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Justin Bieber, Lil Nas X take top prizes at Video Music Awards
13 September 2021, 6:12 AM

Rapper Lil Nas X and pop star Justin Bieber won the top prizes at MTV’s annual Video Music Awards (VMA) show on Sunday, in a ceremony packed with surprise appearances, live performances and thousands of masked fans.

Newcomer Olivia Rodrigo and K-pop band BTS were also among the big winners at the first major awards shows in New York to be held with a full audience of fans and celebrities since the coronavirus pandemic

Bieber, 27, returned to the VMA stage for the first time in six years and took home Moon Person statuettes for artist of the year and best pop for his single “Peaches.”

“Music is such an amazing outlet to be able to reach people and to be able to bring us all together,” said Bieber, referring to the dark days of the pandemic.

Last year the VMAs took place in New York without a live audience and with most performances recorded in advance because of the pandemic.

Lil Nas X, 22, a gay, black musician who had a breakout hit with “Old Town Road” two years ago, won video of the year for his gay rights anthem “Montero (Call Me By Your Name).”

“Let’s go gay agenda!” said the musician, accepting the award.

Alicia Keys sang “Empire State of Mind” outdoors against the backdrop of the New York City skyline, while Doja Cat, Ed Sheeran, veteran New York rapper Busta Rhymes, Camila Cabello, Shawn Mendes and Machine Gun Kelly were among those on stage.

Four suspects to appear in court for the murder of Limpopo taxi owner
13 September 2021, 6:00 AM

Four suspects arrested for the murder of a taxi owner and his partner will appear before the Bolobedu Magistrate’s court in Limpopo on Monday.

Police spokesperson Motlafela Mojapelo say the suspects aged between 30 and 40 were arrested in Tzaneen in Limpopo and Tembisa in Gauteng last Friday.

The suspects allegedly shot and killed taxi owner, Fourie Maphayi and his partner, Deborah Moila in Mohlabaneng Cross outside Tzaneen last month.

Mojapelo says one suspect was arrested in Tzaneen while the other three in Gauteng.

“The provincial team of detectives that was established to investigate the taxi related violence in the Bolobedu area succeeded in arresting four suspects for alleged murder of taxi owner Mr Fourie Maphayi and his companion Ms Deborha Moila at Mohlabaneng cross last month. One of the suspects was arrested in Tzaneen the other three were arrested in Tembisa, Gauteng province.”

Corruption, maladministration continue to challenge African countries: Dr Moeti
13 September 2021, 5:46 AM

The World Health Organisation (WHO) Sub-Saharan Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti says Africa loses $88 billion each year through illicit financial flows which could have been injected into the continent’s economies for sustainable development.

Delivering the 21st annual Steve Biko lecture, she says with stronger political will to address corruption and maladministration, African countries would be able to successfully maintain their nations and gain negotiating power on the global stage.

Ant-apartheid activist Biko was killed in police custody 44 years ago.

The 21st Steve Biko Memorial Lecture:

However, Moeti says the COVID-19 pandemic has helped some African leaders realise opportunities for self-sufficiency.

She has commended South Africa for standing up to open the first mRNA vaccine hub in Africa.

Doctor Moeti says being able to create and build for one’s own people is a principle of black consciousness.

She says for South Africa to go ahead with the hub in Cape Town without commitment from big pharmaceutical companies, shows the continent’s dedication to eventually rely on itself.

 

Afghanistan commercial flights resume
10 September 2021, 8:00 PM

The first international commercial flight under Afghanistan’s new Taliban interim government departed Kabul on Thursday carrying more than 100 foreigners, including some United States (US) citizens left behind after last month’s chaotic Western airlift.

The flight marked an important step in the Taliban’s efforts to create a functioning state after they seized power last month, although there were growing reports of violence against women, foreigners and journalists.

UN Special Envoy on Afghanistan Deborah Lyons told the Security Council that non-governmental organisations supporting women were being targeted, women’s freedoms had been restricted and the United Nations’ Afghan staff were being harassed and intimidated.

“The UN cannot conduct its work,  work that is so essential to the Afghan people. Its personnel are subjected to intimidation, fear for their lives, and cannot move freely,” Lyons told the Security Council.

NATO reaches out to Taliban in Afghanistan:

An internal UN security document seen by Reuters on August 25 described dozens of incidents including veiled threats, the looting of UN offices and physical abuse of staff since August 10, five days before the Taliban swept to power.

Senior US diplomat Jeffrey DeLaurentis told the Security Council the United States was “outraged at reports that members of the Taliban have engaged in reprisals against UN staff throughout the country. This is simply unacceptable.”

The harassment of UN staff came as the country was in danger of “a total breakdown of the economy and social order” without an infusion of money, Lyons said.

She also said there were rising reports of the Taliban imposing curbs on women similar to those when they ruled from 1996 to 2001, despite a promise by leaders to respect women’s rights in accordance with sharia.

Court rules that Mugabe’s remains should be exhumed and reburied at National Heroes Acre
10 September 2021, 7:51 PM
Former Zimbabwean first lady, Grace Mugabe has lost an appeal to keep her late husband former president Robert Mugabe buried at his homestead in Kutama.

A magistrate court has ruled in favour of a traditional court’s decision that Mugabe’s remains should be exhumed and reburied at the National Heroes Acre.  Mugabe died in 2019 aged 95.

In May 2021, a traditional court in Kutama ruled that Grace Mugabe has gone against the customs and traditions when she buried the elderly statesman at the homestead.

The court fined her five cattle and a goat for a cleansing ceremony. When Mugabe died in 2019, it was expected he’d be laid to rest in a special grave next to his mother and his first wife.
However, a fallout with the government during the days of mourning saw Grace Mugabe refuse the official funeral rites, insisting her husband wanted to be buried at his home village.
The former first lady is expected to lodge another appeal in a higher court to avoid the exhumation.

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