South Africa

While you were sleeping: 13 September 2017

Apple unveils three new phones, fighting breaks out in CAR, and Oscar Wilde temple opens up.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

“This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.” 
Dalai Lama XIV


This is the seventh edition of the Open Secrets’ series, Declassified: Apartheid Profits. While researching the recently published book Apartheid Guns and Money: A Tale of Profit, Open Secrets collected approximately 40,000 archival documents from 25 archives in seven countries. This treasure trove contains damning details of the individuals and corporations that propped up apartheid and profited in return. Many of these documents were kept secret until now. Most remain hidden despite South Africa’s transition to democracy. OPEN SECRETS believes that it is vital to allow the public to scrutinise the primary evidence. Here we invite you behind the scenes to look at the documents that informed the book. Last week we looked at the global money-laundering system managed by Kredietbank Luxembourg. This week we see how a secret office in Paris was responsible for using this system to broker weapons deals and bust the embargo.


Apple makes new phones

Three new iPhones were announced by Apple late on Tuesday. The iPhone X (pronounced "ten" for the Roman numerically-challenged), the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus were all unveiled by Tim Cook at the Apple campus. Expect many a man-bunned hipster to spill their flat whites at such promising, trust fund-draining news.


UN reports on CAR fighting

Sectarian clashes in Bria, Central African Republic, have killed at least 25 people, the UN reported late on Tuesday. Thousands have been displaced by the violence that broke out several days ago. With the UN's aid chief warning that signs of genocide were emerging in the country, it joined Myanmar in dubious company in terms of human rights abuses.


US publishes self-driving car guide

In a push to speed along the development of self-driving cars, the Trump administration has pushed through new guidelines on the development and testing of autonomous vehicles. The guide is aimed at encouraging the technology's development, with the motivation behind it being driven, quite literally, by soaring vehicle-related fatalities in the United States.


Oscar Wilde temple opens in New York

A temple devoted to gay rights icon and general wit Oscar Wilde has opened in a New York church basement. Created as a direct reaction to perceived threats by President Donald Trump's administration, the basement is open to the public five days a week and can host private ceremonies, including weddings. At the centre of the altar is a 1.2 metre statue of Wilde with his prisoner number inscribed below. 




The number of times the Pyrenean ibex has become extinct.



Today in 1914 South Africa opens up hostilities with South-West Africa (Nambia).

Catholics are forbidden from joining Masonic organisations. 





Biko, we are not at ease