Court against nuclear deals
The Western Cape High Court yesterday ruled that the government plans to increase the country’s reliance on nuclear power with help from Russia and other countries are unlawful. The ruling followed arguments by non-governmental groups that the public had not been sufficiently consulted about the plans and that the nation could not afford more nuclear facilities. Critics have been concerned that the nuclear deals could be vulnerable to graft at a time when President Jacob Zuma faces calls to resign because of scandals and the dismissal of a finance minister. The nation currently has two nuclear reactors that generate about 5 percent of its electricity.
Ivanka Trump draws groans
Ivanka Trump on Tuesday encountered a rough reception from an audience at a women’s empowerment event in Berlin after calling her father “a tremendous champion of supporting families.” US President Donald Trump’s daughter drew groans as she made the remark during a panel discussion with Chancellor Angela Merkel and IMF managing director Christine Lagarde. The exchange prompted a follow-up question from the moderator about the US president’s attitude to women. “I certainly heard the criticism from the media, and that’s been perpetuated,” Ivanka Trump said. “But … I know from personal experience, and I think the thousands of women who have worked with and for my father for decades when he was in the private sector, are testament to his belief and solid conviction in the potential of women and their ability to do the job as well as any man.”
Saudi wins literary prize
Saudi novelist Mohammed Hasan Alwan won what is considered to be the region’s top literary award for Arab fiction for a book about the trials and tribulations of a man on a journey of self-revelation through Andalusia in the 12th century. Alwan was awarded the 10th annual International Prize for Arab Fiction in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday evening. He received a US$50,000 cash prize and will get to have his book translated into English under the title A Small Death. His book was selected from more than 180 novels from 19 countries. Alwan, who was born in Riyadh in 1979 and now resides in Toronto, Canada, has published five novels.
Cassini ready for rings
Cassini, an unmanned NASA spacecraft was yesterday to make a plunge into the gap between Saturn and its rings, a pioneering journey that could offer an unprecedented view of the sixth planet from the Sun. The first of the spaceship’s 22 deep dives between Saturn and its innermost ring was scheduled to take place at 5am Florida time, NASA said. Communications with the spacecraft will go dark during the dive and for about a day afterward, while it makes observations of the planet.
Talks on moon outpost held
China is talking with the European Space Agency about collaborating on a human outpost on the moon. The China National Space Administration Secretary-General Tian Yulong (田玉龍) yesterday disclosed the talks in the state media. Further details on what the collaboration could entail were not revealed. The European agency has described its “`Moon Village” as a potential international launching pad for future missions to Mars.
EVOLVING SITUATION: Of the latest cases, 23 percent were found to be asymptomatic, but the coronavirus strain in Da Nang is more contagious, authorities said A COVID-19 outbreak that began in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang more than a week ago has spread to at least four city factories with a combined workforce of about 3,700, state media reported yesterday. Four cases were found at the plants in different industrial parks in the central city that collectively employ 77,000 people, the Lao Dong newspaper said. Vietnam, praised widely for its decisive measures to combat the novel coronavirus since it first appeared in late January, is battling new clusters of infection having gone for more than three months without detecting any domestic transmissions. Authorities yesterday reported one new
Three Micronesian sailors stranded on a remote Pacific island have been found alive and well after a rescue team spotted their giant SOS message written into the sand on a beach. Australian and US military aircraft found the three men on tiny Pikelot island, nearly 200km west of where they had set off. Rescuers said that the men were “in good condition” with no significant injuries. The men had been missing for three days after their 7m skiff ran out of fuel and strayed off course. Authorities in the US territory of Guam raised the alarm on Saturday after the men failed to complete
A cat that went missing on a family holiday on the shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland, has been identified 12 years later. Tortoiseshell-and-white Georgie spent October half term in 2008 with her owners at the Rowardennan campsite, but vanished as they were due to return home to Greater Manchester, England. After a search of the site the Davies family departed without Georgie, hoping the three-year-old microchipped feline would be located by someone. Over the intervening 12 years, she remained close to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park site, being fed and cared for by campsite staff and holidaymakers. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdown
LIFELONG LOSS: Jiro Hamasumi, who was not quite born when an atomic bomb hit Hiroshima, lost his father and other relatives, but said he thinks about his father daily As Japan marks 75 years since the devastating attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the last generation of nuclear bomb survivors is working to ensure their message lives on after them. The “hibakusha” — literally “person affected by the bomb” — have for decades been a powerful voice calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons. There are an estimated 136,700 left, many of whom were infants or soon to be born at the time of the attacks. The average age of a survivor now is a little over 83, according to the Japanese Ministry of Health, lending an urgency as they share their testimonies