Wednesday March 9, 2011
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Shannon de Ryhove.
The US on Tuesday warned Zimbabwe it could face international penalties if it helped Iran's nuclear program in defiance of UN sanctions and a global arms treaty.
State Department spokesperson PJ Crowley said Washington had taken note of comments that media reports attributed to Zimbabwe's Foreign Minister, which called the broad sanctions on Iran "unfair and hypocritical."
Crowley says that the foreign minister of Zimbabwe is entitled to his opinion, but the government of Zimbabwe is still bound by its commitments to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is a vocal critic of Western nations and last year voiced support for Iran's nuclear program, which the US and its allies believe is a cover for development of an atomic weapon.
Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Minister Collins Chabane pledged his support to Jimmy Manyi on Tuesday as calls mounted for the beleaguered government spokesperson's head.
Chabane said he had noted "repeated calls" in the media calling for Manyi to be fired for making racist remarks about coloureds and Indians.
Chabane said that Manyi remained the Cabinet spokesperson and the chief executive officer of GCIS, and continued to execute his responsibilities.
This followed statements he made last year, which had implications on the country's race relations. Manyi has since apologised for his statements and for the offence they had caused.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has made it clear that Washington believes any decision to impose a no-fly zone over Libya is a matter for the United Nations and should not be a US-led initiative.
On Tuesday, Muammar Gaddafi's tanks and warplanes pounded rebel positions in Zawiyah, the closest rebel-held city to the capital, Tripoli.
Rising casualties and threats of hunger and a refugee crisis have increased pressure on foreign governments to act, but many were fearful of moving from sanctions alone to military action.
She said the United Nations should make the decision on Libya, not the United States.
Also making headlines:
Gunfire erupts in Abidjan, with Gbagbo forces killing four people.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said on Tuesday that Zimbabwe will use revenue from diamond sales to repay part of its external debt totalling $7,1-billion.
And, Egypt's outgoing Arab League chief Amr Moussa says a presidential poll must come first, before people vote for a new parliament.
That’s a round up of news making headlines today.