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From Polity in Johannesburg, I’m Shannon O’Donnell
Our lead stories this week:
• A written response to a Parliamentary question submitted by Gareth Morgan of the Democratic Alliance reveals that negligence or malpractice in South Africa’s public hospitals has cost the Health Department millions in damages awards over the past few years. Health Minister Manto Tshabalala Msimang says that the cases, which occurred throughout South Africa, are rare exceptions to the usually excellent care provided at State hospitals.
• Australia’s new Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, signs documents to ratify the Kyoto Protocol immediately after taking the oath of office, ending his country’s decade of opposition to the global climate agreement. A move that isolates the US as the only developed country that has not ratified the agreement which sets binding limits on developed countries to curb the carbon emissions blamed for global warming.
• At least 75 Ugandans are suspected to have contracted a previously unknown strain of the lethal Ebola virus. The country’s deputy Health Minister Dr Emmanuel Otaala has denied claims that the government knew of the outbreak but concealed it to avoid putting off 53 heads of government and thousands of delegates attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting held in Kampala at the end of November.
Also making headlines: • The US is to slap travel and financial sanctions on more people with ties to Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.
• A 190-nation climate meeting takes place in Bali in a bid to broker a new global deal to fight global warming by 2009
• The Elders, a group of veteran politicians formed by Nelson Mandela urges the international community to supply equipment needed to allow a joint United Nations-African Union peacekeeping force to deploy to Darfur in western Sudan.
This bulletin has been compiled with the assistance of Reuters and Sapa.
Also available on the Polity website are a number of recommended reports and documents that provide for interesting reading, including:
• The Centre for Development and Enterprise’s Skills Revolution report that assesses the current state of the skills development strategy in South Africa.
• The World Investment Prospects Survey 2007-2009, and;
• “Peak Poison”, a report by Groundwork which discusses energy in the twenty-first century.
Also freely downloadable on the site are several new pieces of South African legislation and a collection of important addresses made by South African government leaders and other leading figures from around the African continent.
That’s a roundup of this week’s activities on Creamer Media’s polity.org.za.