Daily podcast, June 19, 2009

19th June 2009 By: Amy Witherden

Friday, June 19, 2009
From Creamer Media on Johannesburg, I'm Sheila Barradas.
Making headlines:
According to economic analysis firm IHS Global Insight, businesses have to know where in the business cycle they are positioned and what their sensitivity to the business cycle is, to enable them to survive the downturn.
IHS senior economist for South Africa Ronèl Oberholzer explains that there are six phases in the business cycle. She notes that South Africa is now in the second phase of a downswing, with indicators showing a change of direction in economic activity.
South Africa's economy has reached the bottom of its downturn and while some risks still remain, the remainder of 2009 will be characterised by the consolidation and stabilisation of the economy, followed by stronger growth in 2010.
The IHS forecasts that South Africa's gross domestic product will contract by 1,3% for 2009, but improve to 2,1% in 2010 and 3,9% in 2011.

President Barack Obama's "reassertion" of US leadership in the Middle East offers a rare opportunity to achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians, says Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
In an editorial in The Wall Street Journal, Mubarak said that Obama's recent speech to the Muslim world in Cairo, showed that he is willing to take the lead in achieving peace in the region.
Mubarak says that a historic settlement is within reach, and while Egypt stands ready to seize that moment, he is confident that the Arab world will do the same.
Obama's Middle Eastern envoy George Mitchell has travelled four times to the region this year in a bid to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

At the relaunch of the HIV and Aids Charter by the Aids Consortium at the Constitutional Court, Judge Edwin Cameron said that the fight against HIV/Aids is hindered by the stigma that people continue to attach to the virus.
While the stigma remains, "there is still too much silence, too many deaths", he said, describing internal stigma as "one of the powerful obstacles" that hinders the fight against HIV/Aids.
Also speaking at the launch was Mark Heywood of the South African National Aids Council. He said that the fight against the virus is in vain because the government does not have "political commitment".
By relaunching the charter, the Aids Consortium hopes to help reduce the number of people who "die from despair because of the stigma attached to the virus".

Also making headlines:
Suspended SABC chief Dali Mpofu says that the public broadcaster is in a crisis of the highest magnitude.
Axed national prosecutions chief Vusi Pikoli says that former President Kgalema Motlanthe distorted the Ginwala report on his fitness to hold office.
And, Doha Trade negotiators echo high-level calls for a world trade deal.

That's a roundup of news making headlines today.