51 points from 27 games, 14 points behind runaway leaders Manchester City, who they visit later on Sunday.

Thousands of protesters out in full force on Myanmar streets after overnight raids
7 March 2021, 7:46 AM

Tens of thousands of people came out in Myanmar on Sunday in one of the biggest days of protest against last month’s coup despite overnight raids by security forces in the main city Yangon on campaign leaders and opposition activists.

Police fired tear gas and stun grenades in Lashio town in the country’s northern Shan region, according to live video posted on Facebook.

A witness said police opened fire to break up a protest in the historic temple town of Bagan but it was not clear if they were using rubber bullets or live ammunition.

There were no immediate reports of casualties. Protests in half a dozen other cities were peaceful.

The biggest turnout was in Myanmar’s second city, Mandalay, where activists staged a sit-in protest after two minutes of silence in honour of people killed by police and the army, video showed.

The United Nations says security forces have killed more than 50 people to stamp out the daily demonstrations and strikes in the Southeast Asian nation since the military overthrew and detained elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1.

“They are killing people just like killing birds and chickens,” one protest leader said to the crowd in Dawei, in the country’s south.

“What will we do if we don’t revolt against them? We must revolt.”

Protests were also held in at least three places in Yangon, where residents said soldiers and police moved into several districts overnight, firing shots.

They arrested at least three in Kyauktada Township, residents there said. They did not know the reason for the arrests.

“They are asking to take out my father and brother. Is no one going to help us? Don’t you even touch my father and brother? Take us too if you want to take them,” one woman screamed as two of them, an actor and his son, were led off.

Soldiers also came looking for a lawyer who worked for Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy but was unable to find him, a member of the now-dissolved parliament, Sithu Maung, said in a Facebook post.

Reuters was unable to reach police for comment. A junta spokesman did not answer calls requesting comment.

“PUNCHED AND KICKED”

Well over 1,700 people have been detained under the junta by Saturday, according to figures from the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners advocacy group.

It did not give a figure for overnight detentions.

“Detainees were punched and kicked with military boots, beaten with police batons and then dragged into police vehicles,” AAPP said in a statement.

“Security forces entered residential areas and tried to arrest further protesters, and shot at the homes, destroying many.”

Myanmar authorities said on Saturday they had exhumed the body of 19-year-old Kyal Sin, who has become an icon of the protest movement after she was shot dead in Mandalay on Wednesday wearing a T-shirt that read “Everything will be OK”.

State-run MRTV said a surgical investigation showed she could not have been killed by police because the wrong sort of projectile was found in her head and she had been shot from behind, whereas police were in front.

Photographs on the day showed her head turned away from security forces moments before she was killed.

Opponents of the coup accused authorities of an attempted cover-up.

The killings have drawn anger in the West and have been condemned by most democracies in Asia.

The United States and some other Western countries have imposed limited sanctions on the junta.

China, meanwhile, has said the priority should be stability and that other countries should not interfere.

Protesters demand the release of Suu Kyi and the respect of November’s election – which her party won in a landslide but which the army rejected.

The army has said it will hold democratic elections at an unspecified date.
Israeli-Canadian lobbyist Ari Ben-Menashe, hired by Myanmar’s junta, told Reuters the generals are keen to leave politics and seek to improve relations with the United States and distance themselves from China.

He said Suu Kyi had grown too close to China for the generals’ liking.

Ben-Menashe said he had also been tasked with seeking Arab support for a plan to repatriate Rohingya refugees, hundreds of thousands of whom were driven from Myanmar in 2017 in an army crackdown after rebel attacks.

Mozambique expects to vaccinate 16 million against COVID-19 by 2022
7 March 2021, 6:44 AM

Mozambique expects to inoculate 16 million high-risk people against the coronavirus by 2022, says a top government health official.

Mozambique will begin COVID-19 vaccinations on Monday after receiving a donation of 200 000 doses from the China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) last week.

The government initiative aims to inoculate about 60 000 health workers in the country of about 30 million.

“We will do everything so that the entire eligible population is vaccinated by 2022,” said Deputy National Director of Health, Benigna Matsinhe, on Friday.

He acknowledged it will take time given Mozambique’s financial difficulties.

In a more optimistic scenario, the vaccination target could be reached by the end of the first quarter of 2022 and in a more conservative scenario by the end of next year, Matsinhe added.

In addition to the donation from China, the low-income southern African nation will also receive 100 000 shots from India as a donation.

In January, President Filipe Nyusi said Mozambique had applied for vaccines through the global distribution program COVAX, co-led by the World Health Organization, giving it the option to acquire doses for at least 20% of its population.

Mozambique has recorded 61 529 coronavirus infections with 680 deaths during the year-long pandemic.

 

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