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Ramaphosa gets warm welcome from ANC supporters in Umbumbulu, KZN
9 October 2021, 6:00 PM

African National Congress (ANC) President Cyril Ramaphosa has received a warm welcome in Umbumbulu south of Durban.

He was at the Nkangala sports ground as part of his two-day election campaign in KwaZulu-Natal.

Ramaphosa addressing ANC supporters in Umbumbulu:

Accompanied by provincial ANC chairperson Sihle Zikalala, Ramaphosa says people still believe in the ruling party.

He says the party is hopeful that they will retain the eThekwini metro in the upcoming local government election. Ramaphosa further says that while some may believe the ANC is on the verge of collapse, the party will prove them wrong by emerging stronger after the elections.

Ramaphosa says the party has chosen councillors who will put the needs of people first. South Africans go to the polls in local government elections on the first of November.

Ramaphosa committed the party to root out corruption.

Ramaphosa also said the ANC does not want people who are looking after their own interests but people who will put service delivery first.

US House Speaker Pelosi meets the Pope as abortion debate rages back home
9 October 2021, 5:40 PM

Pope Francis met on Saturday with US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Catholic who has come under criticism from some bishops in the United States for her support for abortion rights.

Their meeting took place several weeks before Joe Biden is expected to meet the Pope while the US president is in Rome for talks between leaders of the Group of 20 major economies.

Biden, the second Catholic US president, has said he is personally opposed to abortion but, as a politician, cannot impose his views.

Pelosi, who has five children, has said she supports a woman’s right to choose.

Biden’s administration and Pelosi have urged judges to block a new Texas law that bars abortions from six weeks, saying it is unconstitutional. The ban was temporarily reinstated on Friday by a conservative-leaning appeals court.

The Catholic Church teaches that human life begins at the moment of conception and Biden and Pelosi have been criticised by conservative Catholic media and US conservative bishops, some of whom say neither should be allowed to receive communion.

Last month the Pope, asked about the US communion debate, told reporters abortion is “murder”, even soon after conception, and appeared to criticise US Catholic bishops for dealing with the issue in a political rather than pastoral way.

“Communion is not a prize for the perfect … communion is a gift, the presence of Jesus and his Church”, the Pope said.

In June, a divided conference of US Roman Catholic bishops voted to draft a statement on communion that some bishops say should specifically admonish Catholic politicians, including Biden. They take up the issue again next month.

In a statement, Pelosi said the audience with the Pope was a”spiritual, personal and official honor”. She praised his defence of the environment, immigrants, refugees and the poor.

The Vatican announced Pelosi’s audience with the Pope in its daily bulletin but gave no details.

Hamilton vows maximum attack from 11th on the grid in Turkey
9 October 2021, 5:28 PM

Formula One championship leader Lewis Hamilton promised “maximum attack” in Sunday’s Turkish Grand Prix and would not rule out winning from 11th on the grid.

The Mercedes driver was quickest in qualifying at Istanbul Park but a 10-place penalty for exceeding his season’s engine allocation, a strategic move, left the Briton with plenty of overtaking to do in the race.

Hamilton won in Turkey last year, in wet and slippery conditions, after starting sixth.

He also stood out in his pre-F1 days when he roared back from 19th to second in a GP2 race in the dry in 2006.

This time he risks losing his championship lead unless he finishes ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who is two points adrift with seven races to go and lines up on the front row with Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas on pole.

“I was third already at turn one last year so that made a bit of a difference,” said Hamilton, now chasing a record eighth title.

“It’s a much different weekend, a much different track grip, so we’re faced with different circumstances this weekend,” he added.

“My eyes are still solely set on winning the race. It’s going to be very hard, from 11th, but not impossible … so just staying on my toes and making sure that we deliver maximum attack tomorrow.”

Hamilton has three other Red Bull drivers ahead of him on the grid, with Verstappen’s Mexican teammate Sergio Perez on the third row while Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda, from Red Bull’s sister team AlphaTauri, are fourth and ninth.

McLaren’s Lando Norris, who lines up seventh, said he expected to stay ahead of Hamilton for only a couple of laps.

“I’m not going to say I’m going to beat him because I’m not,” said the 21-year-old, who started on pole in Russia and nearly won.

Hamilton said he would just take it one step at a time, and had to get through the opening lap safely first from his midfield position.

“If I can be higher up early on, then great. I’ve got to stay out of trouble of course, and that will be probably my priority initially, and then see if it’s possible to pick them off one by one.”

Adele
Adele says she wrote upcoming album for her son
9 October 2021, 4:43 PM

Adele said she recorded her upcoming fourth album to explain her divorce to her young son, as the British singer prepares to make her musical comeback.

In what Vogue magazine said was her first interview in five years, the singer-songwriter described the record, which follows her 2015 Grammy Award-winning “25”, as “sensitive”.

The 33-year-old, who has split from charity executive Simon Konecki, appears on the November covers of Vogue and British Vogue, a first for the fashion magazine, with both editions running separate interviews.

“I just felt like I wanted to explain to him, through this record, when he’s in his twenties or thirties, who I am and why I voluntarily chose to dismantle his entire life in the pursuit of my own happiness,” Adele told British Vogue, referring to her nine-year-old son, Angelo.

“It made him really unhappy sometimes. And that’s a real wound for me that I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to heal.”

Adele, who has named her three albums after milestone ages -“19”, “21” and “25”, has enjoyed stratospheric success with ballads like “Someone Like You” and “Hello”, in which she sings about break-ups and regrets.

“It’s sensitive for me, this record, just in how much I love it,” Adele told Vogue.

On Tuesday, Adele posted a short video clip for her upcoming single “Easy On Me”, to be released on October 15.

Fans had speculated new Adele music was imminent after mysterious “30” signs were beamed on buildings around the world.

“When I was 30, my entire life fell apart and I had no warning of it,” Adele told British Vogue.

Adele, who lives across the street from Konecki and shares custody with him, also addressed her weight loss, which had made headlines.

“My body has been objectified my entire career. It’s not just now. I understand why it’s a shock,” she said.

“I understand why some women especially were hurt. Visually I represented a lot of women. But I’m still the same person.”

CASAC calls on smaller political parties to do more to attract private funding
9 October 2021, 3:17 PM

The Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC) says smaller parties have to market themselves to attract private funding.

Only three political parties; the Democratic Alliance (DA), the African National Congress (ANC) and ActionSA declared private donations over the R100 000 threshold. The Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC) first quarterly report recently revealed that DA received over R15-million, the ANC over R10-million and ActionSA received more than R3-million in private donations.

IEC releases political funding report:

CASAC Executive Secretary Lawson Naidoo says smaller parties can do more than just rely on the Multi-Party Democracy Fund.

“There has been little income flowing into that Multi-Party Democracy Fund so far. A lot more advocacy work needs to be done around that. As far as private funding of political party funding of political parties is concerned, that’s a competitive market. and parties can’t complain about not receiving private funding if they are not attracted or making themselves attractive to potential donors.”

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