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Dally podcast - June 5, 2009


5th June 2009

By: Amy Witherden


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Friday, June 5, 2009
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Amy Witherden.
Making headlines:
The State Security Ministry has dismissed media reports that the National Intelligence Agency's staff shortage has stalled the vetting of Members of Parliament for its intelligence committee.
The Ministry said that the NIA has not as yet received the proposed names of committee members from Parliament, as the process for the submission of names from political parties only closes today.
Minister of State Security Dr Siyabonga Cwele is said to share the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence chair's enthusiasm to begin the Parliamentary committee work as soon as possible and be ready for the State Security budget vote scheduled for July 1. But the Parliamentary process has to be finalised first.

In world news, US President Barack Obama sought to change Muslim perceptions of the US yesterday in an historic speech that urged Arabs and Israelis to declare in public the realities that Obama says they accept in private.
Speaking in Cairo, Obama called for a "new beginning" in ties between Washington and the Islamic world.
Some Muslims welcomed Obama's fresh tone after George W Bush's departure, while others expressed frustration that he failed to outline specific changes to US policy. This reflects scepticism in the region that Obama must still overcome.
The choice of Cairo for the speech underscored Obama's focus on the Middle East, where he faces big foreign policy challenges, from trying to restart Israeli/Palestinian peace talks to curbing Iran's nuclear plans.
In his address, Obama offered few specifics on democracy, rule of law and human rights in the Arab world, issues many hoped he would spell out.


In other news, former President Thabo Mbeki said in a speech yesterday that the developed world must honour its commitment to helping Africa weather the global economic crisis. Both Africa and developed countries cannot afford such a betrayal of trust, he said.
The consequences of the global economic storm include: a decrease in demand for African exports, a drop in tourism, decreased remittances, a slump in foreign direct investment, a reduction of trade finance, a decrease in tax revenues as economies contract, as well as social and political consequences in Africa.
The former President said that the rescue of the African economy must involve action by Africans, as well as by developed countries. The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank had announced a number of interventions to help developing countries, said Mbeki and Africa itself should take steps to respond.

Also making headlines:
The Department of International Relations and Cooperation holds talks with the United Arab Emirates on political and trade relations.
The Congress of South African Trade Unions is adamant that President Jacob Zuma will serve two terms in the Presidency.
And, the United Nations Environment Programme calls for investment in the natural ecosystem and not just cleaner coal in an effort to curb climate change.


That's a roundup of news making headlines today.




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