EXPLAINER: The scandal engulfing South Africa's president
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa could face criminal charges and is already facing calls to step down over claims that he tried to cover up the theft of millions of dollars in U.S. currency that was hidden inside furniture at his game farm.
Hope that South Africa's COVID-19 corruption inspires action
(AP Photo/Themba Hadebe, file)CAPE TOWN – There's some hope in South Africa that this time the outrage against corruption inspires effective action. The new charges of the misuse of public money earmarked to fight the COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to be a turning point, say those experts. AdIt would be shocking, corruption experts say, if graft hadn't already been deeply entrenched in South Africa. “I get the outrage but not the surprise," said David Lewis, executive director of Corruption Watch in South Africa. South Africa was in recession even before the devastating effects of the virus.
Mexico's last island penal colony may now host cruise ships
Visitors will be able to tour the remote island jail, but not stay overnight. Ad“Visitors will have their first contact with the former island prison which for 100 years sheltered numerous criminals,” Torruco said. When Panama closed its Isla Coiba penal colony in 2004, Isla Marias became the last one remaining in the Americas. But in the end, the Islas Marias wound up costing Mexico far more per prisoner than did mainland jails. Chile closed its Santa Maria prison island in the late 1980s, Costa Rica’s Isla San Lucas penal colony closed in 1991 and Brazil’s Isla Grande in 1994.
Malala takes her passions to the small screen with Apple
FILE - Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani Nobel Peace Prize winner, appears at the Cricket World Cup opening party along The Mall in London, on May 29, 2019. In her home country, Pakistan, she was outspoken in insisting that girls have a right to an education. You know, I’m still at the stage where I’m exploring ideas. We are often told that you have to grow older and get a PhD or something, and then once you are 50 or 40, then you can change things. Follow that path if you want, but you can change things now as well.
South Africa's president fights own party over corruption
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa arrives at a hospital in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, South Africa Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, to receive a Johnson and Johnson vaccine. It's in defiance of Ramaphosa and ANC policy that officials facing corruption charges should step aside until their criminal cases are finalized. I’ll prove (it) in court," Magashule said outside the courthouse, where people wearing green and yellow ANC T-shirts gathered in support of him. Both Zuma and Magashule have challenged Ramaphosa since he replaced Zuma as ANC leader in 2017 and became South Africa's president in 2018. AdThat scandal further angered South Africans who have been inundated with allegations of high-level corruption during the state corruption commission, which is probing Zuma's time as president from 2009-18.
South Africans swap firecrackers for candles amid pandemic
Many South Africans will swap firecrackers for candles to mark New Year's Eve amid COVID-19 restrictions including a nighttime curfew responding to President Cyril Ramaphosa's call to light a candle to honor those who have died in the COVID-19 pandemic and the health workers who are on the frontline of battling the disease. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)JOHANNESBURG – Many South Africans swapped firecrackers for candles to mark New Year’s Eve amid COVID-19 restrictions including a nighttime curfew. Urging all South Africans to battle the virus, Ramaphosa called on the nation to celebrate New Year’s Eve in a different way. Instead, the mayor of South Africa's largest city will light a candle on the landmark Nelson Mandela Bridge. At midnight he will light a candle with his family and pray for everybody who has suffered from the pandemic.
NYC cathedral gunman's note says he planned to take hostages
New York police officers move in on the scene of a shooting at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in New York. A man was shot by police after shots rang out at the end of a Christmas choral concert on the steps of the Manhattan cathedral Sunday afternoon. The shooting happened just before 4 p.m. at the church which is the mother church of the Episcopal Diocese of New York and seat of its bishop. The note was first reported by NBC New York. In the note, the law enforcement official said, Vasquez wrote he did not expect to make it home.
South Africa closes beaches to fight resurgence of COVID-19
JOHANNESBURG – South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced the closure of many of the country's beaches throughout the festive season to fight a resurgence of new COVID-19 infections. All beaches will be closed from Dec. 16 until January in the Eastern Cape province and the Garden Route tourist area in the Western Cape province. In Kwazulu-Natal province, beaches will be closed on public holidays including Christmas and New Year’s Day. In neighboring Eswatini, Prime Minister Ambrose Dlamini, who had tested positive for COVID-19, has died, the kingdom's government has announced. Eswatini, a small mountain kingdom northeast of South Africa, has recorded almost 7,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 127 deaths.
EXPLAINER: How do other democratic nations select leaders?
SPAINIn Spain, the Congress of Deputies elects the prime minister. In 1996, this led to an awkward situation for the would-be prime minister. As votes were being counted, Jose Maria Aznar's conservative Popular Party thought it won enough seats to make him prime minister. Then, the party that wins the largest number of the 650 constituencies generally takes power, with the party leader becoming prime minister. That means the prime minister must officially be approved by the Queen’s representative in New Zealand, the governor-general.
South Africa sees sharp rise in virus, part of African wave
A freshly-dug grave sits at the Motherwell Cemetery in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Friday, Dec. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Theo Jeftha)JOHANNESBURG – South Africa is seeing a dramatic rise in COVID-19 cases and bracing for increased hospitalizations and deaths, said the country’s health minister Zweli Mkhize. South Africa recorded 6,700 new cases on Wednesday night, the country’s highest number of new cases since August. South Africa accounts for more than 35% of all reported cases in Africa, a continent of 54 countries and 1.3 billion people. South Africa has reopened to international travel and lifted restrictions on the sale of alcohol.
New York City's first Black mayor, David Dinkins, dies at 93
FILE - In this Monday, Jan. 2, 1990, file photo, David Dinkins delivers his first speech as mayor of New York, in New York. Dinkins, New York Citys first African-American mayor, died Monday, Nov. 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Frankie Ziths, File)NEW YORK – Few American leaders have faced the battery of urban ills that confronted David Dinkins when he became New York City's first Black mayor in 1990. De Blasio, who worked in Dinkins’ administration, named Manhattan’s Municipal Building after his mentor in October 2015. Newly freed Nelson Mandela made New York City his first stop in the U.S. in 1990.
Opposition activist leaves embassy haven to flee Venezuela
FILE - In this May 2, 2019 file photo, Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez smiles during a press conference at the gate of the Spanish ambassador's residence in Caracas, Venezuela. Lopez left the residence where he had been a guest since April 30, 2019 and is leaving Venezuela people close to the opposition leader said on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia, File)
Opposition activist leaves embassy haven to flee Venezuela
FILE - In this May 2, 2019 file photo, Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez smiles during a press conference at the gate of the Spanish ambassador's residence in Caracas, Venezuela. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia, File)MEDELLIN – Prominent opposition activist Leopoldo López has abandoned the Spanish ambassador's residence in Caracas and left Venezuela after years of frustrated efforts to oust the nation's socialist president, his party said Saturday. It is unclear how López left the ambassador's residence, given the heavy state security presence permanently stationed outside the property. The putsch was easily quashed and López took refuge in the ambassador’s residence. Even as his whereabouts remained unknown, some opposition leaders were praising López’s decision to flee.
Resorts to RV parks: Parents take school year on the road
This photo shows the Brown family of Atlanta, from left, Jayde Brown, JayElle Brown, Jayson R. Brown, Tammy Brown and Jayson E. Brown at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on Dec. 27, 2019. Since the start of the pandemic, families of means have decamped to second homes or taken long-term rentals in vacation spots around the world. For Jayson and Tammy Brown, schoolcations for their three kids have been both ongoing and life-affirming over the past five years. They're stuck on screens all day or sitting there at home, with their parents over their shoulders, doing work sheets." Logging in to school and homework is mandatory, the parents said.
Mandela's lawyer, anti-apartheid activist George Bizos dies
FILE In this Wednesday Nov. 12, 2008 file photo George Bizos, left, anti-apartheid activist, and life-long friend and lawyer of Nelson Mandela, right, arrives for his 80th birthday party in Johannesburg, South Africa. Bizos has died Wednesday Sept. Sept. 9, 2020, aged 92. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)JOHANNESBURG Anti-apartheid crusader and Nelson Mandela's personal lawyer George Bizos has died at 92, his family said Wednesday. Bizos represented Mandela from his treason trial in 1964 until the former South African president's death in 2013. Bizos remained active in human rights work in South Africa well into his 80s, working for the Legal Resources Center, a South African human rights group.
South Africa's ruling party rejects Trump comment on Mandela
JOHANNESBURG The report that U.S. President Donald Trump made crude, disparaging remarks about Nelson Mandela, South Africa's Nobel Peace Prize-winning former leader, has drawn an angry response from South Africa's ruling party and others. South Africa's ruling African National Congress party said Tuesday that Trump is not fit to comment on Mandela's accomplishments. You dont have that idea when you are arrogant, superficial, and uninformed.The U.S. ambassador to South Africa, Lana Marks, responded to the controversy with a diplomatically worded statement. I have discussed South Africa with President Trump many times, and he has only ever spoken positively about the country," said Marks. "The U.S. remains committed to working together with South Africa to realize the promise of a more peaceful, more productive, more prosperous 21st century Africa.
Clippers hold off Doncic, Mavs after Porzingis is tossed
Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 18 points adn Porzingis finished with 14, along with Seth Curry. The Clippers knocked around Doncic, the 21-year-old superstar who led the NBA in triple-doubles, whenever they could. The Clippers swarmed Doncic from the outset, forcing him into three turnovers in the first two minutes while racing to a 10-0 lead. Morris was eager to grab the ball and ended up grabbing Doncic, who sought to push his way free. Clippers: Reserve Montrezl Harrell returned after leaving the team for his grandmother's death and had six points in 15 minutes.
Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen released from prison again
FILE- In this May 21, 2020 file photo, Michael Cohen arrives at his Manhattan apartment in New York after being furloughed from prison because of concerns over the coronavirus. A judge ordered the release from prison, Thursday, July 23 of President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer, saying he believes the government retaliated against him for writing a book about Trump. Cohen sued federal prison officials including Attorney General William Barr on Monday, July 20 saying he was returned to an Otisville, New York, prison to stop him from publishing a tell-all book about his experiences with Trump. Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison in 2018 after pleading guilty to campaign finance charges and lying to Congress, among other crimes. He said he worked openly on his manuscript until May at Otisvilles prison library and discussed his book with prison officials.
Far-right activists protest in London despite warnings
British police officers, left, scuffle with members of far-right groups protesting against a Black Lives Matter demonstration, in central London, Saturday, June 13, 2020. British police have imposed strict restrictions on groups planning to protest in London Saturday in a bid to avoid violent clashes between protesters from the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as far-right groups. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)LONDON Hundreds of far-right activists gathered to demonstrate in central London's Parliament Square Saturday, despite strict police restrictions and warnings to stay home to contain the coronavirus. Officials put protective panels around the monuments amid fears that far-right activists would seek confrontations with anti-racism protesters under the guise of protecting statues. In London, Churchills statue was daubed with the words was a racist.Police have imposed strict restrictions on Saturdays protests in a bid to avoid violent clashes.
Floyd killing finds echoes of abuse in South Africa, Kenya
The killing of George Floyd in the United States has raised awareness over police violence in South Africa and Kenya. South Africa, where are you? Khosas partner, Nomsa Montsha, asked in a wrenching TV interview Friday, eight weeks after she held his hand as he died while waiting for an ambulance. Her words, in a soft, steady voice, were a searing rebuke of the perceived apathy in South Africa over Khosa's death. It's also Kenya's most deadly, killing far more people than criminals do, according to human rights groups. Despite the decades of injustice and brutality, activists say there is no groundswell of public support for change in South Africa and Kenya, two of the biggest economies in Africa.
Thousands attend Black Lives Matter demo in Amsterdam
Thousands of people demonstrated in support of the Black Lives Matter movement in a park in Amsterdam, Wednesday June 10, 20202, named for South African anti-Apartheid icon Nelson Mandela. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)AMSTERDAM Thousands of people demonstrated Wednesday in support of the Black Lives Matter movement in a park in Amsterdam named for South African anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela. The first speaker to address the Amsterdam demonstration wore a hoodie emblazoned with the words Black Pete is racism.Last week, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said he had undergone a significant change in his views about Black Pete, although he maintained that he does not believe the character is racist. Its a popular culture that changes over time and under pressure from debate in society.But Rutte has said he won't ban Black Pete. As long as Mark Rutte does not take any action against Black Pete, we can say Mark Rutte does not care about black lives, he said.