Gautrain under strain – High petrol prices appear to be prompting tens of thousands of motorists to use the Gautrain rather than the roads, leading to overcrowding at its stations. An average of 39 000 passengers a day use the service, but there is parking space for only 10 000 vehicles. Many commuters, frustrated at long queues and signal delays, had to go back to the roads they wanted to avoid. [timeslive]
Agriculture minister denies Zumaville donation – The agriculture department has no plans to donate R800-million to the Nkandla development project, Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson said. Responding to a barrage of questions from members of Parliament’s portfolio committee on agriculture, forestry and fisheries on Tuesday, Joemat-Pettersson took aim at opposition parties and the media. “There is no R800-million that was allocated, no R100-million allocated, so if certain political parties like the Democratic Alliance and the media want to run agriculture … and we will not allow our agenda to be set by the DA and media,” she said. [mg]
Some truckers suspend strike action – Some of South Africa’s striking truckers have agreed to return to work on Wednesday, easing pressure on Africa’s biggest economy where two weeks of labour unrest in the transport sector have hit supplies of fuel, cash and consumer goods. But disputes in the mining sector escalated after Gold One fired the majority of its 1 900 workers at its Ezulwini operation, paralysed since last week by a wildcat strike. Atlatsa Resources said it had also fired 2 161 miners for an illegal strike. [iol]
Skydiver Cancels Try at Supersonic Jump – Extreme athlete Felix Baumgartner canceled his planned death-defying 23-mile free fall Tuesday because of high winds, the second time this week he was forced to postpone his quest to become the world’s first supersonic skydiver. The former military parachutist from Austria had planned to ride a pressurized capsule carried aloft by a 55-story, ultra-thin helium balloon into the stratosphere, and then jump in a specially designed suit. But high winds led to the decision shortly after 11:30 a.m. to abort. Because the balloon is so delicate, it could only take off if winds were 2 mph or below on the ground. [techland]
Challenge to Eskom’s electricity monopoly – South African Independent Power Producers Association wants an independent electricity grid to encourage investment in electricity generation projects. This would entail unbundling the Eskom-dominated electricity structure in South Africa. Independent producers have often claimed that there is a conflict of interest in Eskom’s role in the generation and transmission of electricity. They believe is was a stumbling block to large-scale investment by private companies. [bdlive]
Australia PM’s Epic Rant on Sexism Wins High Praise – Australians living in the United States are accustomed to their American friends passing along “news” from back home about dingoes and crocodiles. Australia’s a long way away, after all. But this morning, something weirdly substantial made the rounds: a fifteen-minute clip of Australian parliamentary proceedings in which Australia’s first woman Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, calls the leader of the opposition, Tony Abbott, a misogynist, and does so with genuine anger. “I will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man,” Gillard said in her opening. “If he wants to know what misogyny looks like in modern Australia, he doesn’t need a motion in the House of Representatives, he needs a mirror.” [newyorker]
Scottish to vote on independence in 2014: minister – Scotland will hold a vote in 2014 on independence in what could result in the eventual breakup of Britain, a British government minister said on Tuesday. The announcement ended months of stalemate between the Westminster government in London and the Scottish devolved administration in Edinburgh. “What will happen is that Westminster will devolve the power to the Scottish Parliament to hold a single-question referendum on whether Scotland should be in or out of the United Kingdom,” Scotland Office minister David Mundell told Sky News. [reuters]
Polls: Presidential Race Tied – With exactly one month to go until the U.S. presidential election, polls show the race between President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney essentially tied. The Pew Research Center gives Mr. Romney a four percentage point lead while Gallup puts the president in front by three points. Mr. Romney closed the gap in the polls after last week’s first presidential debate which focused on the economy. Analysts say Mr. Romney appeared more comfortable and prepared while the president gave an uncharacteristically lethargic performance. [voa]
Prosecutor: Gunmen stole Zetas cartel founder Lazcano’s body from funeral home – A state prosecutor says the body of one of Mexico’s most feared drug lords was stolen from a funeral home by a group of armed men. It occurred a day after Zetas head Heriberto Lazcano was fatally shot in a gunfight with marines. Coahuila Attorney General Homero Ramos says two men were killed by marines Sunday outside a baseball game in the town of Progreso. [ap]
Berlin Police Brutality Under Investigation After Video Shows Alleged Violence Against ‘Deranged’ Man – Authorities in Germany are investigating the “violent tactics” used by Berlin police to subdue an allegedly “deranged,” weapon-wielding man over the weekend. The police allegedly shot the man in the leg, before pepper spraying him, kicking him in the neck and setting a dog loose on him, German website The Local reports. According to the German newspaper Bild, a 50-year-old man referred to only as Andre C. was seen walking around on Saturday afternoon holding two knives. He is said to have also been carrying an axe in his waistband. [huffpo]
Taliban says it shot Pakistani teen for advocating girls’ rights – A 14-year-old Pakistani student who won international acclaim for speaking out for girls barred from school by the Taliban was critically wounded Tuesday by a gunman who boarded her school bus, asked for her by name, aimed his pistol at her head and fired, officials said. The Pakistani Taliban asserted responsibility for the attack on ninth-grader Malala Yousafzai, who gained notice in early 2009 when she wrote a diary about Taliban atrocities under a pen name for the BBC’s Urdu service. Yousafzai lives in Mingora, a city in the scenic northwestern Swat Valley, where Taliban insurgents imposed harsh Islamic law for two years before being routed by a major military operation in May 2009. [washpo]
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A Nobel for Teasing Out the Secret Life of Atoms – Two physicists who developed techniques to peer in on the most intimate relations between light and matter won the Nobel Prize in Physics on Tuesday. They are Serge Haroche, 68, of the Collège de France and the École Normale Supérieure, in Paris, and David J. Wineland, also 68, of the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the University of Colorado. They will split eight million Swedish krona, or about $1.2 million, and receive their award in Stockholm on Dec. 10. [nytimes]
Pussy Riot case: Russian court set for appeal hearing – The adjourned appeal hearing for three activists from the Russian punk band Pussy Riot is set to start in Moscow. In August, the trio were jailed for two years for staging an anti-Kremlin protest in Moscow’s main cathedral, Christ the Saviour. The appeal was adjourned last week because one of the defendants said she wanted time to replace her lawyer. Yekaterina Samutsevich told the judge she had a difference of opinion with her original counsel. The 30-year-old and fellow band members Maria Alyokhina, 24, and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, were found guilty of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” in August. [bbc]
Sir Jimmy Savile was a ‘predatory sex offender’, police say – Police called Sir Jimmy Savile a “predatory sex offender” as it emerged that he is now suspected of abusing up to 25 young girls in allegations dating as far back as 1959. In the first official estimate of the scale of his crimes, Scotland Yard said its team was pursuing 120 separate lines of inquiry against the late BBC presenter. So far eight criminal allegations have been formally recorded against him, two of rape and six of indecent assault, involving girls aged between 13 and 16. [telegraph]
Twitter Mulls an In-House Video-Hosting Service – If you want something done right, do it yourself. Twitter is considering building its own video-hosting technology, according to sources. That means users could upload video directly via the service’s mobile apps, instead of using hosting services like yFrog, TwitVid and Vodpod. That potential change would be in line with a number of tweaks the site has made to its applications throughout 2012. Until recently, Twitter also delegated photo hosting to third-party services; Twitter moved that hosting in-house with the most recent app updates. [allthingsd]
Cape Town TV in dire straits – A small community television station in Cape Town is trying to stave off having to retrench staff after it lost half its viewership, because the channel it was on was reallocated for digital TV. Cape Town TV (CTV) was moved from channel 38 to channel 67, in March, to accommodate digital TV trials in the area, explains station manager Karen Thorne. However, the new frequency is not suitable, as its reach is limited and viewers had to purchase more expensive aerials and boosters, she says. [itweb]
Mars rover finds ‘bright object’ – Nasa’s Curiosity rover has uncovered a “bright object” in the red soil of Mars that might be a part of the robotic explorer that broke off, the US space agency said. “The rover team decided to refrain from using the rover’s robotic arm on Oct. 8 due to the detection of a bright object on the ground that might be a piece from the rover,” NASA said in a statement. “Curiosity is acquiring additional imaging of the object to aid the team in identifying the object and assessing possible impact, if any, to sampling activities.” [msn]
Charles Schulz’s ‘Peanuts’ to be animated movie – Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus and the gang are coming to the big screen, as 20th Century Fox Animation and its Blue Sky Studios unit announced Tuesday that they have acquired the rights to Charles M. Schulz’s iconic “Peanuts” comic strip. The planned movie, the product of an agreement between the studio and Schulz’s heirs, is scheduled to arrive in theaters Nov. 25, 2015. Steve Martino, who directed Fox’s “Ice Age: Continental Drift” and “Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who,” is to direct from a screenplay by Craig Schulz, Bryan Schulz and Cornelius Uliano. Craig Schulz is the famous cartoonist’s son, and Bryan Schulz his grandson. [latimes]
Hulk Hogan Admits It Was Bubba’s Wife, Calls TMZ – Hulk Hogan just called in to “TMZ Live” … and was completely stunned when we told him about the footage of his BFF Bubba the Love Sponge plotting to profit off of his sex tape … telling us, “I’m sick to my stomach right now.” Hogan says Bubba had adamantly denied having any knowledge about the sex tape … and told Hulk he didn’t know there was a camera capturing Hogan’s X-rated session with his former wife Heather Clem. Hulk says he had warned Bubba … “If you had anything to do with this, that means we were never friends.” [tmz]
The 50 Most Dangerous Cities In The World – Earlier, this year, a Mexican think tank — the Citizens’ Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice — released a study ranking the world’s most violent cities in 2011, and the results were astonishing. The 20 most violent cities were all in Latin America. The USA had some alarming scores too, led by New Orleans at 21. Other dangerous cities were located in Africa. None of the top 50 was in Europe or Asia, despite great unrest in those regions. [bizinsider]
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COMING UP TODAY
The Rolling Stone Chart – 2ov Radio has teamed up with Rolling Stone magazine to bring you the weekly charts at 12h45 each Wednesday – live to your radio / car / mobile phone on the Just Josie Show! [justjosie]
Craig Ray On The Front Row Grunt – The 38-year-old experienced sports writer and broadcaster joins Tank Lanning on Front Row Grunt from 17h00-18h00. Having worked for more than a decade in the industry covering mainly rugby and golf for written and radio clients, he went on to co-author ‘Black and White’, The Jake White Story, with the former Springbok coach. They’ll discuss Springbok selection, Bok performances, Bok game plan, plan for EOYT and the structure of rugby season in SA. [frontrowgrunt]
GoodLuck Swings Onto The IanF Show – GoodLuck were in studio on the Ian F Show this morning. They are sharing with the world their unique tunes of electro swing. The duo, Juliet Harding and Ben Peters have been together for almost two years and have been moving crowds with their electro sound. Listen to the podcast where Ian F sat them down for a serious chat about their future. We can tell you that their future is bright and Proudly South African! [podcast]
Tumi With No Volume? – The Tanzanian born found his love for music from an early age, when he was first introduced to poetry. And the magic continued from there. Tumi without the Volume was in studio with Bailey Schneider. Bailey talks to him about the Heineken Symphonic Rocks which happened at Carnival City in Johannesburg last weekend. Tumi gushes about the awesome experience of playing with a 65 piece orchestra compared to him and the 4 piece band. [podcast]
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