Tuesday March 1, 2011
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Shannon de Ryhove.
Forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi were massed near the Tunisian border on Tuesday, and the US said it was moving warships and air forces closer to Libya.
Residents feared pro-Gaddafi forces were preparing an attack to regain control of Nalut, about 60 km from the Tunisian border in western Libya, from protesters seeking an end to Gaddafi's rule.
The United States and other foreign governments discussed military options on Monday for dealing with Libya as Gaddafi scoffed at the threat to his government from a popular uprising.
US ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said Gaddafi was "disconnected from reality," was "slaughtering his own people" and was unfit to lead.
Egypt's military leaders will hold a referendum on constitutional change on March 19, a parliamentary election in June and a presidential poll six weeks later.
Youth activist Zyad El-Elaily and 16 other members of the Coalition of Revolutionary Youth which took part in protests to oust President Hosni Mubarak, said he had met three members of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces on Sunday.
The council has yet to set a formal date for the referendum or elections.
Elaily said the council's timeframe for the referendum and the elections reflected its eagerness to hand over power.
South Africa recorded a R4,9-billion trade deficit in January, largely owing to major decreases in exports of mineral products, machinery and electrical appliances and vehicles, aircraft and vessels.
This was compared with the prior month’s surplus of R10,3-billion, which was buoyed by higher commodity exports, specifically in iron-ore, precious metals and base metals.
The South African Revenue Service reported Monday that exports from South Africa dropped by 17% to R44,7-billion in January.
Imports increased by 14% to R49,6-billion, which was up from R43,5-billion in December.
Also making headlines:
Tanzania's president accuses the country's main opposition party of provoking violence to try to remove his government.
On Monday, South African Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu extended the moratorium on new applications for prospecting rights in the country.
And, a senior World Bank official said on Monday that a sustained period of higher oil prices will significantly affect developing economies, but is unlikely to derail their strong recovery since the financial crisis.
That’s a round up of news making headlines today.