Today's Big Stories

Is a Numsa-COSATU split imminent?

Is a Numsa-COSATU split imminent?: leaders of COSATU’s affiliates are back in their closed door meeting after metalworkers union Numsa was told last night it needed to justify why it should not be expelled from the federation. Numsa has been accused of breaking COSATU’s rules by withdrawing its support for the ANC and for poaching members from the ANC. Labour analyst, Gavin Brown:

Effectively, we’ve been living with the split of COSATU for the last two years now, although I doubt government would welcome it and I don’t think it would be something the workers would welcome either. Employers don’t benefit in any way from intra-union conflict, as it inevitably comes at the cost of the employer, due to strikes leading to massive economic losses.

Will the SABC Chair ever produce her qualifications?: confirmation that SABC Chair, Zandile Tshabalala is now going to court in a bid to stop a Parliamentary Communications Committee hearing into whether she has the qualifications she claims she has. Kate Skinner of the Save Our SABC Coalition:

It’s a really strange move, although I’m not surprised because she seems to have been doing everything to stop this hearing. The City Press reported on her lack of qualifications in July already, so it’s been this long and still, we don’t know what’s going on. This is very cut and dry and not a complex case: it’s very black and white – do you have the qualifications or not?

Details on an OR Tambo cash-in-transit heist?: EWN Correspondent, Govan Whittles has the details:

From what we know, one of the private cash transportation companies was leaving the long-term parking areas at the OR Tambo International Airport precinct when it was met with two other cars – a BMW X6 and a Mercedes Benz. The Mercedes Benz collided with the bakkie and the security guard inside it was injured – that’s when the gunmen got out of the car and got access to the canopy that was storing the money and they made away with all the money at that cash-in-transit heist. The police haven’t clarified how much was involved yet and crucially whether or not this was foreign currency, but since then we’ve heard another incident here in Booysens Park, where an ATM was blown up inside, also by unknown gunmen.

More‘low-lights’ than highlights in mid-term budget?: a series of announcements in Wednesday’s medium term budget policy statement about how government needs more money. Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene seemed to make this clear in his presentation. Tax Director at Deloitte, Billy Joubert:

He (Nene) referred to structural changes, but we don’t know what he means by that VAT will likely go up, corporate tax cannot go up, so individual tax is the low-hanging fruit that’s likely to go up. We do tend to spend too much while saving too little, so the personal tax will likely go up. If you raise income tax, people with less disposable income will suddenly see spending go down.

What’s the latest on the Boko Haram abducted Nigerian school girls?: a full week has now passed since the Nigerian government announced a ceasefire with insurgent group Boko Haram, saying that would include the return of two hundred and nineteen girls who were kidnapped several months ago. EWN Nigeria Correspondent, Samson Omale:

The federal government has said they’ve reached an agreement (with Boko Haram) and that the girls would be released with the understanding this would have happened by Monday or Tuesday this week but that hasn’t happened as we speak. We still see continued attacks on some minor villages by Boko Haram. The Nigerian government has said that the country isn’t at war, but is dealing with insurgency, but Nigerians are quite angry with the government because they are losing their homes daily, especially farmers who are no longer able to farm due to safety concerns.

What was Kenny G doing with Hong Kong protesters?: legendary contemporary soprano saxophonist Kenny G – in a well-documented visit to Hong Kong – has found himself on the wrong side of the Chinese government, when he took pictures which he tweeted out of himself with pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. EWN Hong Kong Correspondent, Steve Vines:

This is a really weird one. We have Kenny G going down to the protest there in a very high-profile visit, we have him tweeting a picture, saying how happy he was to be there and then today he suddenly says ‘Oh goodness me, the fact that I was there can’t in any way be taken as showing support for the demonstrators’. Some people may believe that’s a coincidence, but that statement followed very shortly after a spokesman for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned his intervention in these protests and said it was part of a pattern of foreign intervention in these democracy protests. Kenny G is a very big star in China, he generates a lot of revenue in that country, so a lot of people are putting two-and-two together there and making four.

Do you think reaction to actress **Renée Zellweger’s new look is sexist?: **over the last forty eight hours there’s been a global discussion about Hollywood actress Renée Zellweger looking very different from the way she did five years ago. Part of this conversation has also suggests that there is a gender element to this conversation and that it shows that society is simply unfair to female celebrities. Destiny Magazine Deputy Editor, Sheena Adams:

There was some sort of shock-value to how different she’s looking. There are a lots of actors in Hollywood who look very different to what they normally look like: Mickey Rourke, Bruce Jenner is walking around looking like melting wax in some photos and yet there hasn’t really been much of an outcry around their appearance as around Renee’s. It definitely feels hypocritical. People like Renee have been unfairly targeted. At the same time, actresses like Meryl Streep are applauded. Jessica Lange has just been named the new face of Marc Jacobs, so I guess it depends on what you read, but definitely, it seems like women actresses have a harder time at it.

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