Dec 08 2013

Six In The Morning

On Sunday

Mandela death: ‘Day of prayer’ in South Africa

 8 December 2013 Last updated at 07:24 GMT


People in South Africa are taking part in a day of “prayer and reflection” for late President Nelson Mandela.

President Jacob Zuma will attend a service in a Methodist church in Johannesburg, with other multi-faith services planned throughout the day.

A national memorial service will be held on Tuesday, ahead of a state funeral on 15 December.

South Africans have been holding vigils since Mr Mandela died on Thursday at the age of 95.

President Jacob Zuma urged South Africans to go to stadiums, halls, churches, and other places of worship on Sunday to remember their former leader.

Sunday’s Headlines:

Without the Observer, and David Astor, Mandela would have hanged

Slaughter of elephants on a huge scale

Terrorist attack on Israel-Syria border heightens tensions

Chile’s Pinochet-era dictatorship: Were soldiers victims, too

Ukraine Demonstrators Say They Won’t Relent on Demands for Change


Without the Observer, and David Astor, Mandela would have hanged

In 1964, when Nelson Mandela and others were facing the death penalty, one newspaper, the Observer, kept the issue before the world’s eyes, and effectively saved the ANC leadership

John Mulholland

The Observer, Sunday 8 December 2013

Writing in the 20-page Mandela supplement inside today’s paper, author Jeremy Lewis, who is currently working on a biography of former Observer editor David Astor, quotes from a letter by South African anti-apartheid campaigner Mary Benson to Astor in 1964: “I wonder whether you realise how much you and the Observer must be largely responsible for Nelson’s life?”

The letter is a reference to the Observer’s relentless reporting from South Africa in that period and in particular its coverage of the Rivonia trial in 1963-64, when Mandela and other ANC figures faced the death penalty for acts of sabotage against the regime. The Observer, through the redoubtable Anthony Sampson, covered the trial on a weekly basis and campaigned for the men to be spared the death penalty.

Slaughter of elephants on a huge scale

The animals are being killed in record numbers to supply the illegal ivory trade. Unless there is unified action across all nations, these creatures will disappear from the face of the Earth. Are the authorities robust enough to fight the ever-growing demand from Asia?

 TOM BAWDEN  Author Biography   Sunday 08 December 2013

Poaching elephants for the illegal trade in ivory is becoming increasingly industrialised. The rate of killing, against a relatively slow natural population growth, could result in the extinction of the species – the largest land animal on the planet – in areas of Africa where it was once plentiful. The prospect of the elephant joining the dodo and, more recently, some sub-species of rhino and tigers, is a horrifying one.

The reasons why elephants are being slaughtered in escalating numbers in recent years are as much about economics as the drugs, war and terrorism that the trade funds.

Newly rich Asians demand increasing numbers of the ivory goods they associate with a classy Western lifestyle, driving up prices and profits – and are being aided by a massive failure on the part of the international community to enforce even existing rules.

Terrorist attack on Israel-Syria border heightens tensions

 December 8, 2013 – 4:06PM

The Israeli military said that an explosive device intended to target an Israeli patrol in the Golan Heights had detonated near the fence separating Syrian and Israeli-controlled territory, the first such attack since the armistice line was established in 1973.

No one was injured in the explosion just before 5pm on Friday on the eastern side of the fence near the Druse village of Majdal Shams, said Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner, an Israeli military spokesman. No one claimed responsibility for the explosion, which caused slight damage to an army vehicle patrolling on the western side, Lieutenant Colonel Lerner said.

Chile’s Pinochet-era dictatorship: Were soldiers victims, too

Former conscripts are campaigning for compensation from the Chilean state for alleged abuse, unpaid pensions, and salaries for mandatory military service.

 By Kyle G. Brown, Contributor


In a modest hilltop home off of a long, winding road that leads out of Santiago into the Andean mountains, Anastasio Palma and Carlos Ortega talk boisterously about life in the Armed Forces.

But this isn’t your typical soldier reunion, filled with tales of camaraderie or youthful shenanigans. Mr. Palma and Mr. Ortega were conscripted soldiers during the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship, and are part of a growing movement of former conscripts demanding reparations from the Chilean government for alleged human rights violations.

“Me and my brothers, we get together and we suffer. We don’t remember good times, but the bad times,” says Palma, who was conscripted in 1978 at the age of 17, and posted near Chile’s border with Argentina and Bolivia.

Ukraine Demonstrators Say They Won’t Relent on Demands for Change


Published: December 7, 2013

KIEV, Ukraine – Furious about President Viktor F. Yanukovich’s decision to scrap political and trade accords with Europe, Mykola Nomonko shut his auto parts store in the western city of Staryi Sambir, piled his five employees into a minibus and drove to Kiev, the capital, to protest. It was Sunday, Nov. 24. Nearly two weeks later, he is still here.

Like many of the thousands of demonstrators occupying Independence Square and several public buildings in Kiev, Mr. Nomonko said he would not leave until Mr. Yanukovich was ousted. “He has to resign,” he said. “People became so angry that they will stand here to the end – to the happy end of Yanukovich’s career. We wait for the political death of Viktor Yanukovich.”