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Azhar Ali
Ali’s half century breathes life for Pakistan
5 December 2018, 7:52 PM

Azhar Ali’s resolute half century helped Pakistan reach 139-3 at stumps in reply to New Zealand’s 274 on day two of the third and final test in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

Azhar who finished the day unbeaten on 62 runs off 169 balls, helped Pakistan recover from the loss of two early wickets to trail New Zealand by 135 runs with seven wickets remaining.

Asad Shafiq was unbeaten on 26 after the pair shared an unbroken fourth wicket partnership of 54 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.

New Zealand pace bowler Trent Boult had removed the out of form Mohammad Hafeez and Imam-ul-Haq with only 17 runs on the board, having both openers caught by Tim Southee in the slips.

With Pakistan facing a familiar top order collapse, Azhar stitched together a 68 run stand with Haris Sohail (34) to ease their nerves.

A well set Sohail was dismissed when he edged Southee to wicketkeeper BJ Watling, but Azhar and Shafiq dropped anchor to ensure Pakistan did not suffer any more losses.

Earlier New Zealand added 45 runs to their overnight score of 229-7 with Watling finishing unbeaten on 77.

Off spinner Bilal Asif, who picked up two wickets on Monday, completed his second five wicket haul in tests.

Debutant William Somerville was bowled for his overnight score of 12 after he failed to read Asif’s sharp turn and the same bowler had Ajaz Patel caught at slip and bowled Boult to finish with figures of 5-65.

New Zealand won the opening test in Abu Dhabi by four runs before Pakistan levelled the three match series with victory in the second test in Dubai by an innings and 16 runs.

e-tolls on the hiway
Msimanga calls on Premier to scrap e-tolls in Gauteng
5 December 2018, 4:31 PM

Democratic Alliance (DA) Gauteng Premier candidate Solly Msimanga has handed over a petition calling on Premier David Makhura to scrap e-tolls.

Over 100 DA supporters marched to the premier’s office in the Joburg CBD. The DA also wants Makhura to use his influence in government not to renew the e-toll contract which expires at the end of this year.

Makhura has said that e-tolls are not part of Gauteng’s future plans. However, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni recently told Parliament that motorists must continue to pay for e-tolls.

Msimanga says failure to do away with e-tolls will impact on the African National Congress (ANC) support during next year’s elections.

“It is very disappointing that the premier’s first reaction to our march and to our submission of the petition is that we are a joke. The premier doesn’t take the people of Gauteng very serious.

It actually shows with the commission of enquiry that he launched and the results that came from there that he really states the people of Gauteng are not happy with the system.

The reaction that we got today that the people of Gauteng are a joke is much telling. This is the level of arrogance,” says Msimanga.


George H.W Bush
Leaders foreign and domestic prepare goodbyes to Bush
5 December 2018, 2:16 PM

International dignitaries will join US leaders present and past on Wednesday in saying their final goodbyes to former president George H.W. Bush, whose life will be honored at a funeral service in Washington.

The nation’s 41st president, who died Friday at age 94, has lain in state since late Monday in the US Capitol rotunda.

Tens of thousands of Americans have quietly filed in to pay their respects to a man who steered the nation through turbulent times including the end of the Cold War — and in a style dramatically different from the bombast and combativeness championed by the current commander-in-chief, Donald Trump.

The country’s five living presidents — Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Bush’s son George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Trump — are scheduled to attend the service at Washington National Cathedral, the Neo-Gothic spiritual center point of the US capital.

Britain’s Prince Charles will be there, as will German Chancellor Angela Merkel, King Abdullah II and Queen Rania of Jordan, and former Polish president Lech Walesa, among others.

Trump’s ascendancy to the head of the Republican Party saw him exchange vitriolic attacks with the Bushes, including mocking Bush senior’s “thousand points of light” phrase and slamming the presidential son’s 2003 invasion of Iraq as “one of the worst decisions in the history of our country.”

But he has taken pains to demonstrate unity since Bush’s death, and made a low-key visit to the Capitol late Monday with First Lady Melania Trump to salute Bush’s casket.

And on the eve of the state funeral, the couple met with George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush at the presidential guest residence Blair House.

Trump’s relations with the Republican establishment have been rocky since his insurgent campaign took him to the party’s nomination and then a shock election win in 2016.

He did not attend the funeral this year of George H.W. Bush’s wife Barbara Bush, even though other presidents were there.

Trump has declared Wednesday a national day of mourning. Many federal offices will be closed along with Wall Street stock markets.

Congress has also suspended votes — even in the midst of a looming potential shutdown that requires congressional action before midnight Friday.

The passing of Bush, only the second president to see his son follow him to the Oval Office, has led Americans to reflect on his life of duty and service to country as a leader of the so-called “Greatest Generation.”

At a time of extraordinary and deep political fissures, Bush was looked to this week as a gracious, humble servant of country who aimed to bridge the divide.

“Quite frankly I think it’s more important in many cases than the policies of a president,” Monica Harisson, who worked eight years for the Reagan administration, told AFP.

“We can agree or disagree with the policies. But if we respect the human being, I think it’s a much broader framework for civility and good will in the country.”

Bush was a decorated World War II aviator who nearly lost his life when he was shot down on a bombing mission.

He served as ambassador to China, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and vice president to Ronald Reagan before winning the White House.

The former president struggled for years with Parkinson’s disease, which left him wheelchair-bound and often hospitalized — including after Barbara’s death.

After the Washington service, Bush’s casket will be flown back to Houston. The former head of state will lie in repose at St Martin’s Episcopal Church, where the Bushes worshipped for decades, until Thursday’s funeral.

He will be interred at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library Center in College Station, Texas, next to his wife, who died in April, and their daughter Robin who died of leukemia at age three.


Mitchell Marsh
Australia back Mitchell Marsh
4 December 2018, 2:11 PM

Questions over Mitchell Marsh’s place in the test team are fast becoming as traditional a part of the Australian summer as a backyard barbecue and a trip to the beach.

The all-rounder has a batting average of 26 runs and just 35 wickets from 30 tests but not only will he almost certainly play the first test against India at Adelaide Oval on Thursday, he will take the field as vice-captain of the side.

Former test paceman Geoff Lawson was the first high profile figure to launch a broadside at his selection over the weekend but there will be many more if the ebullient 27 year old fails to fire against the tourists.

Against Pakistan in October, Marsh managed 30 runs from four innings with the bat and two wickets at the cost of almost 100 runs with the ball and he knows he needs to produce against India.

“I’m just really excited, really pumped for the test summer to start. After the United Arab Emirates UAE, there’s a few question marks over me. I’m just really pumped, if I’m selected to get out there and play in front of the Australian crowds again.

I’m doing my best to make the number six spot my own, that’s all I can do,” says Marsh.

The number of times Marsh used the word “pumped” in a short news conference might be an indication of why he was given the test vice captaincy despite not being an automatic selection.

Marsh is clearly one of life’s enthusiasts, as his summation of Australia’s full on training sessions on Monday and Tuesday amply illustrated.

“It’s been unbelievable, hasn’t it? I don’t know what it’s been like to watch but to be part of it has been unbelievable. We’ve got a great feeling in this group… we’ve all trained exceptionally well. We’ve prepared as best we possibly can,” says Marsh.

Marsh’s older brother Shaun is also an almost certain starter despite his even more paltry return of 14 runs from four innings against Pakistan.

The 35-year-old’s frequent recalls to the test side have likewise strained the credulity of cricket fans to the point that some have joked the Marsh family must have some kind of hold over the selectors.

Of course the brothers can point to the torrent of runs they produced in last year’s Ashes sweep of England and Mitchell on Tuesday came out with a defence of his brother that might have served for them both.

“He’s always got his knockers, but hopefully people respect him for the fact that he keeps coming back, he keeps working hard and hopefully he’ll keep proving some people wrong,” says Mitchell.

Cheryl Zondi
Price tag on Cheryl Zondi’s life
4 December 2018, 1:33 PM

It’s emerged that alleged sexual abuse survivor Cheryl Zondi’s life is in danger. Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane revealed that there are threats to kill Zondi and other witnesses in the Timothy Omotoso rape case in Port Elizabeth.

This emerged at a media briefing where the Cheryl Zondi Foundation was launched in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

The foundation will assist other young victims of sexual and emotional abuse in sacred spaces.

Zondi has laid a complaint with Mkhwebane complaining about poor protection of witnesses in the witness protection programme. Mkhwebane says she has arranged a meeting with the Ministers of Police and Justice and Constitutional Development.

“We were planning to meet by this week so that we can have an urgent intervention. I mean the matter is so serious and so scary in that apparently there’s information that there’s money which is promised to whoever can take the life of Cheryl and the other girls and I think it’s very urgent so we are trying our level best that we can meet, especially at ministerial leve;l they can then intervene,” says Mkhwebane.



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