Today's Big Stories

#WorldAIDSDay: The global and local response to HIV

Observing the global fight on HIV and AIDS around the world: South africa is still the country with the highest number of infections in the world even though government has rolled out various campaigns to fight the disease. In Welkom in the Free State, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is giving a keynote address at government’s main commemoration. Director of the HIV Prevention Unit at the South African Medical Research Council, Professor Gita Ramjee:

There's a lot more we don't know about how it (the HI-Virus) evokes the immune system and how to come up with a vaccine. We do have treatment and the global advocation of prevention as a form of treatment. We don't really know how to develop a vaccine that would target HIV infection, however, there has been a vaccine trial conducted in Thailand that saw a moderate response for type HIV-B, which gave a positive immune response. We need to take lessons from this to build up on for the South African situation.

Parties cashing in: reports have emerged noting a new legal bid to force political parties to say in public where they get their money from. This follows a claim last week that the ANC spent around R450 mil. on its election campaign earlier this year. Non-profit organisation My Vote Counts have also challenged the Democratic Alliance in this regard. Managing Director at My Vote Counts, Gregory Solik:

Our Constitutional bid is based on Section 32 and Section 19 of the Constitution.We've engaged with political parties, but at the end of the day, it is only Parliament that can ensure that the existing legislation is implemented.

Krejcir cries out: a Monday EWN exclusive features a statement released by Radovan Krecjir – who is currently standing trial on attempted murder and assault charges – in which he says he is the victim of a conspiracy. EWN Senior Correspondent, Mandy Wiener:

Krejcir is saying in the 6 page statement that he's the victim of a conspiracy. While this isn't new - he's said this before - he's gone on to detail how he believes this is true, highlighting details of the involvement of the NPA, investigator Paul O'Sullivan and other key players. He's been associated here with a variety of murders and crime and under-world style killings. His former associate, Miloslav Potiska, has been featured in an episode of eNCA investigative programme 'Checkpoint', where makes serious allegations against Krejcir which have been denied.

Eskom's board blunders: a claim in the New Age is that Eskom’s board is now hugely divided on the issue of the money paid by the utility to the New Age newspaper to sponsor its breakfasts. Business Day Writer, Carol Paton:

In a normal boardroom situation, you have people appointed to boards with a particular set of skills to account to shareholders, but that's no longer the case any more. People that are appointed to boards now seem to be politically appointed and serve with a particular agenda. The whole notion of them playing a developmental role was the whole point behind this commission (of the New Age Breakfast partnership).

Smoke in peace?: electronic cigarette company Twisp has slammed claims from Japanese researchers that e-cigarettes contain far more carcinogens that normal cigarettes. Technical Director at TWisp, Philip Bartholomew:

The published study - we agree with, but unfortunately, the one the media took up on was the unpublished study and it had inaccurate results. I don't know why the media picked up on this. In New Zealand, there have been studies showing that e-cigarettes are 99% safer: it's about harm reduction.

Death of a Man-of-Nature: news over the weekend of the death of Ian Player – who was well known as a conservationist – at the age of 87. 702 and Cape Talk Conservation specialist Tim Neary:

The beauty about Ian is that he didn't just sit and talk about conservation, he went ahead and did it. He was first and foremost a naturalist and he's leaving behind a legacy that many will want to follow.

Hong Kong heat: police have now used pepper spray and tried to remove protestors from a demonstration around the government headquarters in that part of the world. EWN Hong Kong Correspondent, Steve Vines:

What we've seen overnight and in the early hours of today has probably been the most violent the protest has ever been over the last 60 days. They've closed one area where the protestors are, while protestors continue to say they want to paralise the central government.

Generations re-loaded: SABC 1 will see the relaunch of the soap opera Generations tonight and the re-introduction of some of the soap's longest-standing performers including Connie Ferguson and Rapulana Seiphemo amongst others. TV Plus Deputy Editor, Jared Orlin:

There are going to be huge changes and TV Plus has been amongst those who got a first look at the new show. It starts off with a time leap of 2 years ahead of where the last aired episode left off, starting off with the memorial of Paul Moroka (the family patriarch). There are children that have been recast and children such as Smanga is now the heir of the Moroka family. Connie Ferguson's character (Karabo Moroka) is still married to Tau - who has a shady past - and there isn't much of a change in her character. It's completely different, and it's probably going to be difficult for a lot of people to embrace the change.

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