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Jan 21, 2012

Madagascar’s Ravalomanana back in S.Africa

JOHANNESBURG/ANTANANARIVO, Jan 21 (Reuters) -
Madagascar’s exiled former leader Marc Ravalomanana was back
where he started on Saturday after a plane flying him home was
ordered to turn around mid-flight and returned to Johannesburg’s
main international airport.

Ravalomanana’s second failed bid in less than a year to
return could have ended in his arrest and would have stoked
political tensions on the impoverished Indian Ocean island. He
has been in self-imposed exile for almost 3 years since his
toppling in a military coup

Jan 6, 2012

Analysis: Food price pressures weigh heavy on southern Africa

JOHANNESBURG/LUSAKA (Reuters) – A tight grain supply outlook after several bumper harvests is set to fan food price pressures in southern Africa, fuelling salary demands and threatening to knock the region’s fragile economies out of kilter.

Erratic rains have delayed the planting of the crucial maize crop in Zambia, pushing inflation towards double digits, while bread basket South Africa is importing the staple despite abundant harvests because of worries it has exported too much.

Dec 29, 2011

Record number of ivory seizures in 2011: WWF

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – A record number of large scale ivory seizures will be recorded globally in 2011, pointing to a surge in elephant poaching in Africa to meet Asian demand for tusks for use in jewelry and ornaments, a monitoring group said Thursday.

TRAFFIC, a conservation group which tracks trends in wildlife trading, said there have been at least 13 large-scale seizures of over 800 kg (2,000 pounds) of ivory in 2011, more than double the 6 recorded in 2010.

Dec 15, 2011

Court to decide on S.Africa political mining case

JOHANNESBURG, Dec 15 (Reuters) – A South African court
will decide on Thursday whether or not a small but politically
connected company with no mining experience can keep a
prospecting right it was awarded.

But the stakes are far bigger than one dispute, as the case
has rattled investor confidence in Africa’s largest economy and
could have multi-billion rand consequences for Kumba Iron Ore
and Arcelormittal South Africa.

Dec 13, 2011

British mercenary details failed coup in book

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – British mercenary Simon Mann may be one of the luckiest foiled coup plotters in history.

The soldier of fortune expected to spend the rest of his days rotting in a tropical dungeon for his role in an attempted African putsch in 2004 that went horribly awry.

Dec 12, 2011

S.Africa platinum sector hit by safety stoppages

JOHANNESBURG, Dec 12 (Reuters) – Northam Platinum
, one of South Africa’s smaller platinum producers, said
on Monday its only producing mine has been hit by several
stoppages due to government safety inspections, part of a wider
campaign that has hit the sector.

Analysts have speculated that a sharp fall in overall
platinum production in South Africa in October was the result of
increased stoppages related to surprise inspections as part of a
government drive to boost safety.

Dec 9, 2011

Ancient human bedding used for pest control

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Almost 80,000 years before humans began using chemical sprays to control insect pests, Africans were using mattresses made from bug-repelling plants to ensure a good night’s sleep.

The finding, published in the journal Science on Friday, derives from 77,000-year-old plant bedding found in a cave in South Africa’s KwaZulu Natal province. The find is 50,000 years older than any previous prehistoric beds discovered.

Dec 9, 2011

Loophole in blood diamond monitoring scheme exposed

JOHANNESBURG/LONDON (Reuters) – It was hailed as a way to make it possible to buy a diamond ring for your sweetheart free from worry that you were funding civil wars and rights abuses.

But the efficacy of the Kimberley Process has been thrown into doubt by a diamond field operating under a recognised government, not a rebel army, that is widely criticised for abuses of its own.

Dec 9, 2011

Analysis: Loophole in blood diamond monitoring scheme exposed

JOHANNESBURG/LONDON (Reuters) – It was hailed as a way to make it possible to buy a diamond ring for your sweetheart free from worry that you were funding civil wars and rights abuses.

But the efficacy of the Kimberley Process (KP) has been thrown into doubt by a diamond field operating under a recognized government, not a rebel army, that is widely criticized for abuses of its own.

Dec 9, 2011

Scientists say ancient human bedding used for pest control

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Almost 80,000 years before humans began using chemical sprays to control insect pests, Africans were using mattresses made from bug-repelling plants to ensure a good night’s sleep.

The finding, published in the journal Science Friday, derives from 77,000-year-old plant bedding found in a cave in South Africa’s KwaZulu Natal province. The find is 50,000 years older than any previous prehistoric beds discovered.

    • About Ed

      "I cover commodities in southerrn Africa, a region that I have returned to after spending over four years covering religion, politics and the Great Recession in America. I am a Canadian citizen and grew up in Nova Scotia."
      Hometown:
      Johannesburg
      Joined Reuters:
      1995
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