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Trump uses slur to describe immigrants from Haiti, Africa
12 January 2018, 6:41 AM

President Donald Trump reportedly lashed out in a Thursday meeting with lawmakers about immigration reform, demanding to know why the US should accept citizens from what he called “s***hole” countries.

The comments, first reported by The Washington Post, sparked anger among Democrats, and revived questions about Trump’s tendency to make racially charged remarks.

Trump sat down with senators and congressmen at the White House to discuss a proposed bipartisan deal that would limit immigrants from bringing family members into the country and restrict the green card visa lottery in exchange for shielding hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation.

“Why are we having all these people from s***hole countries come here?” Trump said, according to people briefed on the meeting who spoke with The Washington Post.

The New York Times later reported the same comment, citing unnamed people with direct knowledge of the meeting.

The president was referring to African countries and Haiti, and then suggested the United States should welcome immigrants from places like Norway, whose prime minister met with Trump on Wednesday.

“Why do we need more Haitians?” he added, according to the Post account. “Take them out.”

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and Democratic Senator Dick Durbin came to the White House to outline their bipartisan compromise, but found themselves in the room with several Republican immigration hardliners.

Graham and Durbin are leading efforts to codify protections for so-called “dreamers,” immigrants who came to the United States illegally as children.

In exchange, the deal would end extended family “chain migration.”

It also reportedly would cut the visa lottery program by half and prioritize certain countries in the system, instead of scrapping it altogether as several Republicans have suggested as part of an agreement.

The president and lawmakers are in the midst of intense negotiations about how to shield nearly 800,000 “dreamers” from deportation.

Last year, Trump scrapped the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that protected the immigrants, and set a deadline of March 5 for Congress to legislate a fix.

The White House did not deny the account of Trump’s use of language, but instead suggested the president was “fighting for permanent solutions” that strengthen the nation, in part through the use of a merit-based immigration system.

“Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people,” White House spokesman Raj Shah said in a statement.

“He will always reject temporary, weak and dangerous stopgap measures that threaten the lives of hardworking Americans, and undercut immigrants who seek a better life in the United States through a legal pathway.”

In the past year, Trump has raised eyebrows with his stance on sensitive race issues in America.

He has denounced NFL players who kneel during the national anthem in protest at police brutality against African Americans, and made questionable comments about a white supremacist rally in Virginia that turned violent.

The New York Times recently reported that Trump had said in a separate June meeting on immigration that Haitians “all have AIDS,” citing a person who attended the meeting. The White House denied those comments.

Democrats seized on Trump’s slur against Haitians and Africans to suggest he is anti-immigrant.

“We always knew that President Trump doesn’t like people from certain countries or people or certain colors,” congressman Luis Gutierrez said.

“We can now we say with 100% confidence that the president is a racist who does not share the values enshrined in our Constitution.”

Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky chimed in: “Just when you thought Donald Trump could not get any more racist, he digs down to an even deeper low.”

Some Republicans were also unhappy.

Mia Love, a congresswoman from Utah who is of Haitian descent, called Trump’s reported comments “unkind” and “divisive,” and demanded an apology.

“This behavior is unacceptable from the leader of our nation,” Love said in a statement.

N Cape Hawks arrest a government official for issuing illegal tenders
12 January 2018, 6:28 AM

The Hawks in Kimberley in the Northern Cape have arrested a senior government official and a business man in connection with the issuing of illegal tenders to a private company owner.

Spokesperson Philane Nkwalase says the investigation regarding the violation of the procurement processes dates back to April 2016.

The two men who were arrested are an employee of the Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison and the company’s owner.

“Two suspects were arrested yesterday for allegations of corruption. One is the employee of the department of transport, safety and liaison and is an assistant director in the IT department and another is a company owner. The two suspects were arrested yesterday and appeared before court and the matter was postponed to February 16 for further investigation and both suspects were released on bail,” says Nkwalase.

Arguments over admission of learners at Hoerskool Overvaal continue
12 January 2018, 6:04 AM

The urgent application of the Hoërskool Overvaal in Vereeniging against the Gauteng Education Department continues in the High Court in Pretoria on Friday.

The hearing was postponed on Thursday at the request of the department’s lawyer, Kumbirai Thoma, to give him more time to argue his case.

The school wants the court to stop the Department from forcing it to admit 55 additional learners, arguing that it has reached its admission capacity and that it was not in the best interest of English speaking learners to be admitted to an Afrikaans medium school.

The Department is contesting the argument, saying that it has evidence that the school has the capacity to accommodate more learners and that it is the only body that can declare a school as full.

The department’s lawyer Kumbirai Thoam is expected to tap into merits of his arguments.

Motorists cautioned of rock throwers at night
7 January 2018, 1:57 PM

Emergency personnel have warned motorists in KwaZulu-Natal to be vigilant when driving under any bridge especially at night.

This after a 26-year-old man was rushed to hospital after a rock was thrown off a bridge and impacted his car on the N2 northbound just past the Tongaat Toll Bridge.

Reports from the scene suggest his car overturned and he sustained severe injuries.

A large rock is believed to have been thrown from the same bridge that cost the lives two of siblings recently.

Netcare 911’s Shawn Paul says police are investigating the incident.

“The patient is a 26-year-old male who was travelling north bound on the N2 when the rock impact his windscreen as he passed the bridge. The man was treated on scene and transported to hospital for further care. We’d like to urge all drivers and passengers to keep a look out when approaching any bridges especially at night.”

Steyn may miss current first test against India
7 January 2018, 10:24 AM

Fast bowler Dale Steyn is unlikely to bowl again in the current first test against India in Cape Town and could be out of the rest of the three-match series.

Steyn, who returned to test cricket in this match after an absence of more than a year, sustained significant damage to his left heel during Saturday’s play.

It’s expected to take four to six weeks to recover.  The 34-year-old took two wickets in India’s first innings and now needs only two more test wickets to equal Shaun Pollock’s South African record of 421.

The Proteas resume their second innings on Sunday on Day Three of the test with their score on 65 for two, giving them an overall lead of 142 runs.

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