A Royal Family Feuds Over Who Should be King of the Zulus

Who should rightfully inherit the throne of the legendary King Shaka Zulu? Some royals have criticized the leading contender as a reckless playboy unfit to lead a storied African monarchy.

#internal-sub-only, #royal-families, #south-africa, #succession-battles, #zulu-misuzulu-sinqobile, #zulus, #zwelithini-goodwill

South African Teens Recall Choking Gas, a Stampede and One Exit

Teenagers inside a tavern where 21 died one June night recall a mysterious gas and then a crush to escape. Community members blame the tavern owner, and the police for failing to respond.

#alcoholic-beverages, #bars-and-nightclubs, #deaths-fatalities, #east-london, #ramaphosa-cyril, #south-africa, #teenagers-and-adolescence

At Least 20 Found Dead in South African Tavern, Officials Say

Initial reports suggested that there had been a stampede inside the club, in the coastal city of East London.

#eastern-cape-province-south-africa, #south-africa, #stampedes

In South Africa’s Farmgate Scandal, a Theft and Then a Silence

Namibian investigators tracing money transfers by men suspected of stealing wads of cash from President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa say their cross-border calls for help went unanswered.

#african-national-congress, #corruption-institutional, #fraser-arthur, #fugitives, #informers, #namibia, #politics-and-government, #ramaphosa-cyril, #robberies-and-thefts, #south-africa

For South Africa’s Leader, Being a Burglary Victim Spells Trouble

After a fortune in cash was stolen from President Cyril Ramaphosa’s farmhouse, he kept it secret. Now that word is out, critics ask what he was hiding.

#african-national-congress, #corruption-institutional, #ramaphosa-cyril, #robberies-and-thefts, #south-africa, #zuma-jacob-g

Gupta Brothers, Accused of Corruption in South Africa, Are Arrested in Dubai

Atul and Rajesh Gupta had fled South Africa four years ago amid intense law enforcement scrutiny and public outrage over allegations that they facilitated the gutting of state resources.

#african-national-congress, #corruption-institutional, #dubai-united-arab-emirates, #extradition, #government-contracts-and-procurement, #interpol-international-criminal-police-organization, #politics-and-government, #south-africa

The Era of Borderless Data Is Ending

Nations are accelerating efforts to control data produced within their perimeters, disrupting the flow of what has become a kind of digital currency.

#amazon-com-inc, #apple-inc, #austria, #cloud-computing, #computers-and-the-internet, #data-storage, #data-mining-and-database-marketing, #enterprise-computing, #europe, #european-union, #facebook-inc, #france, #germany, #google-inc, #great-britain, #india, #kazakhstan, #kenya, #meta-platforms-inc, #microsoft-corp, #politics-and-government, #privacy, #social-media, #software, #south-africa, #spain, #surveillance-of-citizens-by-government, #telephones-and-telecommunications

How Often Can You Be Infected With the Coronavirus?

The spread of the Omicron variant has given scientists an unsettling answer: repeatedly, sometimes within months.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-omicron-variant, #disease-rates, #infections, #long-covid, #south-africa, #united-states, #vaccination-and-immunization, #your-feed-science

Did Warming Play a Role in Deadly South African Floods? Yes, a Study Says.

Climate change sharply increased the chances of catastrophic rains in the country’s east, a team of researchers has found.

#deaths-fatalities, #durban-south-africa, #eastern-cape-province-south-africa, #floods, #global-warming, #kwazulu-natal-province-south-africa, #landslides-and-mudslides, #rain, #research, #south-africa, #world-weather-attribution

Elon Musk Left a South Africa That Was Rife With Misinformation and White Privilege

The apartheid era created all-white enclaves littered with anti-Black government propaganda and sheltered from the atrocities of apartheid.

#apartheid-policy, #black-people, #california, #discrimination, #freedom-of-speech-and-expression, #musk-elon, #musk-errol, #propaganda, #race-and-ethnicity, #rumors-and-misinformation, #south-africa, #space-exploration-technologies-corp, #tesla-motors-inc, #twitter, #whites

Omicron subvariants BA.4, BA.5 evade protection from earlier omicron infection

A Covid-19 testing tent stands in Times Square on April 27, 2022 in New York City.

Enlarge / A Covid-19 testing tent stands in Times Square on April 27, 2022 in New York City. (credit: Getty | Spencer Platt)

Enduring an initial omicron infection may not spare you from omicron’s subvariants, according to preliminary data from South Africa.

The country is currently at the start of a new wave of infections, primarily driven by two omicron coronavirus subvariants, BA.4 and BA.5. Despite a towering wave of cases from the initial BA.1 omicron variant in December that infected a large chunk of the country, new omicron cases increased 259 percent in the last two weeks, according to data tracking by The New York Times. Hospitalizations are also up, and deaths have increased by 18 percent.

Preliminary data posted online last week helps explain why cases are once again surging—the BA.4 and BA.5 omicron subvariants can evade neutralizing antibodies generated by infections from BA.1. For the study, led by virologist Alex Sigal of the Africa Health Research Institute, researchers pitted neutralization antibodies from people infected with BA.1 up against BA.4 and BA.5 in a lab. They had samples from 24 unvaccinated people infected with BA.1 and 15 vaccinated people who had also had a BA.1 infection (eight people were vaccinated with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, and seven had the Johnson & Johnson vaccine).

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#antibodies, #ba-2, #ba-2-12-1, #ba-4, #ba-5, #covid-19, #infections, #omicron, #public-health, #sars-cov-2, #sars-cov-2-variants, #science, #south-africa

South Africa’s latest surge is a possible preview of the pandemic’s next chapter.

The spread of two newly discovered subvariants has doctors watching closely.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-omicron-variant, #south-africa, #vaccination-and-immunization

A Boston Consulting Firm Became a Power Broker, and Then a Pariah, in South Africa

A new judicial inquiry found that corruption at South Africa’s tax agency was because of “collusion” between Bain & Company and South Africa’s former president.

#bainco, #corruption-institutional, #moyane-tom, #ramaphosa-cyril, #south-africa, #tax-evasion, #zuma-jacob-g

Housing Crisis Propels High Death Toll in South Africa Floods

The catastrophe underscored an overlooked reality in the fight against extreme weather: Protecting people is as much about tackling social issues as environmental ones.

#africa, #durban-south-africa, #floods, #global-warming, #housing, #south-africa, #weather

Death Toll in South Africa Floods Passes 250

President Cyril Ramaphosa traveled to the east coast, which was pounded by days of rain that washed away bridges and swept homes from their foundations.

#deaths-fatalities, #durban-south-africa, #floods, #infrastructure-public-works, #ramaphosa-cyril, #south-africa

Heavy Floods and Mudslides Leave at Least 45 Dead in South Africa

Torrential rain left a trail of destruction in the coastal city of Durban — the latest disaster in a season of storms that some scientists say has been intensified by climate change.

#africa, #durban-south-africa, #floods, #global-warming, #hurricanes-and-tropical-storms, #landslides-and-mudslides, #south-africa, #world-weather-attribution

Trying to Solve a Covid Mystery: Africa’s Low Death Rates

The coronavirus was expected to devastate the continent, but higher-income and better-prepared countries appear to have fared far worse.

#africa, #antibodies, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #deaths-fatalities, #disease-rates, #research, #sierra-leone, #south-africa, #your-feed-science

Plan for Amazon Headquarters in South Africa in Peril After Court Order

A judge ordered construction of the development in Cape Town to be halted, saying that the developer had not properly consulted Indigenous South Africans.

#amazon-com-inc, #building-construction, #cape-town-south-africa, #decisions-and-verdicts, #indigenous-people, #johannesburg-south-africa, #south-africa

In Some Parts of the World, the War in Ukraine Seems Justified

In countries friendly toward Russia, people are troubled by the war and loss of life, but some say they think that Putin has a point.

#afghanistan, #brazil, #china, #india, #propaganda, #putin-vladimir-v, #russian-invasion-of-ukraine-2022, #south-africa, #vietnam, #zelensky-volodymyr

Omicron subvariant BA.2 continues global rise as experts assess mixed data

Omicron subvariant BA.2 continues global rise as experts assess mixed data

Enlarge (credit: Getty | Xinhua News Agency)

A sub-lineage of the omicron coronavirus variant, dubbed BA.2, continues to increase steadily around the globe as scientists and health officials are still working to understand the risk it poses to public health.

So far, the overall data has been a mix. Some recent laboratory and animal data have suggested that BA.2 can cause more severe disease than the original omicron variant, BA.1. But, so far, that finding isn’t bearing out in real-world data. Countries where BA.2 is dominant are not seeing higher rates of severe disease. And, many places seeing BA.2 increasing are also seeing cases decline, along with hospitalizations.

While animal experiments have hinted that BA.2 interacts differently to some immune responses than the original omicron variant, so far real-world vaccine data finds two doses and booster doses are just as effective—if not slightly more effective—against BA.2 than BA.1.

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#ba-1, #ba-2, #covid-19, #denmark, #disease-severity, #infectious-disease, #japan, #nepal, #omicron, #public-health, #science, #south-africa, #transmission, #uk, #us, #variant

The Milky Way: An Electrifying View

A new radio-wave image of the center of our galaxy reveals all the forms of frenzy that a hundred million or so stars can get up to.

#astrophysical-journal, #black-holes-space, #camilo-fernando-scientist, #milky-way-galaxy, #sagittarius-a, #south-africa, #space-and-astronomy, #stars-and-galaxies, #telescopes-and-observatories

In South Africa, Success Against H.I.V. Offers Hope

A former Africa correspondent, who covered the height of the AIDS epidemic there 15 years ago, finds lessons in the remarkable progress against that virus for our current fight.

#acquired-immune-deficiency-syndrome, #africa, #drugs-pharmaceuticals, #south-africa, #two-thousands-decade, #zambia

In Southern Africa, Success Against H.I.V. Offers Hope for Beating Back Another Virus

A former Africa correspondent, who covered the height of the AIDS epidemic there 15 years ago, finds lessons in the remarkable progress against that virus for our current fight.

#acquired-immune-deficiency-syndrome, #africa, #drugs-pharmaceuticals, #south-africa, #two-thousands-decade, #zambia

Suspect Charged With Arson in Fire at South Africa’s Parliament

The 49-year-old man was also accused of housebreaking, theft and contravening state security laws. His lawyer said the suspect was being made a scapegoat for government failures.

#arson, #cape-town-south-africa, #fires-and-firefighters, #historic-buildings-and-sites, #south-africa

South Africa Parliament: Suspect Charged in Fire to Appear in Court

A 49-year-old man is facing charges of arson and theft in the blaze, which started Sunday and heavily damaged legislative buildings in Cape Town.

#cape-town-south-africa, #fires-and-firefighters, #historic-buildings-and-sites, #legislatures-and-parliaments, #ramaphosa-cyril, #south-africa

South Africa Parliament Fire Still Burning After 4 Hours

The extent of the damage was not immediately clear on Sunday morning, but officials feared it would be extensive.

#cape-town-south-africa, #fires-and-firefighters, #south-africa

With a Simple Funeral, South Africa Bids Farewell to Desmond Tutu

The archbishop and Nobel laureate left plans for an unostentatious ceremony, which were stripped back further under Covid restrictions.

#apartheid-policy, #cape-town-south-africa, #funerals-and-memorials, #politics-and-government, #ramaphosa-cyril, #south-africa, #tutu-desmond-m

In Remembering Tutu, South Africa Reckons With Lasting Challenges

Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s death has reignited a public conversation about the state of the country’s reconciliation process and its democracy.

#african-national-congress, #apartheid-policy, #funerals-and-memorials, #mandela-nelson, #race-and-ethnicity, #south-africa, #south-african-council-of-churches, #truth-and-reconciliation-commission-south-africa, #tutu-desmond-m

J. & J. Booster Protects Against Severe Omicron, Study Says

Two shots of the vaccine reduced the risk of hospitalization from the fast-spreading variant by 85 percent, a clinical trial found.

#clinical-trials, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-omicron-variant, #drugs-pharmaceuticals, #johnsonjohnson, #research, #south-africa, #vaccination-and-immunization

Desmond Tutu Knew Justice Had to Include Forgiveness

Contemporary activists can benefit from Tutu’s ideas about restorative justice and strengthen their quest for fundamental fairness.

#black-people, #cancel-culture, #capital-punishment, #charleston-sc, #charleston-sc-shooting-2015, #civil-rights-and-liberties, #civil-rights-movement-1954-68, #cooper-chris, #discrimination, #emanuel-african-methodist-episcopal-church-charleston-sc, #king-martin-luther-jr, #mandela-nelson, #northam-ralph-s, #potter-kimberly-a-1973, #race-and-ethnicity, #roof-dylann-storm, #south-africa, #thompson-myra-1955-2015, #truth-and-reconciliation-commission-south-africa, #tutu-desmond-m

With US swamped by omicron, Biden scraps travel bans

With US swamped by omicron, Biden scraps travel bans

Enlarge (credit: Craig Hastings | Getty Images)

President Joe Biden on Tuesday issued a proclamation revoking controversial travel restrictions targeting southern Africa where the ultra-transmissible omicron coronavirus variant was first detected in late November.

The travel restrictions on eight countries in southern Africa—Botswana, Eswatini/Swaziland, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe—will be lifted at 12:01am ET on December 31.

The revocation was long sought by public health experts, who say such travel bans are ineffective and harmful.

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#covid-19, #infectious-disease, #omicron, #public-health, #science, #south-africa, #variant

South Africa Begins a Week of Mourning for Desmond Tutu

The cleric and anti-apartheid activist’s funeral will be held on Jan. 1 at the cathedral where he served as South Africa’s first Black archbishop.

#apartheid-policy, #cape-town-south-africa, #funerals-and-memorials, #south-africa, #tutu-desmond-m

The Time Archbishop Tutu Was Searched at the Airport

A former South Africa bureau chief for The Times recalls telling moments with the anti-apartheid religious leader.

#apartheid-policy, #crosses-and-crucifixes, #new-york-times, #segregation-and-desegregation, #south-africa, #truth-and-reconciliation-commission-south-africa, #tutu-desmond-m

Even in Retirement, Desmond Tutu Remained South Africa’s Moral Compass

The Nobel laureate retired from public life over a decade ago, but he continued to advocate social justice, gay rights and climate change.

#apartheid-policy, #black-people, #mandela-nelson, #politics-and-government, #south-africa, #tutu-desmond-m

Here Are Some of the Many Tributes for Desmond Tutu, a Force for Harmony

From prominent South African lawmakers to religious figures, many on social media honored Archbishop Tutu as a patriot of peaceful principles who dedicated his life to combating injustice everywhere.

#apartheid-policy, #cape-town-south-africa, #politics-and-government, #south-africa, #truth-and-reconciliation-commission-south-africa, #tutu-desmond-m

‘A True South African Giant’: Tributes for Desmond Tutu, a Force for Harmony

From prominent South African lawmakers to religious figures, many on social media honored Archbishop Tutu as a patriot of peaceful principles who dedicated his life to combating injustice everywhere.

#apartheid-policy, #cape-town-south-africa, #politics-and-government, #south-africa, #truth-and-reconciliation-commission-south-africa, #tutu-desmond-m

Desmond Tutu, Whose Voice Helped Slay Apartheid, Dies at 90

The archbishop was a powerful force for nonviolence in South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement, earning him a Nobel Peace Prize in 1984.

#apartheid-policy, #clergy, #deaths-obituaries, #south-africa, #truth-and-reconciliation-commission-south-africa, #tutu-desmond-m

South Africa Ends Quarantining and Contact Tracing

The new regulations follow data showing that while the Omicron variant is highly transmissible, it has not caused high rates of severe disease in South Africa.

#centers-for-disease-control-and-prevention, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-omicron-variant, #quarantines, #shortages, #south-africa, #united-states, #vaccination-and-immunization

Travel Between U.S. and Southern Africa Will Resume, White House Says

Biden is lifting the ban at midnight on Dec. 31, reversing widely criticized restrictions imposed last month.

#africa, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-omicron-variant, #south-africa, #travel-warnings, #united-states

Jacob Zuma Must Return to Prison, South Africa Judge Rules

The former president had been granted medical parole two months into a 15-month prison sentence on contempt charges linked to a corruption inquiry.

#decisions-and-verdicts, #politics-and-government, #probation-and-parole, #south-africa, #zuma-jacob-g

How Conflicting Guidance on Travel During the Pandemic Shows Little Progress

The Omicron variant turned my trip home from South Africa into a nightmare episode of conflicting public health orders that often seemed to have little connection to science.

#africa, #airlines-and-airplanes, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-omicron-variant, #medicine-and-health, #netherlands, #quarantines, #south-africa, #your-feed-healthcare

Early Omicron Reports Say Illness May Be Less Severe

Researchers in South Africa, where the variant is spreading quickly, say it may cause less serious Covid cases than other forms of the virus, but it is unclear whether that will hold true.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-omicron-variant, #disease-rates, #research, #south-africa, #vaccination-and-immunization, #world-health-organization

The Variant Hunters: Inside South Africa’s Effort to Stanch Dangerous Mutations

Scientists in a cutting-edge laboratory do part of the work. Local health workers on foot do the rest.

#acquired-immune-deficiency-syndrome, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-omicron-variant, #immune-system, #laboratories-and-scientific-equipment, #research, #south-africa, #vaccination-and-immunization

Omicron Variant Spreading Twice as Quickly as Delta in South Africa

A new mathematical analysis strengthens concerns about the effects of the new variant on the pandemic’s course.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-delta-variant, #coronavirus-omicron-variant, #disease-rates, #immune-system, #south-africa, #vaccination-and-immunization, #your-feed-science

Omicron Variant Reinfects People Who Have Had the Coronavirus

Evidence from South Africa, where the Omicron variant already dominates, shows a high rate of reinfection of people who have already had the coronavirus.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-omicron-variant, #south-africa, #vaccination-and-immunization

Why Didn’t the U.S. Detect Omicron Cases Sooner?

Genomic surveillance has improved enormously in recent months, but the system has built-in delays, and blind spots remain.

#centers-for-disease-control-and-prevention, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-omicron-variant, #genetics-and-heredity, #south-africa, #tests-medical, #vaccination-and-immunization, #your-feed-health, #your-feed-science

Why Hasn’t the U.S. Found More Omicron Cases?

Genomic surveillance has improved enormously in recent months, but the system has built-in delays, and blind spots remain.

#centers-for-disease-control-and-prevention, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-omicron-variant, #genetics-and-heredity, #south-africa, #tests-medical, #vaccination-and-immunization, #your-feed-health, #your-feed-science

Vaccine Hesitancy Hurts Covid Fight in Poorer Countries

Vaccines are finally available in many African countries, but some people there, as well as in South Asia, are wary of taking them.

#africa, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #india, #south-africa, #third-world-and-developing-countries, #vaccination-and-immunization

Omicron Variant, in 20 Nations, Spread Earlier Than Was Known

With evidence growing that a worrisome new coronavirus variant is highly contagious, health officials issued warnings that vulnerable people should not travel.

#centers-for-disease-control-and-prevention, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-omicron-variant, #europe, #south-africa, #travel-warnings, #vaccination-and-immunization, #world-health-organization

How 2 Flights to Europe May Have Spurred Spread of New Variant

A confounding array of Covid rules and lax enforcement of mask wearing may have sent on infected passengers on two KLM flights from South Africa to “who knows where.”

#airlines-and-airplanes, #amsterdam-netherlands, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-omicron-variant, #klm-royal-dutch-airlines, #netherlands, #schiphol-airport, #south-africa, #vaccination-and-immunization, #world-health-organization