When South Africa's Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa stands up to give his first January 8th Statement as leader of the ANC, he will face a set of contradicting issues. To give a better presentation, something both more meaningful and more engaging, than his two predecessors is not terribly difficult, but there are also high expectations in the long-suffering society which he may not be able to meet. On top of it, much has already changed since Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma lost the ANC’s leadership contest, and much more is still likely to change over the next few weeks and months.
At least 15 people have now been confirmed dead in southern California. Major mudslides in the area this week has caused widespread havoc, leaving rescue workers scrambling to respond. Rampant wildfires last month in the same area created dangerously loose dirt. Heavy rains this week thus spelt disaster for residents.
President Trump has stated overnight that an interview with investigators looking into his collusion with Russia in 2016 "unlikely". Trump had earlier promised that he would "100 percent" be willing to meet special investigator Robert Mueller. The interview could be risky, opening the doorway to impeachment should he mess up his answers. Given Trump's astounding ability to say the first thing that comes to mind, this could be more an inevitability than your average president.
Ocean's Eleven this was not. Five men armed with hatchets broke open the jewellery display windows at the Paris Ritz's ground floor, making off with millions of euros in jewellery. But instead of a tale of derring-do, three of the thieves were arrested almost immediately, with two remaining on the lam. With three of their friends now in custody, you can expect a lot of talking by the captured trio, and a possibly-swift end to the remaining two thieves' adventure.
Three billion light years away, a neutron star is emitting powerful fast radio bursts, for FRBs. A new study on Wednesday has shown that these bursts appeared to come from one of the "most highly magnetized regions of space ever observed." The strength of the waves also indicates that they must originate from a source otherwise unknown to researchers. The fact that anything from three billion light years away can be recorded is astounding.
The number, in millions, of cigarette butts collected by Baltimore's trash-collecting "Mr Trash Wheel" in 18 months.
FACTS OF THE DAY
Today in 1569 thefirst recorded lottery in Englandtakes place.
Citizens of Singapore areorgan donors by default.You have to opt out to not donate, and if you choose so, you will have a lower priority should you require a donor.