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Liquor Traders raises concerns over the continued restrictions of the sale of alcohol
20 September 2020, 1:34 PM

The National Liquor Traders Council says it’s concerned about continued restrictions on the sale of alcohol.

A few days ago President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the country would move to Alert Level one of the national lockdown during which alcohol will be sold between Monday and Friday at nine o’clock in the morning and five o’clock in the evening.

Restrictions on the sale of alcohol during the lockdown have been a bone of contention between government and industry stakeholders.

The council’s convenor Lucky Ntimane says they will engage government over their reservations. The new regulations will take effect from midnight tonight.

Below is an interview with Maurice Smithers who is the Director of the Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance and Lucky Ntimane, a representative from the Alcohol Industry, on the alcohol restrictions:

Liquor industry supports government’s fight against alcohol abuse

The alcohol industry has come out in full support of government’s fight against alcohol abuse.

The industry has collectively condemned the death of three Tshwane Metro Police officers at the weekend in a collision involving an alleged drunk driver who also died in the crash.

The alcohol industry includes the National Liquor Traders Council, South African Liquor Brand Owners Association (SALBA), the Beer Association of South Africa and the National Liquor Traders Council.

It plans to implement programmes to promote the responsible consumption of alcohol.

In the statement below, SALBA says they industry will support legislative and enforcement measures to reduce drinking and driving capacitating law enforcement with resources to effectively enforce it:

 

‘I’m not perfect,’ says Djokovic after losing cool at Italian Open
20 September 2020, 1:06 PM

Less than two weeks after being disqualified from the US Open, Novak Djokovic’s frustration boiled over once again as he smashed his racket in a fit of rage during his 6-3 4-6 6-3 win over Dominik Koepfer in the Italian Open quarter-finals on Saturday.

The top-ranked Serb was broken to love in the sixth game of the second set following which he threw his racket on the ground, drawing a warning from the chair umpire.

“Well, let me tell you it’s not the first nor the last racket that I’ll break in my career,” Djokovic, 33, told reporters. “I have done it before, I’ll probably do it again. I don’t want to do it, but when it comes, it happens.”

“That’s how I guess I release sometimes my anger. And it’s definitely not the best message out there, especially for the young tennis players looking at me. I don’t encourage that, definitely. But, look, we’re all people. We all do our best. There were times and periods when I don’t do that, and there are periods when I do,” he said.

The Serb was disqualified from the US Open after inadvertently hitting a ball into a line judge’s throat during his fourth-round match against Pablo Carreno Busta.

Djokovic, who apologised at the time and vowed to take away valuable lessons from the incident, reiterated that he was working on his “mental and emotional health” to try and help keep a lid on his emotions.

“It’s always been part of my, I guess, training and recovery, as well, developing strong character and understanding myself on different levels, holistic approach to life,” the 17-time Slam champion said.

“That’s just me. Of course, I’m not perfect. I’m doing my best.”

Djokovic, who faces Norway’s Casper Ruud in the semi-finals, will fancy his chances of sealing a record 36th Masters 1000 crown following nine-time champion Rafa Nadal’s shock exit at the hands of Diego Schwartzman.

Nothing significant is likely to come out of Gauteng ANC PEC meeting: Prof Lesiba Teffo
20 September 2020, 12:10 PM

Political analyst Professor Lesiba Teffo says nothing significant is likely to come out of the Gauteng African National Congress Provincial Executive Committee meeting which is under way this weekend.

The meeting is considering the provincial Integrity Commission’s report on the R125-million tender for the supply of Personal Protective Equipment.

In its report, the commission found that Gauteng Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku failed to practice adequate oversight of the PPE contracts that his department had awarded.

Masuku, his wife Loyiso Masuku and Presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko have taken leave of absence after being implicated in the tender.

The husband of the Presidential spokesperson Chief Madzikane Thandisizwe Diko was allegedly awarded the multi-million-rand tender.

Teffo says if the party is to avoid widespread corruption, it should: “Amend the Electoral Act, get rid of the tender system because that is the source of all the troubles for the country and for this organisation. Apartheid was a wrong ideology but systems worked, there was no tender. Build state capacity, do away with tenders and then number three, just work on meritocracy, do away with cadre deployment.”

In July, the ANC in Gauteng met with Bandile Masuku and Khusela Diko:

In the interview below, Chief Madzikane said it was irrational for the ANC in Gauteng to send his wife to the integrity commission:

Iran’s Zarif says the world should oppose US sanctions or expect same
20 September 2020, 10:56 AM

The world community should oppose the United States’ use of sanctions to impose its will as a “bully,” or expect to face sanctions itself, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Saturday.

Separately the chief of the elite Revolutionary Guards rejected as a “bluff” any possibility of a military conflict with the United States.

US President Donald Trump plans to issue an executive order allowing him to impose US sanctions on anyone violating an arms embargo against Iran, which is set to expire in October, sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

The Trump administration says that on Saturday all United Nations sanctions on Iran have to be restored and the conventional arms embargo will no longer expire in mid-October.

“The Americans, as a rule, act as a bully and impose sanction… The world community should decide how to act towards bullying,” Zarif told Iranian state television hours before the US move aiming to restore UN sanctions against Iran.

“As they (other countries) will face the same thing tomorrow when America takes the same action towards the Nord Stream project, as well as other projects because a bully will continue to act as a bully if he is allowed to do it once,” Zarif said.

The United States and many European countries oppose the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which they say will increase Europe’s reliance on Russian gas.

“No power, including the United States, has the conditions to impose a new war on the Iranian nation, so people should not worry about these exaggerated bluffs by the US president,” said Revolutionary Guards Commander Hossein Salami, quoted by the semi-official news agency ISNA.

Salami was apparently reacting to a tweet by Trump this week in which he said any Iranian attack against the United States would be met by a response “1 000 times greater in magnitude.”

US pushes ahead with bid to extend Iran arms embargo though support unclear

The United States is pushing ahead with its bid to extend an international arms embargo on Iran by way of a second draft UN Security Council resolution, despite what some diplomats say is a lack of enthusiasm for such a move among its 15 members.

The US-drafted resolution needs at least nine votes in favor to force Russia and China to use their vetoes, which Moscow and Beijing have signaled they will do. Some diplomats question whether Washington can even secure those nine, however.

“We have tabled a resolution that we think accomplishes what we think needs to be accomplished,” US Iran envoy Brian Hook told the Aspen Security Forum, held virtually, on Wednesday.

“The easy way is to do a rollover of the arms embargo. It’s not difficult, there are all the reasons in the world to do it. But we will do this one way or another.”

The arms embargo on Iran is currently set to end on October 18 under Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, which Washington quit in 2018.

The second draft circulated by Washington is virtually unchanged from the first text shared with the council in June.

If the United States is unsuccessful in extending the embargo, it has threatened to trigger a return of all UN sanctions on Iran under a process agreed in the 2015 deal.

Such a move would kill the deal, touted as a way to suspend Tehran’s suspected drive to develop nuclear weapons. Washington argues it can trigger the sanctions because a Security Council resolution still names it as a participant.

Iran has breached parts of the nuclear deal in response to the US withdrawal and Washington’s reimposition of sanctions.

Queen Elizabeth formally strips Harvey Weinstein of his British honour
20 September 2020, 10:22 AM

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth has formally stripped Harvey Weinstein of his honorary award following his conviction for sexually assaulting a former production assistant and raping an actress.

“The Queen has directed that the appointment of Harvey Weinstein to be an Honorary Commander of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, dated 29 January 2004, shall be cancelled and annulled,” according to an official announcement in the London Gazette said.

Weinstein, 68, is serving a 23-year prison term in New York state following his February 24 conviction. He has appealed the conviction.

He was sentenced to prison in March this year following his sexual assault and rape conviction in a case hailed as a victory for the #MeToo movement against sexual misconduct, after he made an unrepentant statement to the court.

The sentence was handed down in the Manhattan criminal court by Justice James Burke, who presided over Weinstein’s trial. A jury on February 24 found Weinstein guilty of sexually assaulting former production assistant Mimi Haleyi and raping former aspiring actress Jessica Mann.

“I feel remorse for all of the men who are going through this fight,” Weinstein told the court before he was sentenced.

Weinstein said he was worried about “thousands of men” being denied due process in the #MeToo era.

In a rambling statement, he said he was “confused” and that he believed he had a “serious friendship” with Mann and Haleyi.

Once one of Hollywood’s most influential producers, Weinstein had faced the possibility of a maximum sentence of 29 years in prison.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance told reporters afterward that the judge “sent a message today that this type behaviour is something that any potential offender is going to have to consider. The judge took it seriously, which is exactly how we think he should have. And we’re grateful.”

Weinstein, wearing a suit and sitting in a wheelchair, and the six women who testified against Weinstein were in court for the proceedings.

In an emotional statement in court, Haleyi spoke of the trauma she had endured since the attack, saying, “It scarred me deeply, mentally and emotionally, perhaps irreparably, perhaps forever.” She said Weinstein has seemed “completely disconnected from the gravity of the crime he has committed against me.”

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