Police break up mine protest
Police fired rubber bullets, stun grenades and tear gas on Saturday to disperse a protest by striking miners accusing union leaders of betraying worker interests. Bullet casings littered the ground and a helicopter circled, with police sirens howling, outside a stadium in northwestern Rustenburg in the latest strike unrest that has rocked the key mining sector for weeks. The violence erupted as the Congress of South African Trade Unions, the country’s largest labor umbrella, marched to the venue for a rally in a bid to regain its authority, which has been dealt a heavy blow since the mining unrest began in August.
Savile knighthood stands
The Vatican said on Saturday it never would have given Jimmy Savile his papal knighthood had it known of allegations the British TV star was a child sex predator, but that it could not rescind the honor now that he has died. The Catholic Church of England wrote to the Holy See last week, asking it to consider whether it could posthumously remove the honor awarded to Savile because of the many recent child sex abuse allegations against him. However, Vatican spokesman Reverend Federico Lombard said the Vatican could not rescind the knighthood awarded to Savile because there simply is no permanent register from which to strike it. Savile was made a Knight Commander of St Gregory the Great by Pope John Paul II in 1990 for his charity work. He was also knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to charity and entertainment.
Cargo ship goes missing
A cargo ship with 11 crew on board went missing yesterday in the country’s far east in stormy conditions that were making rescue operations difficult, an emergency ministry spokeswoman said. The Amurskoye was travelling to the Shantar Islands in the icy Okhotsk Sea, which lies east of the Khabarovsk region and north of Japan’s Hokkaido Island. The Khabarovsk emergency ministry department received a signal for help at 2:50pm yesterday, ministry spokeswoman Yelena Yeremenko said. The ship had 11 crew members on board. “Right now, the weather conditions are bad, and small boats cannot work in the area,” she said. A tanker was searching for the boat, but visibility was too poor for helicopters, she added.