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*South Africa has recorded 1 987 new coronavirus cases, taking the total number of cases to date to over 754 256. This brings the total number of deaths to over 20 433. The cumulative number of tests conducted up to last Tuesday was 5 160 877. Recoveries now stand at 696 820 which translates to a recovery rate of 92.4%.

*Is our country on the cusp of impending natural disaster? Western Cape residents were given a rude awakening in the wee hours of Tuesday when a 3.4 to 3.5 magnitude earthquake struck from Saldanha on the west coast to Cape Town. On 26 September a 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck from 1600km South East of South Africa right up to Cape Town. Could it be a cause of concern?

*The SABC reported a net loss of R511 million for the 2019/2020 financial year. Why should that be surprising? The public broadcaster churns out crap programmes, has not collected enough TV licence fees because viewers refuse to pay. The SABC reported that total revenue declined by 12% year-on-year to R5.7 billion. The decline can be attributed primarily to a decrease in advertising spend across the industry and the delay in finalising commercial partnerships on digital platforms. TV licence revenue has also come under pressure under difficult economic conditions for our audiences.

*Double Olympic 800-metre champion Caster Semenya is to take her fight with World Athletics to the European Court of Human Rights. Semenya is one of a number of female athletes with differences in sexual development (DSDs) competing in races ranging from 400 meters to a mile, who World Athletics insist must reduce their naturally high levels of testosterone in order to run. This can be done either through the use of drugs or surgical interventions. Semenya has vowed to fight the regulations but has already lost an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and another subsequent plea to the Swiss Federal Tribunal (SFT) asking for the CAS ruling to be set aside. “We will be taking World Athletics to the European Court of Human Rights,” Semenya’s lawyer Greg Nott said in a media release on Tuesday, without placing a time-frame on their appeal. “We remain hopeful that World Athletics will see the error it has made and reverse the prohibitive rules which restrict Ms Semenya from competing.” World Athletics have consistently said the regulations are aimed at creating a level playing field for all athletes. “World Athletics has always maintained that its regulations are lawful and legitimate and that they represent a fair, necessary and proportionate means of ensuring the rights of all female athletes to participate on fair and equal terms,” the governing body said in a statement after the SFT case. Athletics South Africa insist Semenya is still part of their team for the Tokyo Olympic Games next year, though over what distance remains to be seen. She has also been competing in the 200-metre sprint, which falls outside of the World Athletics regulations.

*The US is to cut its number of troops in Afghanistan and Iraq by 2,500, the US Department of Defense has confirmed. It would have been so satisfying if that report said “to 2500”, instead of “by 2500”. That’s the big difference. What were they doing there in the first place? The US loves to stick its nose in the backsides of others. And always for oil and to keep its arms and ammo factories operational – all under the guise of fighting terrorism. President Donald Trump had previously warned that he would be cutting the size of US forces in the two countries. The cut will take place before President Trump leaves office, the Pentagon said. The number of troops in Iraq will be cut by 500 to 2,500, while the number of service personnel in Afghanistan will fall from 4,500 to about 2,500. Why not bring them ALL home, Mr President?

*Days after winning Formula One’s World Championship for a record-equalling seventh time, Lewis Hamilton topped the Powerlist 2021. The list honours the most powerful people of African, African Caribbean and African American heritage in the UK. This year, there’s been a special focus on two of the biggest themes of 2020 – coronavirus and racial injustice. The independent judging panel looked at people who have the “ability to change lives and alter events, as demonstrated over a protracted period of time and in a positive manner”.

*Don’t forget to pray for our Grade 12s who are in their midst of final exams. In the final 12 years of their schooling career this year has been the most significant. May their future be brighter.

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