Today's Big Stories

#JeSuisCharlie: increased Parisian police presence has city on edge

#JeSuisCharlie: in Paris this afternoon, the net appears to be tightening on two brothers suspected of killing 12 people in an attack on satire magazine, Charlie Hebdo. Police discovered an abandoned getaway car in a northeastern town.This was the worst terrorist attack in France for half a century. An AFP reporter saw 20 heavily armed security force officers surround a nearby house and storm it, keeping journalists away from the scene. EWN France Correspondent, Elaine Cobbe:

The massive manhunt for the two brothers is happening in a town 25 miles north-east of the capital. It is reported the two brothers are held near Charles de Gaulle (airport). Some reports claim that hostage negotiations are under way. We hear there's at least one hostage, while other sources say there's four hostages, but details remain unclear right now. The figure of 88 000 refers to soldiers and police officers distributed throughout the region in the manhunt, including in some towns north of Paris. Police are still on edge today and the increased police presence has seen many people on edge as well.

The return of unscheduled load shedding: Eskom on Friday confirmed it has implemented stage one load shedding from 11am – 10pm due to high demand, despite stating on Thursday that no load shedding would be implemented. EWN Senior Correspondent, Gia Nicolaides:

Unfortunately, it seems electricity supply has exceeded demand. Yesterday, when we spoke to Eskom they said load shedding was a low possibility. Our power system is very unstable at the moment and we have to be prepared for anything at the moment. Eskom say we've got a very old and aging power system. They've also pointed to how much the generators were run so hard during the 2010 world cup, but no maintenance was done thereafter. The collapse at the Majuba power station last year affected supply. The situation ahead of this weekend is not good at the moment. But it all depends on the hour and on the day.

Pistorius family faces new challenge: Carl Pistorius looks set to face charges over an accident last year. He was travelling to Pretoria when a car allegedly swerved into oncoming traffic and caused the head on collision. Initially reports said he wouldn’t face charges. EWN Senior Correspondent, Barry Bateman:

There was an investigation on going since the accident in August last year. Decision to proceed with prosecution was last year in November. I've spoken with the NPA's Nathi Ncube and it's entirely in their rights of the accused not to cooperate with the investigation. We expect he'll appear in court towards the end of February. We understand that he's had significant nerve damage to his legs and he's still wearing moon boots, since the accident.

#ANC300 celebrations underway: more than 50 000 people are expected to attend the ANC’s 103rd birthday celebrations at the Cape Town stadium tomorrow. The party’s leadership has spent the week conducting door to door visits, telling people that the ANC must govern the province. ANC NEC Member, Nomvula Mokonyane:

We're celebrating 60 years of the Freedom Charter and we're at an historic commemoration, where the Greenpoint Stadium is a mere distance away from Robben Island where the Father of the Nation, Nelson Mandela and other liberation stalwarts were held. We'll also have a fundraising gala dinner. We'll start at 06:00 tomorrow morning and continue until the afternoon. (On logistical problems presented ahead of commemorations in the City of Cape Town) It has been one of the worst experiences, and it doesn't have to do with the bylaws, but the attitudes here. It was the correct decision (to host #ANC103 in Cape Town) because Cape Town must not be seen as something that is outside of South Africa. We must never let go of our responsibilities and have the DA governing.

Shipping shopping to Melville: Melville has always been a trendy, vibrant area, with lots of funky students milling about and you’re guaranteed to find a place to drink or eat at all hours of the day or night. Staying on its trend-setting course – Melville is getting a new shopping centre, but this is a shopping centre with a difference, built out of shipping containers. CEO of Citiq Properties, Paul Lapham:

The shipping container concept has been tried internationally in London and Christchurch in New Zealand with great success. Melville lends itself to something funky and innovative. The shipping containers will be complaint with building regulations. We've been very fortunate with the site as it is an open land site, with a lot of land set to remain open. We will maintain a high-end feel, but it does need to be affordable. The market we are aiming for is accessible and we're targeting in the area of R2000. If not 31 March then the end of April will be when we'll be opening.

The threat in Nigeria: Boko Haram has razed at least 16 towns and villages in a renewed assault after capturing a key military base in restive northeast Nigeria at the weekend. Heavy casualties are feared in the attacks in the remote north of Borno State. An official says hundreds of people who fled were trapped on islands on Lake Chad. EWN Nigeria Correspondent, Samson Omale:

This is in a town called Baga in a very, very northern part of Nigeria. There was a military base that checked up on transport and crime there. President Goodluck Jonathan has assured Nigerians that his administration is not weak and is doing all it can to contain Boko Haram, but many Nigerians are scared.

Palestine joins ICC: United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has confirmed that the Palestinians will officially become a member of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on the first of April. On Friday, the Palestinians delivered to UN headquarters documents in joining the Rome Statute of the ICC and other international treaties. Israel, like the United States, is not a party to the Rome Statute, but its citizens could be tried for actions taken on Palestinian land. EWN Middle East Correspondent, Paula Slier:

For the Palestinians, it's part of their strategy to get international recognition for independence. On Palestinian streets, there's been a lot of support for the move. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his administration have threatened that if they do this, they will do the same. It certainly won't do anything to diffuse the situation between the two nations and war crimes raised by the one side will be countered by the other.

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