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Hungarians bake to keep ambulance staff going
2 March 2021, 8:48 AM

Hungarians are baking for ambulance workers across the country coping with a new surge in COVID-19 infections after the founder of an online cookery group asked a friend in the service how she could help.

“Before I could finish she said ‘oh we would love some cakes’,” Eszter Harmath said of the conversation that launched the nationwide movement.

“They often do rounds dressed in full protective gear and they can hardly sit down to eat in a normal way but the cakes are something they can take on the road.”

The initiative, born out of a modest kitchen in the small town of Szentendre, mirrors other efforts around the world where people have made face masks and hung them on trees or prepared hot meals for people struggling to make ends meet.

“It is not a shiny and perfect kitchen and I often cook with my son Gellert on my back,” Harmath said, her son watching eagerly as she kneaded dough for cheese scones.

Her “My Quarantine Kitchen” Facebook group now has 8 000 members, who exchange ideas and recipes that are not confined to baking.

“There have been some incredibly nice stories, it has been really heart-warming,” Harmath said, while also preparing cinnamon rolls for the ambulance workers, who face extra pressure in the coming days.

COVID-19 infections are expected to rise “drastically” in the next two weeks, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Friday when the daily tally rose to 4 668 cases, the highest this year.

“People are filled with good intentions to help but often can’t find a suitable way to do it,” Harmath said.

ANC to picket against racism following eNCA mask saga
2 March 2021, 6:06 AM

The governing ANC will conduct nationwide pickets against the scourge of racism.

They will be picketing at eNCA offices and other centres.

The governing party is upset over eNCA management’s defense of the organisation’s political journalist, Lindsay Dentlinger.

Dentlinger sparked a public uproar when video footage of her asking Black Members of Parliament to keep their masks on while she had allowed White MPs to speak on the broadcaster’s platform without wearing theirs went viral on social media.

Following public pressure for the company to comment, the 24-hour news broadcaster said Dentlinger’s conduct during the coverage of the Budget Speech was not racially motivated or with malicious intent.

Various quarters have slammed this as hogwash.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has written to the Speaker of the National Assembly, requesting that an urgent inquiry be instituted against the company and Dentlinger, while the the UDM Youth Vanguard has rejected eNCA’s response as disrespectful.

eNCA journalist under fire:

The organisation says it is arrogant of eNCA to find excuses to justify behaviour that continuously leaves the nation wounded.

It has called on the South African Human Rights Commission, the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA), the South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) and Parliament to hold the organisation accountable.

The Inkatha Freedom Party’s Mkhuleko Hlengwa has said he won’t be conducting any interviews with the broadcaster until it has revised its statement on the saga.

The President has told Sanef members that he was disturbed by Dentlinger’s conduct.

“We all learn we all make mistakes and let’s hope that this is what will continue to guide us as we deal with many issues in our country,” President Cyril Ramaphosa said during a Q&A session with the editors.

Civil rights group, #NotInMyNameInternational, has on the other hand called for the suspension or sacking of the journalist.

eNCA has told #NotInMyNameInternational that it was investigating the matter further.

Prince Harry tells Oprah he worried history would repeat itself
1 March 2021, 11:12 AM

Prince Harry, who shocked Britain last year when he and his wife Meghan stepped back from royal duties, told US interviewer Oprah Winfrey that he had worried about history repeating itself, according to excerpts released on Sunday.

The CBS broadcast network released two brief clips from Winfrey’s interview of the couple, which is scheduled to air on March 7. It is the first TV interview the couple, formally known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have given since making their homes in California last year.

“My biggest concern was history repeating itself,” Harry said, apparently referring to his mother Princess Diana, who was hounded by the British press and died at age 36 in a car crash in Paris after her divorce from Prince Charles.

Harry, 36, was seated next to Meghan, 39, and holding her hand. The couple announced this month that they are expecting their second child.

“I’m just really relieved and happy to be sitting her talking to you with my wife by my side,” Harry said. “Because I can’t imagine what it must have been like for her (Diana), going through this process by herself all those years ago.

“It’s been unbelievably tough for the two of us, but at least we had each other,” Harry added.

Prince Harry returned to the UK late year February to carry out one of his final engagements:

In the clips, Winfrey said that no subject was off limits and at one point tells the couple “you have said some pretty shocking things here,” including that their situation had been “almost unsurvivable.”

Before they moved to California, the couple had complained about the British tabloids’ treatment of Meghan, whose father is white and mother is African-American, some of which they said amounted to bullying or racism.

Earlier this month, Buckingham Palace announced that the couple would not be returning to their lives as working members of the royal family.

Chadwick Boseman wins Golden Globe for his emotional final movie role
1 March 2021, 6:08 AM

Chadwick Boseman was named best movie actor at the Golden Globe awards on Sunday, six months after his death at age 43 shocked fans around the world.

Boseman, best known for the superhero movie “Black Panther,” was awarded the Golden Globe for lead actor in a movie drama for his role as an ambitious trumpet player in 1920s jazz drama “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”

His widow, Simone Ledward Boseman, delivered a heart breaking speech while accepting the award through tears on Boseman’s behalf. “He would say something beautiful,” she said.

“Something inspiring. Something that would amplify that little voice inside of all of us that tells you.. you can. That tells you to keep going … and I don’t have his words.”

“Ma Rainey” was Boseman’s last film performance, and Sunday’s Golden Globe marked the biggest Hollywood award for Boseman in his career in film and television. He has also won posthumous awards for the “Ma Rainey” role from several movie critics groups but was never Oscar- or Golden Globe-nominated while he was alive.

Boseman died in August 2020, after a four-year battle with colon cancer.

John Kani pays tribute to Boseman:

In “Ma Rainey,” the screen adaptation of August Wilson’s stage play of the same name, Boseman plays trumpet player Levee, hungry for change, who clashes with blues singer Ma, played by Viola Davis, on a hot 1920s day in a Chicago recording studio. In one of the play’s key moments, Levee rails against God for turning his back on Black people in a speech that fellow cast members said gave them the chills when filming, even though they were unaware he was struggling with cancer. “Something very spiritual happened in that moment.

It was something you could not look away from. … It was an extraordinary moment. It was a terrifying moment as well,” actor Michael Potts said in an interview last year. Boseman is also nominated for a Screen Actors Guild award next month, and is widely expected to be a strong Oscar contender when nominations are announced in mid-March.

“And honey, you keep ’em coming,” Ledward Boseman said at the end of her Globes speech.

Dozens of leading Hong Kong democrats brace for national security charges to be laid
28 February 2021, 6:52 AM

Several dozen Hong Kong democrats are due to report to local police stations across the city on Sunday, with some expecting to be charged with breaches of national security as a crackdown on the democratic opposition intensifies.

Benny Tai, one of the organisers of an unofficial primary election last summer, said in an online post that there was a chance he would be “formally charged”.

Tai was arrested in a dawn raid along with more than 50 other democrats on Jan. 6 in the largest national security operation since the law’s passage last June.

They were accused of organising and participating in an unofficial “primary election” last July aimed at selecting the strongest candidates for a legislative council election.

The democrats were detained at the time, questioned, and some had their mobile phones and computers confiscated, but released pending further investigations.

Hong Kong opposition figures arrested under National Security Law:

“My chance of bail won’t be too great,” wrote Tai, who has been accused by Chinese authorities of being a key tactician for the pro-democracy movement in the former British colony.

Those also called in by Hong Kong police include John Clancey, a US citizen and human rights lawyer, as well as a group of younger “resistance camp” democratic activists including Lester Shum, Sam Cheung, Ventus Lau and Fergus Leung.

The democrats denounced the arrests as political persecution for the informal, peaceful poll that drew 600 000 votes in a city of 7.5 million.

A rights advocacy group, “Power for Democracy”, that co-organised the primary elections, said in a Facebook post on Friday that it had disbanded.

When contacted by Reuters, a local police spokeswoman would not immediately say whether the democracy advocates would be charged with breaching the national security law.

The Hong Kong police say 99 individuals have been arrested for suspected violations of the security laws so far.

Some of these have been denied bail, including media mogul and prominent China critic Jimmy Lai, despite protracted legal appeals.

The sweeping national security laws – seen by critics as a threat to Hong Kong’s freedoms and autonomy – punish acts of subversion, secession, collusion with foreign forces and terrorism with possible life imprisonment.

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