Israeli warplanes have struck Gaza militants for a fifth straight day as its military prepared for a possible ground invasion, though Egypt saw ‘some indications’ of a truce ahead.

Forty-seven Palestinians, about half of them civilians, including 12 children, have been killed in Israel’s raids, Palestinian officials said. More than 500 rockets fired from Gaza have hit Israel, killing three people and injuring dozens. Read the rest of this entry »

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He is the most badly burned survivor of the King’s Cross fire after his face melted away and his fingers fused together when he was hit by a 600C fireball.

But survivor Kwasi Afari Minta, a Ghanaian – whose face became the enduring image of the disaster – has said: ‘I feel lucky’.

The fire on November 18, 1987, killed 31 people and injured more than 60 others. The King’s Cross fire victim had to wear a medical mask to help skin grafts and treatment of his melted face after he was severely burnt

Bravery behind the mask: Kwasi Afari Minta, who was the most badly burned of the King’s Cross survivors, says he feels lucky

Hundreds were trapped underground as black smoke poured through the tunnels as panicking crowds, screaming in terror, hammered on trains which rushed past platforms without stopping.

Those that managed to survive from the furnace-like heat and smoke have since spoken of their horror 100ft below ground.

Kwasi was one of the survivors, but he has felt the pain ever since. Read the rest of this entry »

Cape Town — Gallup, a leading research consultancy known for its opinion polls, has released its “Global States of Mind: New Metrics for World Leaders” report, which seeks to provide leaders at all levels of society with “timely, foward-looking economics on what their citizens are thinking”.

It is crucial for a country’s leadership to be in touch with the mood of its citizens, according to Gallup CEO Jim Clifton, as highlighted by the events of the Arab Spring.

Here are some high- and lowlights from the report: Read the rest of this entry »

Whether Africa will ever benefit from its natural resources is a question that is more relevant now than ever, as new discoveries of coal, oil and gas across East Africa look set to transform global energy markets and – people hope – the economies of those countries. Read the rest of this entry »

Three presidential candidates have resumed rigorous campaigning in the regions, as they approach the homestretch of the December polls, after suspending their political campaign to commiserate with victims of the Achimota Melcom supermarket disaster. President John Mahama of the National Democratic Congress ((NDC),Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party(NPP)and Dr.Michael Abu Sakara of the Covention People’s Party (CPP) all abandoned their campaign  tours in various parts of the country and rushed  to Accra to witness rescue operations at the Melcom supermarket disaster spot and console families of victims. Read the rest of this entry »

Helen Zille treads a narrow path. She’s a white woman, leading the main opposition party, against a former African liberation movement, in what you might call a “developing democracy”.

In many countries, the leader of the opposition can afford to rail and spin and generally throw mud at the ruling party without too much caution, while those in charge of running the government are held more firmly to account.

Here in South Africa the opposite often seems to hold true. Read the rest of this entry »

The world’s wealthy countries often criticise African nations for corruption – especially that perpetrated by those among the continent’s government and business leaders who abuse their positions by looting tens of billions of dollars in national assets or the profits from state-owned enterprises that could otherwise be used to relieve the plight of some of the world’s poorest peoples. Read the rest of this entry »

South African opposition parties have submitted a motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma saying that corruption and unemployment have risen, the justice system has been politicised, and the economy has weakened.

The motion, backed by eight parties, was triggered by the recent deadly mine strikes, the downgrading of the country’s credit rating by two major agencies, and big spending of state funds on Zuma’s rural residence, according to a joint statement by the parties on Thursday. Read the rest of this entry »