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South Africa admits Marikana errors, vows new approach on mines JOHANNESBURG: South Africa's new mining minister admitted on Wednesday that the government could have handled better the strike that led to the killing of 34 mineworkers in Marikana two years ago.The massacre after violent clashes with the police at the Lonmin platinum mine, north of Johannesburg during a work stoppage, has widely been compared to apartheid-era atrocities.Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi said he hoped there would never be a repeat of the killings and vowed to take a different approach to the country's vital but troubled mining sector."We will do whatever we can in the long term to contribute towards the alleviation of the pain," he said on the sidelines of an annual mining conference just three days before the second anniversary of the bloodshed.He acknowledged mistakes in the handling of the strike in 2012, saying "we could have managed that situation much much better".The minister told the conference that the time ...

Mummies in Egypt began long before Age of Pharoahs WASHINGTON: The earliest evidence of mummification in Egypt suggests that the practice of wrapping bodies to preserve them after death began around 1,000 years earlier than thought, said a study on Wednesday.The study in the journal PLOS ONE is the first to describe resins and linens used as funeral wrappings dating back as far as 3350 to 4500 BC.Historians have long believed that the Egyptian practice of mummification began around 2500 BC.But by applying modern ...
UN threatens South Sudan leaders with sanctions JUBA: UN Security Council envoys warned South Sudan's warring leaders Tuesday they would face sanctions if a civil war that has pushed the young nation to the brink of famine does not stop."The council has made it very clear: that it is prepared to impose consequences if there continue to be spoilers, if there continue to be people carrying out gross violations of human rights," US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power said after meeting ...
Ebola-hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a city on edge FREETOWN: In the rain-lashed streets of Sierra Leone's capital, emaciated mongrels pick fights with feral pigs for scraps of food, unnoticed by the market traders and office workers passing by.The 1.2 million inhabitants of Freetown were once wary of diseased street animals, but now it is each other that they fear.The sprawling tropical city, on the Atlantic coastline of one of the world's poorest countries, is a day's drive from the epicentre of the most ...
Guinea-Bissau shuts border with Ebola-hit Guinea: PM BISSAU: Guinea-Bissau is closing its border with Guinea, one of the west African countries hardest hit by the deadly Ebola virus, Prime Minister Domingos Simoes Pereira said on Tuesday."In light of information provided by the health ministry and after a series of consultations, the government of Guinea-Bissau has decided to close its southern and eastern borders" with Guinea "until further notice," Pereira told a press conference.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2014 ...
Libya to hold direct election for interim president BENGHAZI: Libya parliament on Tuesday approved a constitutional amendment for the direct election of an interim president, a member of parliament said.The proposal was backed by 141 of the 144 lawmakers present, the MP, Abu Bakr Biira, told AFP."A consensus was negotiated among members before the vote," Biira said, adding that the vote "shows the willingness of members of parliament to let the people elect a president directly and without pressure."The provisional General National Congress ...
Military wives block husbands' deployment against Boko Haram MAIDUGURI: Military wives in the restive Nigerian city of Maiduguri have taken to the streets this week, burning tyres to prevent their husbands being sent to fight Boko Haram.About 300 women and 500 children have for two days gathered at the gates of a military base in the Borno state capital, claiming that their spouses were ill-equipped to take on the Islamist militants.Boko Haram has been waging a brutal insurgency since 2009 which has left ...


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