President Kgalema Motlanthe said on Sunday that Zimbabwe could adopt the South African rand as its standard currency. “We have to help them so that the coalition government works,” Motlanthe said in an interview with the SABC channel, referring to power-sharing between Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and prime minister-designate Morgan Tsvangirai. It “may be practical for them to enter into an arrangment with the reserve bank here and allow the rand to become the common currency,” he said. Anaylsts say inflation in Zimbabwe stands at several billion percent. The Zimbabwean dollar has been repeatedly devalued and restrictions on the use of foreign currencies including the US dollar, the euro and the rand have been lifted by Harare.
Handball player murdered
Austrian police arrested two men suspected of stabbing to death Romanian handball player Marian Cozma outside a Hungarian nightclub early on Sunday, police in Budapest said yesterday. “The two suspects fled Hungary and were arrested in Austria by Austrian police and remain in Austrian police custody,” police spokeswoman Piroska Varadi said. “A third suspect is still at large.” The government was expected to seek the suspects’ extradition. Cozma, 26, a Romanian international player who played in Hungary for MKB Veszprem was stabbed in the heart in an attack in which two other players — Croatian goalkeeper Ivan Pesic, 19, and 22-year-old Zarko Sesum of Serbia — were severely wounded. One of Pesic’s kidneys had to be removed and Sesum was being treated for head injuries. Both were in a stable condition.
Moscow protesters detained
Police say seven activists have been detained in Moscow after a rally in memory of a human rights lawyer and a journalist who were killed last month. The protesters were rounded up near the place where prominent lawyer Stanislav Markelov and reporter Anastasiya Baburina were gunned down. The police said the activists would be released “after a short explanatory conversation.”
Israeli tanks kill man
Palestinian officials say Israeli tanks firing on northern Gaza struck a small house yesterday, killing a 22-year-old man. Israeli aircraft also struck two Palestinian militant positions in the Gaza Strip early yesterday in response to rocket fire from the territory a day earlier, the military said. No injuries were reported. The military did not identify the targets. But Palestinian officials said aircraft hit a Hamas security compound in southern Gaza that had already been struck three times during Israel’s recently ended Gaza offensive and a rocket-launching pad in a field in northern Gaza.
Asbestos-laden ship docks
A decommissioned French aircraft carrier containing asbestos arrived from France on Sunday for recycling despite an environmental controversy. The Clemenceau docked near Hartlepool. It was originally set to be dismantled in India, but revelations that it was loaded with asbestos sparked protests by environmental groups there. British environmentalists, however, were unable to stop the French ship from being brought to the country. The recycling company doing the work estimates 200 jobs will be created, but environmentalists say that is not worth the potential risks.
Octuplets’ grandma upset
The mother of the woman who used a fertility doctor to give birth to octuplets, despite already having six young children, called her daughter’s actions “unconscionable” in an interview posted online on Sunday.Angela Suleman is caring for the six older children while her daughter is hospitalized after giving birth on Jan. 26 to the octuplets. The Web site posted photographs from inside Angela Suleman’s disheveled three-bedroom home, where Nadya and her brood also live. Heaps of clothing pour from an open closet door and a carpeted bedroom, where a bedsheet serves as a curtain, is cluttered with cribs.