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Archive for the ‘Current Events’ Category

“This Species is Remarkable” – Professor Lee Berger Introduces Homo Naledi

Field Guide to the Cradle of Human KindProfessor Lee Berger, of the Evolutionary Studies Institute at Wits University, introduced Homo naledi, our human ancestor that was discovered at the Cradle of Humankind in the North West Province recently.

Besides shedding light on the origins and diversity of our genus, the new species appears to have intentionally deposited bodies of its dead in a remote cave chamber, a behaviour previously thought to be limited to humans.

Berger says: “It is the most significant and extensive discovery of early human relatives ever made on the continent of Africa.

“This species is remarkable.”

Watch the video:

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Jonathan Deal: Fracking Regulations have been Weakened Further

Timeless KarooJonathan Deal, author of Timeless Karoo: Discover the sunlit interior and leader of the Treasure Karoo Action Group (TKAG), has spoken out against the premature and poorly evaluated decisions around fracking in the Karoo.

SABC News reported that TKAG has labelled the regulations for shale gas exploration “inadequate and flawed”.

Deal comments that the regulations have been weakened:

In the first draft of the regulations they said drilling had to be a thousand meters away from a fresh water source. Now, they’ve reduced it to 500 meters.

An article featured in the Dispatch gives more details on Deal’s concerns:

While Deal acknowledged that the new regulations display “some effort to address shortcomings”‚ they “remain largely inadequate to control an activity which presents the intrinsic risk allied to shale gas exploration and production”.

“Regulations designed by the oil and gas industry itself will focus on keeping costs down at the expense of environment and community‚” Deal elaborated‚ adding that the TKAG will publish an analysis of the regulations on Friday.

CNBC Africa called on Deal to explain the issues more claerly. Watch the video:


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Charlene Smith Believes The Oscar Pistorius Trial is not Indicative of South African Problems

MandelaCharlene Smith says that while the police “ineptitude” during the Oscar Pistorius trial has been difficult to watch, the international media have no reason to feel superior.

In a piece for The Star Smith, a South African-born journalist who is based in Boston, Massachusetts in the United States, insists “domestic violence is not a local scourge”. She points out that global statistics show that nearly a third of murdered women are killed by their partners, and that, worldwide, crimes against women are the “least likely” to result in prosecution.

Watching the Oscar Pistorius trial has been a shaming experience for good South Africans. The international media has trumpeted excessive rates of woman abuse and police ineptitude.

But American cops also “bumble” when it comes to investigating crimes against women, especially domestic violence, which is the crime most likely to see a woman killed. The World Health Organisation reported last year that globally, women were three times more likely to be murdered if there was a gun in their home, and more than 35 percent of all murders of women were committed by an intimate partner.

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Charlene Smith Expresses Her Sadness Over the Marikana Shootings

MandelaCharlene Smith, author of Mandela, writes in the Mail & Guardian of her growing disappointment in South Africa in the wake of the Marikana shooting incident.

Marikana is a name like Soweto, June 16. Like Sharpeville. It is a turning point. History will record it. Future generations will shudder.

There are few South Africans whose hearts are not broken by those eight letters.

Here where I live in the United States, Americans have bought into the South African Dream, the Rainbow Nation, Mandela’s land, a special place, a nation that rose above pettiness, pain, and barbarism to set an example for the world, a peaceful negotiated settlement to five decades of growing conflict.

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