Iraq probes evidence of death squad

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant A U.S. general said American forces had found evidence of a death squad operating in Iraq’s Interior Ministry, the Chicago Tribune reported on its Web site Wednesday evening. An American military official in Baghdad confirmed the report but declined to provide further details. Maj. Gen. Joseph Peterson, who commands the civilian police training teams in Iraq, said the 22 men were employed by the Interior Ministry as highway patrol officers. The bodies of Sunni Arabs, bound and gagged and shot in the head, have been turning up in Baghdad for months, fueling allegations of sectarian killings, which Sunni Arab leaders say often are carried out by Shiites in army or police uniforms. BAGHDAD, Iraq – Iraq’s Interior Ministry has launched an investigation into claims a police death squad has been operating in Iraq, a top official said today. The probe was launched as police found the bodies of 10 more men who had been shot dead execution-style and dumped in three different areas of Baghdad’s predominantly Shiite suburb of Shula. Maj. Gen. Hussein Kamal, Iraq’s deputy interior minister in charge of domestic intelligence, said the probe was launched following U.S. military claims that soldiers had detained 22 men wearing police uniforms who were about to kill a Sunni Arab man. “We have been informed about this and the interior minister has formed an investigation committee to learn more about the Sunni person and those 22 men, particularly whether they work for the Interior Ministry or claim to belong to the ministry,” Kamal told The Associated Press. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Neville critical of Conte after Chelsea defeat

first_imgEmbed from Getty ImagesGary Neville has criticised Antonio Conte following Chelsea’s defeat against Manchester United.The Blues’ 2-0 loss at Old Trafford meant they remain just four points clear of second-placed Tottenham at the top of the Premier League.Speaking on Sky, Chelsea legend Frank Lampard said he saw an “element of doubt” in Conte’s players as they were beaten for the second time in four matches.And former United defender Neville noted that boss Conte was unusually subdued on the touchline as his team produced a below-par display.Neville said: “Chelsea didn’t turn up. Where was Conte today, the manager?“You talk about the players, but the manager has been so active on the touchline all season you expect him to get them going – him to be raging on the touchline.“He seemed subdued today and as though he lacked belief. Chelsea didn’t turn up but United were fantastic.”See also:Man Utd v Chelsea player ratingsLampard saw ‘element of doubt’ in Chelsea   Ads by Revcontent Trending Articles Urologists: Men, Forget the Blue Pill! This “Destroys” ED x ‘Genius Pill’ Used By Rich Americans Now Available In Netherlands! x What She Did to Lose Weight Stuns Doctors: Do This Daily Before Bed! x Men, You Don’t Need the Blue Pill if You Do This x One Cup of This (Before Bed) Burns Belly Fat Like Crazy! x Drink This Before Bed, Watch Your Body Fat Melt Like Crazy x Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

SA, Botswana step up relations

first_img31 August 2012 South African President Jacob Zuma and Botswana President Ian Khama have signed an agreement establishing a bi-national commission, which will be convened annually. The signing of the agreement was one of the highlights of Zuma’s two-day state visit to South Africa’s neighbour, following Khama’s state visit to SA in October 2010. The commission will meet annually, alternating between Gaborone and Pretoria, and be chaired by both presidents. Zuma and Khama also signed cooperation agreements on energy and coal-based energy projects, and discussed the development of the Mmamabula coal-fired power station and the need to expedite cross-border transport and infrastructure projects such as roads and bridges. They urged their ministers responsible for defence, justice and security to intensify efforts to combat illicit drug trafficking and poaching of endangered species such as elephants and rhinos. The two leaders also discussed the political and security situation in Zimbabwe, while urging the Zimbabwe’s political parties to set and adhere to the timelines for the adoption of the new Constitution, and the holding of a referendum and elections.Botswana-South Africa business seminar During his visit, Zuma addressed the Botswana-South Africa business seminar, which sought to encourage business linkages between the two countries. Over 100 business people representing South Africa’s agri-processing, mining, construction, energy, ICT/telecoms, infrastructure and financial services sectors met with their Batswana counterparts at the Gaborone International Conference Centre. The delegates were led by Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies, together with other government departments and Brand South Africa. “We are looking forward to visiting Botswana with a large delegation of business people who are keen to identify and pursue trade and investment opportunities that exist between the various sectors in our two countries,” Brand South Africa CEO Miller Matola said ahead of Wednesday’s seminar. Strong economic ties already exist between the two countries, and South Africa remains Botswana’s major trading partner. South African companies have a huge presence in Botswana and are involved in various sectors, including mining, housing, food and beverages, construction, retail, hotels and leisure, banking and medical services. SANews.gov.za, with additional reporting by SAinfolast_img read more

SA saves R2.2bn in HIV drug tender

first_img29 November 2012 South Africa achieved a massive R2.2-billion cost reduction in the R5.9-billion tender awarded to three pharmaceutical companies on Thursday for single-dose antiretroviral (ARV) drugs for the government’s HIV treatment campaign. Making the announcement in Pretoria, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said that the majority of South Africans on state-sponsored ARV treatment for HIV would, from April 2013, need only one tablet instead of the current three per day. Motsoaledi said South Africa had managed to reduce the cost of the tender – for a single dose of the triple combination of tenofovir, entricitabine and efavirenz – by 38%, a massive saving of R2.2 billion.‘Means we can treat more patients’ The price of the three-in-one combination is R89.37, which Motsoaledi described as now the world’s lowest price for this product. The tender was awarded to South African companies Aspen Pharmacare and Cipla Medpro along with US firm Mylan Pharmaceuticals. “This new tender has moved from an original cost of R8.1-billion to R5.9-billion for two years,” Motsoaledi said. “This savings means we can treat more patients with the same budget.” Motsoaledi said, from April, all pregnant women who were HIV positive would be given the single dose combination during pregnancy and breast feeding, regardless of their CD4 count. At least 80% of patients on ARV treatment would also be able to switch to the single-dose combination, though Motsoaledi noted that those who couldn’t switch for any reason could still take individual ARV drugs.Benefits of the single-dose combination Motsoaledi said the single-dose combination had major benefits for patients, and not only in terms of compliance with the daily routine; the combination meant fewer side-effects, and easier logistics and storage. “The fixed dose combination … is more effective than dual therapy and has fewer side-effects for the pregnant mother, in addition to its convenient dosage regimen.” The drugs will be available in all 3 000 registered health facilities across the country, said Motsoaledi, adding that there would be no more delays in supply, as experienced with the previous supplier. “We have asked the suppliers to give us their commitment on this, and all three of them have done so.” Dr Francesca Conradie, clinical adviser for TB/HIV at Wits University’s Clinical HIV Research Unit, said the new combination would not be harmful to pregant mothers in any way. “Simplification of the tablets is so much easier for mothers, and it will lead to better results,” Dr Conradie said. UNAids country coordinator Dr Catherine Sozi commended South Africa for being able to access the effective drugs at a small price. “The reduction in cost is way beyond what we’ve hoped for,” Sozi said. Source: SANews.gov.zalast_img read more

Gallery: Operation Hydrate bringing water to dry lands

first_imgLearners from the Houghton Muslim Academy helped Operation Hydrate at a recent water drive at the Nelson Mandela Foundation. The initiative collected more than R55-million on the day. (Image: Sandile Khumalo)Operation Hydrate, the NGO that has been donating water in drought stricken areas of South Africa, has distributed more than 6 million litres of water so far. The group aims to collect R95-million worth of water by Nelson Mandela Day this year.Though the initiative only started on 4 January this year, it has already garnered massive support from ordinary people, as well as the likes of Mango Airlines, the national cricket team, and the National Lottery.Contact Yaseen Theba on 082 494 2824 to find out how you can contribute to Operation Hydrate’s water drive. For information about helping or where to drop off water or send donations, visit the Operation Hydrate Facebook page, or follow @HydrateSA on Twitter, #OperationHydrate.Below are some of the highlights from the initiative’s work so far. Pictures are from Operation Hydrate’s Facebook page unless stated otherwise. Operation Hydrate has distributed more than 6 million litres of water in drought stricken areas, to date. Water has been delivered by 41 trucks and tankers to Swartruggens, Senekal, Steynsrus, Qwa Qwa, Zululand, Nongoma, Ulundi, Paulpietersburg, Vryheid, and Aliwal North so far. According to the NGO, some people in the drought stricken areas have resorted to drinking sewage water. Leslie Sedibe, the chief executive of Proudly South African, said: “Just to give somebody a glass of water… could be the greatest testimony you’ll ever give them.” Operation Hydrate aims to collect R95-million worth of water by 18 July this year. Pictured here are learners from Benoni Muslim School who donated water to the cause. Water Affairs Minister Nomvula Mokonyane announced that the National Lottery would donate R50-million to the cause. On hearing this news, Operation Hydrate raised its target from R67-million to R95-million. (Image: Sandile Khumalo) The Proteas, the South African cricket team, donated five to 10 litres of water each. These were handed over in large bottles to Operation Hydrate. Cricket South Africa also called on supporters before the game against England in Centurion to donate bottled water at the stadium, collecting more than 5 000 litres of water.Chairperson of Operation Hydrate Fayaaz Moosa, pictured, said that although there had been some rain in certain parts of the country, the water was not necessarily potable, or of drinking quality. (Images: Sandile Khumalo) The donations were “ubuntu in action”, the initiative’s co-ordinator, Yusuf Abramjee, said at a water drive at the Nelson Mandela Foundation. “Real people are the ones donating,” he said. “We as civil society will continue to provide this basic human right.” (Image: Sandile Khumalo)last_img read more