Mail & Guardian Online reporter, Reuters and Sapa

Mbeki suspends prosecutions chief

President Thabo Mbeki has suspended Vusi Pikoli, the National Director of Public Prosecutions, it was announced on Monday. Mokotedi Mpshe was named as acting director. The move to suspend Pikoli -- met with shock and disbelief by opposition political parties -- comes amid a bitter turf war between the police and the Scorpions that has escalated to Cabinet level.

Strong earthquake hits Indonesia

A powerful earthquake struck near Indonesia's Sumatra island on Wednesday, the United States Geological Survey said, and the shock was felt across South-East Asia. A tsunami warning was issued by several Indian Ocean countries. Several buildings in Padang, the provincial capital of Indonesia's West Sumatra, collapsed, Global TV reported.

Strong aftershock hits Peru quake area

Peruvian rescue teams scrambled on Friday to find survivors in the disaster zone of a powerful earthquake that killed about 500 people and where an aftershock of 6,0 magnitude struck on Friday, the United States Geological Survey and witnesses said. The main quake of 8,0 magnitude hit on Wednesday.

SABC report: What you couldn’t read

Two weeks ago, the Mail & Guardian newspaper was interdicted by the head of the South African Broadcasting Corporation's (SABC) legal services, Mafika Sihlali, from publishing a story on an explosive draft internal SABC audit report. On Wednesday, the interdict order was dismissed, and we can finally publish the full original report.

New SABC channel starts amid bias furore

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is launching an international news channel to compete with CNN and the BBC, joining the growing ranks of news outlets seeking to challenge media stereotypes about Africa. But media watchdogs say the SABC should focus on bolstering editorial independence at home.

Car on fire crashes into UK airport

A blazing Cherokee Jeep smashed into the main terminal building at Scotland's Glasgow airport on Saturday, police said, a day after two car bombings were foiled in central London. Police said two people were arrested in Saturday's incident. The airport was closed afterwards. There were no reports of any injuries.

US launches corruption probe into Britain’s BAE

The United States Justice Department has launched a corruption probe into Britain's BAE Systems, a potential headache for Gordon Brown just hours before he succeeds Tony Blair as British prime minister. BAE, Europe's biggest military contractor, said on Tuesday the probe will include its dealings with Saudi Arabia.

Ailing Manto put on sick leave

South Africa's ailing Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang has been temporarily replaced by the transport minister while she receives treatment for a lung condition, an official statement said. Tshabalala-Msimang, often criticised by Aids activists, entered hospital last week with anaemia and fluid collecting near the lung.

Clouds gather ahead of Mugabe’s birthday

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe turns 83 on Wednesday, fit for his age and combative in the face of a crumbling economy, social unrest and a looming battle over who will succeed him. Mugabe will celebrate his birthday with a huge party on Saturday. But gathering clouds risk overshadowing the festivities.

Zim media commission renews Ncube licences

Zimbabwe's Media and Information Commission this week issued publishing licences for the Zimbabwe Independent and the Standard, published by Mail & Guardian chief executive Trevor Ncube, despite recent fears that a much-criticised crackdown on media freedom would also affect these newspapers.

South Africa bids to sate Asia’s abalone cravings

Shipped halfway across the world to Asia as a seafood delicacy, abalone has become a prized commodity for South African entrepreneurs as well as criminals who have poached the mollusc almost to extinction. Known colloquially in South Africa as ''perlemoen'', abalone is so endangered the government has drastically reduced the total allowable catch.

Ncube’s Zim citizenship hearing postponed

Zimbabwe's High Court in Harare has postponed hearing Mail & Guardian chief executive Trevor Ncube's case against the withdrawal of his Zimbabwean citizenship. The Zimbabwean government claims Ncube -- who publishes the Standard and the Zimbabwe Independent in that country -- is not a Zimbabwean citizen.

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