France Accuse David Cameron Of Being Drunk - It was never going to do much for cross-Channel relations. But David Cameron’s suggestion that wealthy Frenchmen should escape their country’s high taxes by moving to Britain has left Paris rather, well, hopping mad. French politicians have responded by criticising Britain’s health and education system and accusing the Prime Minister of wanting to establish a UK ‘tax haven’. They also implied that Mr Cameron was drunk when he made his offer. [Daily Mail]
Toulouse Siege: ‘al-Qaeda Militant’ Brings Terror To City Again - A gunman claiming to be an al-Qaeda militant brought terror to Toulouse for the second time in three months after taking hostages at a bank close to where the jihadi killer Mohamed Merah was shot dead.Setih Boumeza, 26, who has a history of mental illness, entered the CIC bank branch in central Toulouse, fired one shot and took four people hostage. He claimed he was member of al-Qaeda, was armed with explosives and demanded to negotiate with France’s RAID commando unit. [Telegraph]
Greece Ushers In Government After Weeks In Limbo - Greece ushered in a new government on Wednesday that will put it back at Europe’s bargaining table, ending a seven-week leadership vacuum that had destabilized this already fragile nation and cast a shadow over the euro zone’s future. [NY Times]
Egyptian Presidential Election Result Delayed - The result of Egypt’s presidential election has been delayed, state television has said. It had been scheduled to be announced on Thursday, but the Supreme Elections Commission says it needs more time to look into complaints presented by the candidates. The two candidates, Mohammed Mursi and Ahmed Shafiq, both say they won. [The Beeb]
Gang Rape Accused Released - One of the men accused of raping a girl believed to be mentally impaired was released by the Roodepoort Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, their lawyer said. Speaking outside the court, because proceedings were closed due to the appearance of minors, attorney William Karam told the media he had been released because of a lack of evidence. [iAfrica]
Syria: David Cameron Considered Ordering Special Forces To Seize Russian Ship - Cobra, the Government’s emergency security committee, met several times as the MV Alaed approached British waters. With the United States placing pressure on Britain to halt the vessel, the prime minister was regularly briefed on the situation. It is understood that he was presented with several options including a military seizure of the ship. [Telegraph]
Environmental Killings Report Reveals Startling Number Of Activist Deaths - A new report from international NGO Global Witness suggests that, in the past decade, 711 individuals have been killed while defending land and forest rights. 106 of these deaths allegedly came in 2011, with the number killed almost doubling over the past three years. [Huffers]
South African Stocks Hit Record Close On Rate-Cut Hopes - South Africa’s broad All-share index booked its highest close in its 17-year history on Wednesday, edging up 0.2 percent as lower-than-expected inflation data boosted hopes of an interest rate cut. But broader gains were capped as investors waited to see if the U.S. Federal Reserve would announce new stimulus measures to revive the world’s largest economy. ”We’re obviously all waiting to see what’s going to happen with the Federal Reserve decision later on,” said Paul Theron, an analyst at Vestact. [Reuters]
Federal Reserve Cuts Forecast For US Economic Growth - The Federal Reserve has cut its forecast for economic growth in 2012 from 2.9% to 2.4%. It has also predicted a central unemployment rate of up to 8.2%, having forecast up to 8% on 25 April. [BBC Business]
Boris Johnson Dined With Murdoch Days Before Hacking Investigation - Boris Johnson dined with Rupert Murdoch and other key News International executives in January last year, days before Scotland Yard launched a major investigation into phone hacking. Labour called for an official investigation into the London mayor, after it emerged that Johnson met Murdoch at his home in the capital on 24 January 2011. [The Guardian]
Kristen Stewart Named Forbes’ Highest-Paid Actress With $34,5 Million - The “Twilight” Star is the youngest on the list by 16 years, and dethrones last year’s top earners Angelina Jolie and Sarah Jessica Parker. Perhaps Kristen Stewart really is the fairest of them all. The Snow White and the Huntsman star tops this year’s Forbes list of highest-paid actresses with earnings of $34.5 from May 2011 to May 2012. [Hollywood Reporter]
Facebook’s Rocky IPO Might Spur Reforms - The Facebook (FB) IPO had more bumps than an unpaved road after a Midwestern winter. The exchanges went haywire, the stock plummeted, the Nasdaq boss was on a plane, incommunicado. All those potholes triggered both chambers of Congress to examine the way companies go public and their shares traded. [Business Week]
Springboks Make Three Changes For Third Test - South Africa will hand loose forward Jacques Potgieter his debut as coach Heyneke Meyer made three changes to his starting side named to face England in the third and final test. The Springboks hold an unassailable 2-0 series lead ahead of the match in Port Elizabeth on Saturday but have been forced to bring in fullback Gio Aplon, inside centre Wynand Olivier, who is promoted from the bench, and Potgieter. [Rugby Heaven]
England Seek Momentum From Win - England’s midweek captain George Robson hoped that his side’s 57-31 victory over the Northern Barbarians on Tuesday in Potchefstroom would be the test they needed heading to the final clash against the Springboks on the weekend. [Sport24]
How Feeling Lonely Can Shorten Your Life - Is loneliness lethal? According to two new studies published online Monday in the Archives of Internal Medicine, living alone or feeling lonely can increase your chances of disability and early death. [Time]
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COMING UP TODAY
Jane Raphaely On HardWilli - Jane Raphaely’s name is well known in South Africa and as Chairman of Associated Magazines, she is an inspiration to people everywhere. Now, for the first time, she has released her life story in book format. get down to Exclusive Books and get the highly anticipated autobiography, JANE RAPHAELY unedited. Tune in at 10am today where Jane joins the show to chat about her autobiography, which was released a week ago, today. [2ovfm]
Sky News’ Amanda Walker On HardWilli - Amanda is Sky News’ Russia Correspondent based in Moscow and reports from across Russia and Eastern Europe. Amanda chatted to Richard and Lindsay from HardWilli In The Morning, and reported on the England Ukraine game, live from the Donbass Arena in Poland. [podcast]
Biz Connect With Mike Sharman - The Put Foot Foundation is the official charity of the 2012 Put Foot Rally. Founded by three young South Africans – Daryn Hillhouse, Mike Sharman and Dan Nash – the Put Foot Foundation is Southern Africa’s newest ‘adventure-charity!’ Bob chats to Mike Sharman about how he got involved, the journey up africa so far, highs and lows, and how people can follow the race and adventures. [podcast]
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