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    CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — Rugby is trialing new laws banning certain officials from acting as on-field water carriers in a move viewed as a direct response to the contentious tactics of South Africa director of rugby Rassie Erasmus. The new laws, announced Tuesday by World Rugby, explicitly ban teams’ directors of rugby and head coaches from being water carriers. Erasmus donned a bright yellow bib and acted as a water carrier during the Springboks’ home series against the British and Irish Lions last year, sparking complaints from the opposition that he was using it as a guise to pass on coaching tips to his players. Head coaches in rugby traditionally stay up in coaching boxes away from the action, but Erasmus has flouted that and acted as a water carrier since moving from his role as South Africa head coach to director of rugby following the Springboks’ victory in the 2019 World Cup. While Erasmus moved around as a water carrier against the Lions, current South Africa head coach Jacques Nienaber was able to watch from the coaching...
    JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa is experiencing a surge of new COVID-19 cases driven by two omicron sub-variants, according to health experts. For about three weeks the country has seen increasing numbers of new cases and somewhat higher hospitalizations, but not increases in severe cases and deaths, said Professor Marta Nunes, a researcher at Vaccine and Infectious Diseases Analytics at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto. “We’re still very early in this increase period, so I don’t want to really call it a wave,” Nunes said. “We are seeing a slight, a small increase in hospitalizations and really very few deaths.” South Africa’s new cases have gone from an average of 300 per day in early April to about 8,000 per day this week. Nunes says the actual number of new cases is probably much higher because the symptoms are mild and many who get sick are not getting tested. South Africa’s new surge is from two variations of omicron, BA.4 and BA.5, which appear to be very much like the original strain of omicron that was first identified...
    Elon Musk's mother bashed a New York Times' article which said her son had 'white privilege' in apartheid-era South Africa and was 'detached from apartheid's atrocities'. Maye Musk condemned the article, published on Thursday, that said her son was sheltered from the segregation and anti-black government propaganda that plagued South Africa throughout his childhood.  In promoting the article on Twitter, the Times wrote: 'Elon Musk grew up in elite white communities in South Africa, detached from apartheid's atrocities and surrounded by anti-Black propaganda.  'He sees his takeover of Twitter as a free speech win but in his youth did not suffer the effects of misinformation,' The Times added, referencing Musk's $44 billion takeover of the social media platform.  Maye snapped back at the paper on Twitter, writing: 'In South Africa, if you publicly opposed apartheid, you went to jail. In Russia, if you publicly oppose the war, you go to jail. @nytimes, are you going to blame children for decisions made by governments?'  The New York Times published an article (pictured) suggesting Elon Musk was sheltered from the horrors of...
    Elon Musk's mother bashed a New York Times' article about the white privilege her son allegedly enjoyed growing up in apartheid-era South Africa. Maye Musk condemned the article, published on Thursday, that suggested her son was sheltered from the segregation and anti-black government propaganda that plagued South Africa throughout his childhood.  In promoting the article on Twitter, the Times wrote: 'Elon Musk grew up in elite white communities in South Africa, detached from apartheid's atrocities and surrounded by anti-Black propaganda.  'He sees his takeover of Twitter as a free speech win but in his youth did not suffer the effects of misinformation,' The Times added, referencing Musk's $44 billion takeover of the social media platform.  Maye snapped back at the paper on Twitter, writing: 'In South Africa, if you publicly opposed apartheid, you went to jail. In Russia, if you publicly oppose the war, you go to jail. @nytimes, are you going to blame children for decisions made by governments?'  The New York Times published an article (pictured) suggesting Elon Musk was sheltered from the horrors of apartheid in South...
    A pair of new Omicron subvariants has emerged, raising the possibility that survivors of earlier Omicron strains can get reinfected. BA.4 and BA.5 have gained increasing attention in South Africa as weekly coronavirus cases tripled in the last two weeks, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. “It really came out of the blue over the weekend. We were already settling down with BA.2.12.1, and then BA.4 and BA.5?” said Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious diseases expert at UC San Francisco. “It just seems like the latest chapter of a never-ending saga.” The rapid growth of BA.4 and BA.5 in South Africa has implications for a potential future surge in California and the U.S. Until now, scientists had been reassured that people who survived the first Omicron variant over the winter, BA.1, were unlikely to be reinfected by the even more infectious subvariant BA.2, which is now dominant nationwide. But the surge in cases in South Africa of BA.4 and BA.5 follow an earlier Omicron wave. An estimated 90% of South Africa’s population has immunity to the earlier Omicron variants...
    The Women Entrepreneurship Finance Initiative (We-Fi) has announced the launch of a new financial round, which will provide $ 15 million for the development of the African Digital Bank of Africa’s Digital Financial Content Facility (ADFI) (AfDB). The funds will be used to promote and expand digital funding solutions for women in Cameroon, Egypt, Kenya, Mozambique and Nigeria, AfDB said in a statement. This fourth round of funding, $ 54.8 million, is designed for nearly 69,000 female entrepreneurs in emerging economies with access to digital technologies and finance. The fund will implement and facilitate digital funding in Africa to develop and implement projects aimed at enhancing digital access to funding for women entrepreneurs. According to the same source, reducing the $ 42 billion financial gap facing female entrepreneurs in Africa and improving their operational capabilities will help them rebuild better after the crisis caused by the Covid 19 epidemic. “This fourth round of Wi-Fi allocations comes at a crucial time. The economic empowerment of women is under pressure due to the long-term effects of conflict and insecurity, rising prices and...
    US Secretary of State Anthony Blingen said on Thursday that Tunisia needed to address concerns about its democratic system before qualifying for international economic aid. Speaking before a delegation in the House of Representatives, the US diplomat said he was concerned about the seizure of full powers by Tunisian President Guiz Saeed, hoping that Tunisia would have a “minimum” by the end. Promised parliamentary election year. “The most important thing for them is to make themselves fully eligible for the assistance of international financial institutions,” he said. Tunisia began preliminary talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in February, in which the United States is a key partner, hoping to receive billions of dollars to save the economy, which is heavily indebted to inflation and local unemployment. Tunisian President Gaye Syed, who was elected before taking full power in July 2019, asserted the right to appoint the head of the Electoral Commission last Friday, just months before a referendum and legislative vote. This system needs to be monitored. On Tuesday, the Tunisian opposition announced the formation of a coalition of...
    JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa has likely entered a new wave of COVID-19 earlier than expected as new infections and hospitalizations have risen rapidly over the past two weeks, the country’s health minister said on Friday. The increase in new cases has been dominated by the BA.4 and BA.5 lineages of the omicron variant which dominated the country’s earlier wave of the virus. “Whichever way you look at it, it does suggest that we may actually be entering the fifth wave much earlier,” Health Minister Joe Phaahla said Friday at a televised press briefing. He said officials will be watching carefully over the next few days to determine if the increase is sustained which would confirm a new wave. The country’s new infections are now several thousand per day, up from a few hundred a few weeks ago. According to Phaahla, there was currently no information indicating the emergence of a new strain, which scientists had earlier suggested may drive the country’s fifth wave, expected during the country’s upcoming winter season from May into June. “We have always been...
    TWO new Omicron variants have spread rapidly in South Africa, leaving experts fearful of a fifth Covid wave. Since it emerged at the end of last year, Omicron has spawned several variations. 2The newer variants are starting to rise in numbers in South Africa We are now seeing more cases of BA.4 and BA.5 all over the world, with South Africa seeing the most at the moment. Within weeks daily infections have gone from a few hundred up to more than 6,000-a-day. Official figures show positive tests have jumped from 4 per cent a couple of weeks ago to 19 per cent yesterday. It has sparked concern a fifth Covid wave could begin in the country as early as next month, as the country heads into winter. Read more on Covid'FAMILY'S MY LIFE' Emotional Sharon breaks down as she jets to LA after Ozzy hit with CovidSYMPTOM CHECKER Symptoms of Omicron XE to look out for as 1,179 cases detected in UK There is a suggestion both new variants can spread faster than BA.2, which spread even faster than the...
    HEALTH leaders are investigating two new variants of Omicron that have been detected in the UK. BA.4 and BA.5, like all new strains of the virus, have the potential to escape vaccines or spread faster. 1Omicron has evolved againCredit: Getty They share mutations with other Omicron strains BA.1, the strain that was dominant over Christmas, and BA.2, which is dominant now. All fall under the Omicron lineage, and so far, these strains have shown to be more mild in disease severity. They also are blocked by booster vaccinations - of which the most vulnerable in the UK are currently being offered. But the World Health Organization (WHO) said it had begun tracking the two sub-variants because of their “additional mutations that need to be further studied to understand their impact on immune escape potential”. The UK Health and Security Agency (UKHSA) said the first positive swab of BA.4 was found in South Africa in January. This was where it was first detected and flagged by scientists, but not necessarily its origin. Countries that have now reported BA.4 include South Africa...
    JOHANNESBURG (AP) — A South African court has suspended construction work on a huge new business park that will house Amazon’s Africa headquarters in Cape Town after a challenge by Indigenous groups who say the development will spoil an area that’s sacred to them. The First Nations Indigenous groups — whose ancestors are recognized as the first inhabitants of South Africa — have been working for years to permanently stop the $300 million River Club project. The development near the city’s famed Table Mountain is set to put offices, shopping malls and housing on more than 37 acres of land that currently includes a wetlands area and a point where two rivers meet. Amazon is to be the main tenant, according to the developers and city officials. But the First Nations groups say the area is the site of some of their people’s earliest resistance against European colonizers in the 16th century and also has spiritual significance for them because of the meeting of the Liesbeek and Black rivers. Last week’s judgment by the Western Cape High Court put...
    BETHLEHEM, South Africa (AP) — Four Bengal tigers rescued from years of captivity in a train carriage in Argentina have been released into open-air enclosures in South Africa. After a journey of more than 70 hours from Argentina, the tigers stepped from their crates into open-air enclosures at the Lionsrock Big Cat Sanctuary in South Africa’s central Free State province. Visibly curious about their new homes, the tigers quickly surveyed the boundaries of their fenced-in areas, about 80-square meters (yards) in size, and chowed on chunks of meat put out as a welcome treat. The tigers’ arrival in South Africa on Saturday was the culmination of years of planning by the international animal welfare organization Four Paws, said Dr. Amir Khalil, mission leader and veterinarian. “I was more excited than the tigers,” he said, adding that it was expected the cats would be reluctant to leave their containers. “But they got out immediately. They wanted to discover the place, to smell the grass, to taste it.” He said the tigers’ activity showed they intend “to defend, to secure...
    CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — A new Zulu king can be crowned in South Africa after a court settled a dispute Wednesday over whether the prince named as heir to the throne last year had a rightful claim to it. A KwaZulu-Natal high court judge in the city of Pietermaritzburg ruled that Prince Misuzulu KaZwelithini, the eldest surviving son of the late king, is the “undisputed successor to the throne.” The Zulu king is a largely ceremonial role in South Africa but holds great significance for the 12 million Zulus who make up the country’s largest ethnic group. The king also inherits control over large portions of land and a significant fortune. The battle over Prince Misuzulu’s claim began last year with the death of King Goodwill Zwelithini, who had held the throne since 1968. The king’s will named one of his wives as Queen Regent of the Zulus, but she died a month after the king, leaving her son Prince Misuzulu to be named the king in waiting. Two Zulu princesses said the late king’s will had been...
    A group of wealthy A-list stars in South Africa are showing off their lavish lifestyles as they balance building their fortunes with their personal drama on Netflix's new reality series Young, Famous & African. The upcoming show follows the glamorous lives of socialite Zarinah 'Zari' Hassan, musician Diamond Platnumz, actress Khanyi Mbau, rapper Nadia Nakai, TV personality Andile Ncube, and others as they work and play in Sandton, Johannesburg— the richest square mile in Africa.  'Being rich and famous is not easy,' celebrity stylist Jeremiah Ogbodo, who is best known as 'Swanky Jerry,' insists in the glitzy trailer for the show, which premieres on March 18.  The upcoming Netflix reality series Young, Famous & African follows the glamorous lives of a group of A-listers in South Africa, including socialite Zarinah 'Zari' Hassan (pictured) The A-listers work and play in Sandton, Johannesburg, the richest square mile in Africa Nigerian model Annie Macaulay-Idibia and her musician husband, Innocent '2Baba' Idibia, are one of the main couples on the series, while Quinton 'Naked DJ' Masina appears on the show with his girlfriend Kayleigh Schwark, though little is known about the...
    (CNN)A distinct sound is currently vibing on social feeds around the world: the deep house, log-drum driven basslines and soulful piano melodies of "Amapiano." While Amapiano dance challenges are currently sweeping TikTok, the streets of South Africa have been thrumming with its sound for years.Seeping out of car windows and overflowing from clubs, Amapiano is more than a genre of music -- it is influencing style and dance and making an impact on South Africa's music industry. Believed to have started in 2012, this underground trend exploded in popularity during the Covid-19 pandemic, and has been on the rise ever since."We noticed a lot of our youths at the end of 2019 starting to use Amapiano music to create their food videos, their dance videos, their fashion videos, memes. And we really saw people embracing the genre and wanting to engage with it," says Yuvir Pillay, music operations manager at TikTok South Africa. While Amapiano has recently been on the rise around the world, clubs, car stereos and social media feeds in South Africa have been thrumming with its sound...
    OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso (AP) — It’s a pattern becoming all too common again in West Africa: Mutinous soldiers detain a president, then seize control of the state broadcaster to announce they’ve taken over the country. International condemnation quickly follows, but the junta remains in power. West Africa’s new wave of coups kicked off in Mali in 2020, followed by another in Guinea the following year, and then Burkina Faso late last month. Just a week later, gunmen also tried to overthrow the president of Guinea-Bissau in a machine-gun attack that lasted hours but failed. Military power grabs are nothing new in the region: There have been nearly 100 in West Africa since 1946 but they’d dropped off over the past decade. Now the regional body known as ECOWAS is grappling with how to bring about a return to democracy in three of its 15 member states, where juntas have seized power in the last 18 months. “It looks increasingly hard to argue against the idea of coup contagion – that coups in one place inspire them in another – following...
    MO SALAH is rocking a fresh look as he heads to the Africa Cup of Nations. The Liverpool superstar, 29, took a private jet alongside Aston Villa ace Trezeguet to link up with their fellow Egpytian team-mates. 2Mo Salah had longer curls and a thicker beard when he played at Chelsea on SundayCredit: Alamy 2He got a fresh trim to look smart ahead of the Africa Cup of NationsCredit: Twitter @MoSalah And as he posed for a photo laughing at the sleeping midfielder, Salah's smart new haircut was on show for all to see. In 2019, Salah stunned fans by shaving off his beard then in 2020 he went for a slick back-and-sides fade. But the 2022 New Year New Mo saw the curls tidied up and the beard trimmed for the delayed continental tournament. Egypt talisman and captain Salah - who has 23 goals in 26 appearances for the Reds this season - will be hoping to help his country go all the way in Cameroon and win a record-extending eighth AFCON crown. The Pharaohs kick off their...
    This is the sweet moment a rescued baby rhino joyfully zoomed round her enclosure. Footage, taken at Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre in Limpopo, South Africa, on September 30, shows the happy baby animal galloping round. In the footage, the animal appears to go round its enclosure again and again, happily.  Gosia Zdziechowska, a volunteer at the Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, said the baby rhino was named Ntandane, the Zulu word for orphan. In the footage, the animal appears to go round its enclosure again and again, happily Before being taken to the rehabilitation centre, Ntandane had been found alone without her mother.  The Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre began in 1991. Businessman Mr Strijdom from Pretoria in South Africa owns the farm where the Centre is situated. Mr Strijdom asked Brian Jones to run the rehabilitation centre for him. Before being taken to the rehabilitation centre, Ntandane had been found alone without her mother RELATED ARTICLES Previous 1 Next On a roll! Rhino flips over a one-tonne buffalo as the two... Female rhino drowns after...
    Promising data from South Africa, the world's first Omicron hotspot, suggest that the country's Omicron-driven Covid wave is fading after just one month. After seeing a 1,800 percent increase in infections from late November through mid-December, cases appear to have peaked nationally at about 27,000 on December 15. Cases have fallen in the country for the last five days in a row. Between December 15 and December 22, the case rate has dropped by about 22 percent. At the same time, data from South Africa suggests that Omicron cases are more likely to be mild, in part because vaccinated and previously infected people who catch the variant have protection from severe disease. In the U.S., new Covid cases are rising sharply with about three in four cases nationwide caused by Omicron. On Wednesday, the US recorded a staggering 238,378 new daily infections, and 2,024 new deaths. Since the start of the pandemic, the US has recorded 51.5 million cases of COVID-19 and 812,069 deaths.  The Omicron variant now accounts for 73 percent of new cases in the US and pushes...
    JOHANNESBURG -- South Africa's noticeable drop in new COVID-19 cases in recent days may signal that the country's dramatic omicron-driven surge has passed its peak, medical experts say.Daily virus case counts are notoriously unreliable, as they can be affected by uneven testing, reporting delays and other fluctuations. But they are offering one tantalizing hint - far from conclusive yet - that omicron infections may recede quickly after a ferocious spike.South Africa has been at the forefront of the omicron wave and the world is watching for any signs of how it may play out there to try to understand what may be in store.After hitting a high of nearly 27,000 new cases nationwide on Thursday, Dec. 16, the numbers dropped to about 15,424 on Tuesday. In Gauteng province - South Africa's most populous with 16 million people, including the largest city, Johannesburg, and the capital, Pretoria - the decrease started earlier and has continued."The drop in new cases nationally combined with the sustained drop in new cases seen here in Gauteng province, which for weeks has been the center of...