The clean-up in Johannesburg begins!
Two Joburg housing officials along with two accomplices have been arrested on charges of fraud and corruption linked to a syndicate involving land and RDP houses.
Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba said they have appeared in court and were released on R5‚000 bail each.
The case has been postponed to 11 April 2017. “A syndicate working in collusion with the Department of Housing‚ municipal officials and a councillor started allocating stands to people at a fee wherein unsuspecting individuals bought the said stands.
A similar modus operandi applied to the allocation of RDP houses‚” he said in a statement. Many of the victims have already constructed houses on illegally sold land‚ Mashaba added.
Source: RDP housing fraud syndicate arrested‚ says Johannesburg mayor – Times LIVE
The EU will take just 48 hours to issue its first plan for Brexit negotiations after Britain formally triggers its departure, European Council President Donald Tusk has said.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May has promised to trigger Article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union –the divorce notification clause – by the end of March.
Mr Tusk said the European Council, the EU institution which groups the bloc’s national leaders, would issue its draft plan for the talks soon after that.
“When the UK notifies, it is our goal to react with the draft negotiation guidelines for the 27 members to consider, for this I think we need more or less 48 hours,” Mr Tusk told a news conference in Brussels.
Source: EU to issue Brexit response within 48 hours of trigger
Never before have we seen as much LGBT art and activism coming out of repressive Asian countries like China, Singapore, and Taiwan. Transgress Press recently published Lei Ming’s Life Beyond My Body, the first book written by a transgender man in China. After a neglected childhood in a rural Chinese village, Ming left home at 16 to find answers to who he is in a culture that still doesn’t speak of men like him. Ming, who is in the U.S. for a spring book tour of the West Coast, tells of using black market testosterone and being jailed over his identity — but most of all, of finding his place in the world.
Meanwhile, in May, New York Review Book Classics releases Qiu Miaojin’s Notes of a Crocodile, with a new English translation by Bonnie Huie. Hugely popular among college-educated lesbian and bisexual women in Taiwan and mainland China (though she was never published there), 26-year-old Miaojin stabbed herself in the heart with an ice pick (or knife) in 1995. Her pre-suicide depression never tampered her brilliance, though, and just after her death she was given one of Taiwan’s most prestigious literary prizes for the book. Interest in Miaojin, who is credited with birthing the LGBT movement in Taiwan, crosses national boundaries. A Hong Kong filmmaker recently released a Chinese-language documentary on Miaojin as well.
Source: Behind the Asian Awakening Happening In Film | Advocate.com
In a crisis there are always people saying something must be done. Most of their plans are worse than doing nothing. I’d like to have coined that maxim but I borrowed it from a former Downing Street adviser – someone who has seen first hand how the attraction of doing something drastic in politics conceals the risk of doing something stupid.
The context was discussion of a new party. It isn’t hard to find this conversation in Westminster. It takes place whenever there is a gathering of two or more people who despair equally at Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of Labour and Theresa May’s navigation of Brexit. It isn’t a plot: no one is recruiting MPs to some new force. But there is a lot of speculation that someone should.
The conversation begins with the thought that Labour is doomed. Corbyn’s closest allies insist he can still be prime minister, but with dwindling conviction. John McDonnell complains about conspiracies by MPs and the media, not because he fears a coup but because he needs one. It isn’t a coincidence that the Corbyn locomotive ran out of steam once Owen Smith’s leadership challenge was crushed. Battle against “Blairites” was the coal in the furnace. Without an internal enemy to fight, the wheels stop turning.
Source: Rafael Behr | Opinion | The Guardian