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Holocaust and genocide centre.
State-of-the-art holocaust, genocide centre opened in Johannesburg
17 March 2019, 11:31 AM

A state-of-the-art holocaust and genocide centre has been opened on Jan Smuts Avenue in Johannesburg on Sunday morning.

The Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre also focusses on human rights issues including xenophobia, racism and the promotion of social activism.

It seeks to raise awareness and serves as a memorial to the 6-million Jews who were killed in the Holocaust.

It took 10-years for the exhibition to finally open its doors to the public and it can be accessed free of charge.

Founder and director of the Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre Tali Nates says, “We took a long time to really think about what do we need here in SA and we decided first of all to tell the story of genocide, but not only about the history of genocide but the connections to today’s world. So you will see as you walk through the spaces that you connect to issues of choices of governments, of individuals to issues of refugees, to issues of gender, of xenophobia of racism.”

NFP members.
Two NFP members jump ship to join DA
17 March 2019, 11:03 AM

Two National Freedom Party (NFP) members in the National Assembly, Maliyakhe Shelembe and Scelo Mabika, have jumped the ship to join the Democratic Alliance (DA).

The two leaders appear on the DA’s list to the National Assembly.

Shelembe and Mabika are respectively former chairperson and deputy chairperson of the NFP.

The two had strained relations with the NFP after the party failed to contest the 2016 Municipal Elections while they were at the helm of the organisation.

Shelembe is higher on the DA list than long serving member Dianne Kohler-Barnard while Mabika is also higher on the list than DA MP Haniff Hoosen.

Bangladesh cricket team.
Bangladesh cricketers arrive home after Christchurch massacre
17 March 2019, 8:44 AM

The Bangladesh cricket team arrived home in Dhaka on Saturday, a day after narrowly escaping the mosque attack that killed 50 people in New Zealand.

At least 17 members of the Bangladesh cricket team drove up to Christchurch’s Masjid al Noor mosque in a bus to join Friday prayers when a gunman stormed the building, in what is thought to be the worst act of terror directed against Muslims in a Western country.

The team arrived at Dhaka airport late on Saturday, according to Bangladesh Cricket Board spokesman Rabeed Imam.

“The only thing I can say that we are very lucky,” skipper Mahmudllah Riyad told reporters after arrival.

“With all of your prayers… now we could return here alive. I cannot describe what is going inside us, what we have seen,” he added.”

“All of us in the team could not sleep properly. The only thing that popped up in our mind was how lucky we are.”

Mahmudllah also thanked the BCB and New Zealand Cricket for making arrangements to help them return home quickly.

The team was in Christchurch for their third and final Test match against the home side scheduled to begin Saturday, which was promptly cancelled to allow the cricketers to return home as soon as possible.

Team manager Khaled Mashud said players and staff on the bus watched as blood-soaked victims staggered from the building.

They stayed in the bus for eight to 10-minutes before leaving it after sensing danger, according to Mashud.

Bangladesh opening batsman Tamim Iqbal said it would be difficult for the national cricket team to overcome the shock of narrowly escaping the shooting.

“It will certainly take some time for us to get out of it after the experience we had here,” he told reporters at Christchurch airport, moments before the team left for Bangladesh.

“It is better that we are returning… because everyone’s family is worried. I just hope after returning home we can overcome it with the passing of time,” Tamim said.

Dhaka complained that players were not provided with any security when they travelled to the mosque.

“In future, whenever we send our cricket team abroad we will do that after examining and reviewing the security matters of the host countries,” Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said on Saturday, according to the state-run news agency BSS.

Australia’s cricket team cancelled a tour in Bangladesh in 2015, citing a lack of security, while the Australian Under-19 cricket team skipped ICC Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh in 2016 on the same ground.

England’s cricket team was provided security equal to that of a head of a state when they visited Bangladesh in 2016, months after one of the worst extremist attacks on foreigners in a Dhaka cafe.

Wales coach Warren Gatland.
Wales eye World Cup glory but injuries could cloud Japan picture
17 March 2019, 8:37 AM

Wales may seem Europe’s best hope of World Cup glory in Japan this year after winning the Six Nations with a Grand Slam, but injuries could yet play a part by the time the tournament starts in September.

The Welsh saved their Six Nations best for last, giving Warren Gatland his third Grand Slam as their coach with a 25-7 win over Ireland in Cardiff on Saturday.

It was a command performance by a Wales side who started this Six Nations by coming from 16-0 down at half-time to beat France in Paris and showed yet more resolve in overturning an interval deficit to beat England.

Wales are now the first European team to enter a World Cup as Grand Slam champions since England in 2003 – when Clive Woodward’s side became the only northern hemisphere winners of the global showpiece.

But Wales have yet to reach a World Cup final and if they are to triumph in Japan they will likely have to beat Gatland’s native New Zealand, the reigning champions – and no Wales side have defeated the All Blacks since 1953.

By contrast Ireland, whose own Kiwi coach Joe Schmidt is also standing down after the World Cup, beat New Zealand 16-9 in Dublin as recently as November.

It remains to be seen how Wales would cope if veteran captain and second row colossus Alun Wyn Jones was sidelined.

“I’m excited about the World Cup because you get that two or three months together as a side and you can prepare like a club side, you can go into skill work and skill development and really fine-tune your game,” said Gatland after Saturday’s success.

Gatland, who guided Wales to a 2011 World Cup semi-final loss to France and a quarter-final defeat by South Africa four years ago, added: “The two previous World Cups that I was involved in we were one of or the fittest teams. We’ll be in pretty good shape for this one as well.”

Questions over England’s resolve, raised by Gatland following a 21-13 defeat by Wales last month, returned with a remarkable 38-38 draw against Scotland at Twickenham on Saturday.

England, astonishingly, blew a 31-0 lead on home turf – something impossible to imagine New Zealand doing at their Eden Park fortress in Auckland.

England, who have a large pool of players to pick from, will hope the likes of lock Maro Itoje return from injury.

Itoje, however, is one of several England regulars, including captain Owen Farrell, who play for Premiership champions Saracens.

The London club will likely have more fixtures – and so more chance of injuries – as they continue their quest for both domestic and European glory this season.

And even if they are physically fit, can England improve their composure between now and the World Cup?

“You want these sorts of lessons before you go to the World Cup,” said England coach Eddie Jones.

“Because you do that in the pool game against Tonga, for instance, then you can find yourselves in a difficult situation going forward,” added Jones, who was in charge of his native Australia when they were beaten by England in the 2003 final.

Ireland have yet to get beyond the quarter-finals of any World Cup.

They must also cope with the nagging suspicion they peaked in 2018 when Ireland completed a Grand Slam before beating the All Blacks.

“We haven’t been catastrophic, but we haven’t been as good as we needed to be,” said Schmidt after Saturday’s defeat.

France have often put poor European form behind them at a World Cup – and in 2011 they even suffered two pool defeats before an agonising 8-7 loss to hosts New Zealand in the final.

They got past perennial strugglers Italy 25-14 in Rome on Saturday for just their second win this Six Nations but France coach Jacques Brunel insisted: “I said it from the beginning, the World Cup is a completely different competition, reduced to four decisive matches (in pools), history has shown it to us many times.”

Scotland were just one controversial penalty decision away from a World Cup semi-final four years ago before losing to Australia.

They should make the quarter-finals again in Japan, but further progress would be a major achievement.

Paris residents touching and looting shops.
As Paris demonstrations burn, Trump tries a told-you-so
17 March 2019, 7:55 AM

After hooded rioters torched and looted shops in Paris‘ fabled tourist areas, President Donald Trump took aim at France suggesting its climate policy was to blame.

“How is the Paris Environmental Accord working out for France?” Trump, who is unconvinced of climate change despite years of scientific consensus, asked on Twitter.

“After 18 weeks of rioting by the Yellow Vest Protesters, I guess not so well! In the meantime, the United States has gone to the top of all lists on the Environment,” Trump said.

It was the second time Trump has used the example of the movement, which began in November over fuel tax hikes and grew into a rebellion against Macron’s policies, in support of his environmental policies.

In December, the US president also stated, without citing evidence, that some of the protesters were found chanting “We Want Trump!”

“We do not take domestic American politics into account and we want that to be reciprocated,” Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told LCI television at the time.

“I say this to Donald Trump and the French president says it too: leave our nation be.”

Saturday’s participation level in Paris was seen as a test of the on-going strength of the movement.

In recent weeks, the protests have shrunk. But the interior ministry estimated the turnout in Paris Saturday at 10 000, out of around 32 300 nationwide.

French President Emmanuel Macron cut short a skiing trip in the Pyrenees to return to Paris for a crisis meeting, vowing to take strong action.

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