Monday, January 18, 2010
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Amy Witherden.
The opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) said on Friday that the South African government's decision to bypass a white paper on the National Planning Commission (NPC) negates best democratic practices. Following the release of the revised green paper by Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel earlier on Friday, DA parliamentary leader Athol Trollip said that a white paper was absolutely critical to define the powers of the commission. Trollip said that despite calls from some members of an ad hoc committee on the NPC, the final report to Parliament noted that the decision to adopt a white paper - essentially making it legislative - had been left for Manuel to decide. The revised green paper released on Friday stated that the government chose not to turn the green paper into a white paper, which would be advantageous as it provided a public commitment on the broad approach, but still left room for flexibility.
World leaders have pledged aid to rebuild a devastated Haiti, but on the streets of its wrecked capital, earthquake survivors were still waiting yesterday for the basics: food, water and medicine.
President Barack Obama promised help as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton flew to Haiti, where the shell-shocked government gave the US control over the congested main airport to guide aid flights from around the world. Clinton told Haitians that the US would ensure that their country emerges "stronger and better" from the disaster.
Looting has been sporadic since Tuesday's earthquake, which flattened large parts of the capital. But violence broke out over the weekend as people became more desperate.
Haitian Interior Minister Paul Antoine Bien-Aime said that around 50 000 bodies had already been collected and the final death toll will likely be between 100 000 and 200 000.
Guinea's military junta chief Captain Moussa Dadis Camara said yesterday that he backs a plan to appoint a transitional government, and that he will not return to reclaim power in the unstable country.
Speaking in public for the first time since he was injured in an assassination attempt in December, Camara said that he had signed a January 15 agreement providing for "a rapid exit from the crisis."
Camara's second in command Sekouba Konate assumed control of the country when Camara was shot. Earlier this month, Konate said that he would appoint a civilian Prime Minister to head a government intended to manage the country's move towards a free election.
Also making headlines:
South Africa becomes a member of the International Renewable Energy Agency.
Angola arrests a third human rights activist in Cabinda as investigation into the attack on the Togo soccer team continues.
Central African Republic opposition parties and a former rebel group pull out of preparations for elections due later this year.
And, China gives Tanzania $180-million in loans.
That's a roundup of news making headlines today.