Archive for January 5th, 2009
Source: Asia Times
By John Helmer
MOSCOW – With the end of 2008, the last of the legendary diamond cartel deals has sunk back into the murk from which it originated when Cecil Rhodes created his African Diamond Syndicate in 1873.
Following a ruling three years ago by the European Commission (EC), Africa’s De Beers and Russia’s diamond miner Alrosa have wound up a series of trading agreements – secret and open – that date back almost 50 years. Although the EC ruling, which threatened such agreements, was subsequently overruled by the European Court of Justice, De Beers and Alrosa decided separately that their best interests would be served if, from now on, they produced and traded competitively. From [continue reading]
Business Day (Johannesburg)
5 January 2009
Johannesburg — WORLD markets entered the new year on a positive note on hopes that governments would step up efforts to revive the global economy after equity prices suffered their largest falls on record last year.
But with most investors still on holiday and many markets closed, trading volumes were extremely light.
On the JSE, stocks rose for a fourth day on Friday, as resources shares rallied.
The rand held on to recent gains against the dollar, after tumbling 28% last year.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index climbed 4,6% as telecoms shares surged. Japan’s market was closed. European shares also rose, despite a report showing euro zone manufacturing activity slumped to a [continue reading]
The Herald (Harare)
Published by the government of Zimbabwe
3 January 2009
Harare — PUBLIC hospitals have been given the green light to charge for all medical services in foreign currency; a development many hope will improve service delivery.
The Minister of Health and Child Welfare, Dr David Parirenyatwa, earlier this week confirmed that the Government had allowed public health care facilities to give patients the option to pay in foreign currency if they so wished.
He said this did not mean the hospitals would no longer accept the Zimbabwe dollar.
“What we have said is that our patients should continue paying in local currency, but in the event that they opt to pay in foreign currency, we are to go by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe regulations,” Dr Parirenyatwa said.
He emphasised that no one was going to be forced to pay in [continue reading]
source: Mail & Guardian
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA Jan 04 2009 11:18
Zimbabwean rights campaigner Jestina Mukoko, who is to appear in court on Monday on charges of plotting to overthrow President Robert Mugabe, is being poisoned and tortured in custody, the Sunday Independent reported.
According to the paper, Mukoko, who is in solitary confinement at the notorious Chikurubi Maximum Security prison, is being force fed drugs by prison personnel.
The paper said her lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa has called for a toxicology report to support the allegations.
“Mukoko is psychologically traumatised, it is not certain that she has told the full story because, every time she speaks to [continue reading]