Updated: US interest rate change makes big waves

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First Thing with John Stupart

Thursday, 17th December

Sometimes there is not enough coffee in the world to ensure error-free editions. Please note that today's First Thing was one such case. The United
States Federal Reserve has raised its rates, not lowered. We apologise for any financial crises, paper-shredding and general mayhem this may have sparked off

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While you were

For the first time in nine years, the United States Federal Reserve has raised its interest rates. An increase in a range
between 0.25 and 0.50 percent was announced. This was combined increased growth expectation for 2016 to 2.4 percent. US markets jumped up in response to the announcement. BBC
The US and Cuba are to resume regular flights between each country. The announcement was made one day short of today's one year
anniversary of the thawing in diplomatic relations between the two countries. Although flights will not resume immediately, the lifting of travel restrictions does allow for the beginning of safety standards inspections, advisory, and eventual
implementation by the Federal Aviation Administration. WP
Facebook has announced its partnership with Uber on an interesting new app. The unholy alliance will allow Facebook users to call an Uber taxi directly from the Facebook Messenger service, removing the need for exiting the one app
and using another. Currently limited to American riders, the "transportation" menu option will begin appearing on users' phones by Wednesday. Reuters
Speculation has been rife around Chelsea's man in at the helm. Jose Mourinho's future as manager is uncertain, but former Blues winger Pat Nevin is confident he will survive the onslaught. Chelsea's loss to Leicester has the
once-mighty club sitting at just a single point above the relegation zone. Even if Mourinho does stay, facing a mutinous team with a nine game losing streak will be a hard disaster to turn around. BBC
Financial Indicators:
Oil=$37.35 Gold=$1,075.45 Platinum=$876.45
R/$=15.05 R/€=16.48 R/£=22.59 $/€=1.09
JSE All Share=48,428.77 DJIA=17,536.83 FTSE 100=6,061.07: Source
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In Numbers

The number of lives lost to terrorism in 2014.
Coming Up
Today in 1973 Palestinian terrorists kill thirty passengers at Italy's Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport. Phosphorus bombs were thrown into the plane's cabin, causing general
President Jacob Zuma will be attending a Christmas party for orphans today. Hopefully none of them will receive a new minister as a
Russia's sanctions gets discussed tomorrow. This will be done at an EU summit in Brussels.
New Zealand play Sri Lanka in their second test. Day one at Seddon Park, Hamilton kicks off at 23h30
Fact of the day: Cats definitely like
tuna. What is not generally well-known is that cats can become addicted to tuna. So much so that they will refuse to eat anything
Bloemfontein: min: 14° max: 31°, cloudy
Cape Town: min: 16° max: 24°, cloudy
Durban: min: 19° max: 29°, drizzle
East London: min: 20° max: 22°, rainy
Johannesburg: min: 18° max: 29°, cloudy
Kimberley: min: 17° max: 31°, cloudy
Nelspruit: min: 18° max: 25°, rainy
Pietermaritzburg: min: 11° max: 26°, cloudy
Polokwane: min: 18° max: 27°, cloudy
Port Elizabeth: min: 16° max: 29°, drizzle
Pretoria: min: 16° max: 30°, cloudy
Source: Forecast.io
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Now on Daily Maverick

Pravin Gordhan vs Sunday Times: Press Ombudsman finds paper in breach,
delivers a damning judgment

Press Ombudsman Johan Retief found on Tuesday that reporting by the The Sunday Times on the SARS “rogue unit” had been “inaccurate and unfair”, is
in breach of several sections of the Press Code and that the paper should apologise unconditionally to Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. Gordhan has come out guns blazing since his reinstatement as Finance Minister after President Zuma scored an own
goal firing Gordhan's successor, Nhlanhla Nene. Gordhan's surprise visit to SARS this week also sent a strong signal that we can expect more drama and fallout in coming weeks and months. By MARIANNE THAMM.
SA Nine-Hour endurance race: Playing Guitar with Bob Dylan … en

The Team Africa Le Mans Ginetta G55 driven by South African racing legend Sarel van der Merwe, Le Mans 24-hour winner Jan Lammers and Dr Greg
Mills finished first GT car home, second overall and won the Index of Performance in the South African Nine-Hour race at Killarney race track on Saturday 12 December 2015. This is their story. By GREG MILLS.
2015: Africa for Optimists
There has been plenty to celebrate in Africa this year, from successful elections and brave new leaders, to winning the fight against Ebola. SIMON
ALLISON looks at the best stories from an eventful year.
2015: Africa for pessimists
Despite all the progress – and there is a lot of that – there are still plenty of bad African news stories. SIMON ALLISON looks at what has gone
wrong in 2015.
Press Ombudsman's rulings against Sunday Times vindicate Pillay and van

Three rulings by the Press Ombudsman that stories published by the Sunday Times with regard to a SARS “rogue unit” were “inaccurate, misleading
and unfair” vindicate former SARS acting commissioner Ivan Pillay and group executive Johan van Loggerenberg. The saga has tarnished the reputation of the country's biggest-selling newspaper which, it appears, was drawn into an elaborate
cloak-and-dagger campaign to discredit SARS. By MARIANNE THAMM.
ICG: New risks on Nigeria’s Shiite fault line
On 12 and 13 December, Nigerian government troops clashed with members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN). Their battle in the city of
Zaria, in north central Kaduna state, reportedly killed more than 100 people, including some senior movement members, and threatened wider violence. Crisis Group’s Senior Nigeria Analyst, NNAMDI OBASI, provides some insight into what happened, the
relationship of the Shiite group with the government and with Sunni radicals, and whether the Nigerian government risks a second Boko Haram-style insurgency. By the INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP.
ICG: Iran after the Nuclear Deal
Tensions within the Islamic Republic stem in no small part from its blend of popular sovereignty and religious authority. Theocratic forces seek
to maintain the dominance of the supreme leader and other tutelary bodies, while republican forces advocate more clout for popularly-elected institutions. Each camp is further split between pragmatists who seek incremental political evolution, and
radicals who either resist any change or promote revolutionary transformation. By the INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP.
Five years since the famine, Somali children are still stalked by the menace
of hunger

Since the 2011 famine, malnutrition in Somalia has decreased, to some extent. Among children under five years old it has fallen from 18% in the
2011 Gu (the rainy season in Somalia, which is the primary cropping season and runs from April to June) to 13% in the 2015 Gu. However, the improvement has not been enough to lift hundreds of thousands of children out of the fear – and the reality –
of hunger. By KUN LI for UNICEF.
Video: Evita's Free Speech - The Day of Reconciliation

Leading up to the 2016 South African Municipal Elections and the 20th year celebration of her theatre in Darling, Evita se Perron, Tannie Evita
has committed herself to broadcasting a Sunday recap of the week's news, with the accent on Free Speech. Here's The Day of Reconciliation special. By PIETER-DIRK UYS.
Onkgopotse JJ Tabane: Dear Comrade Zizi Goodenough Kodwa... Let’s Talk

I was totally flabbergasted by the media statement issued by the ANC’s NWC this week. I know that you are merely doing your work drafting
statements of this nature, but I spared a thought for you having to once again defend the indefensible.
In case you
missed it
2015 South African Person of the Year: The Student
In a society trapped in a leaderless quagmire, where somebody probably stands for something yet nobody stands for anything, a new flame has
flickered to life. Thousands of young people rose up, stood together and challenged the establishment – from their campuses, the streets, Parliament and the lawns of the majestic Union Buildings, they made their voices heard. They brought down a
symbol of exploitation and privilege, exposed the prevailing racism on their campuses and fought against fee increases in higher education. When all else is being sucked into a bottomless pit, the youth of the nation raised their fists and reminded
us what true leadership is. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
2015 International Person of the Year: The Refugee
After considering a roster of other challengers, Daily Maverick has decided the refugee most clearly represents the person of the year
internationally. J. BROOKS SPECTOR looks at the competition, and then sets out why refugees – from that small, frail child drowned at the seashore and who never even made it to Western Europe, to the many thousands of desperate people now tramping
their way through the Balkans to the promised land of Germany or England – deserve our nod in 2015.
2015 Africans of the Year: Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu

In 2015, Nigeria experienced its own peaceful transition. Before this, Africa’s most populous nation had never experienced an orderly, democratic
change of ruling party before – a sorry state of affairs which goes a long way towards explaining why has this African giant developed so slowly. But before Buhari could take power, President Goodluck Jonathan had to accept defeat. By SIMON
2015 South African Sportsperson of the Year: Wayde van

While Wayde van Niekerk has much to prove at next year’s Olympics, 2015 will be remembered as the year when the young South African sprinter
announced himself on the world stage. Grounded, talented and proudly South African, Van Niekerk is the kind of sportsperson who offers a better alternative to the harsh and dark realities of every day society. By ANTOINETTE
2015 International Sportsperson of the Year: Serena

Although Serena Williams finished 2015 on a disappointing note, she battled through illness and adversity on more than one occasion during the
year to edge ever closer to breaking Steffi Graff’s record. She does not need accolades to confirm that she is one of the best athletes to ever live, but that doesn’t mean we can help ourselves being in awe. By ANTOINETTE MULLER.
Game of Thrones, Pravin Gordhan edition: When the target reclaims the hot-seat by

It is a supreme but delicious irony that the old new Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, will now be the person dealing with a compromised KPMG
report, commissioned by SARS to look into a so-called “rogue unit” allegedly established under his watch as commissioner of the revenue service. President Jacob Zuma's hubristic move in firing Nhlanhla Nene last week - triggering a tailspin for the
Rand - left No 1 with no option but to surrender the public purse back to Gordhan and in so doing scoring a spectacular home goal. Let the games begin. By MARIANNE THAMM.
Report: A press conference South Africa badly needed
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan was impressive on Monday in his first media briefing since returning suddenly to the post. But can he save the the
institution from the damage the president has done? By GREG NICOLSON.
Analysis: The day grownups took over
If a week is a long time in British politics, five days in South African politics is literally an aeon. On Wednesday evening, President Jacob Zuma
appeared to be able to do anything. By Wednesday night, it appeared that he was more than just the MacDaddy of our politics, he was its lord and master. And those around him were the barons and dukes and earls who appeared to have a lock on our
economy, our government, and its remaining wealth. Now, suddenly, the power relationships have changed. It seems the ANC has reasserted itself. Zuma, surely, will never be the same again. And Pravin Gordhan has returned, along with fiscal probity,
fiscal discipline, and most thankfully, sanity. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
Crisis in Burundi: From non-interference to non-indifference, invoking the
responsibility to protect

Indifference and inertia among African states may mean that the United Nations could be called in to prevent atrocities, and a return to
mass-scale violence in Burundi. By FRANK CHARNAS.
Mali: Peace from Below?
After a summer marked by renewed clashes in northern Mali, a surprising détente began taking shape in October 2015 following a series of talks
between leaders of the Coalition of Azawad Movements (CMA), the main rebel coalition, and those of the Algiers Platform, the pro-government coalition. By the INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP.
Tshepo Motsepe: Recall President Zuma!
The South African Presidency should be a site to advance the struggle for social equality, for the righting of historic crimes against black
people, for jobs, houses, healthcare and education, for human rights globally and at home. This struggle can no longer be lead by a person as compromised, divisive and ineffective as President Jacob Zuma. He must be recalled by the
Nic Haralambous: Forget Petitions and Marches, I’m Joining The

Currently, the online petition for President Jacob Zuma to step down has over 150, 000 signatures.These people want to be change agents, but they
want to sit at home, moan, click a button and make change magically appear. They want to march to the Union Buildings without a plan, without an agenda and without a leader to bring cohesion. Instead, I’d like all of those people to join me in
becoming a member of the ANC.
Rian Malan: True confessions of a bourgeois

'Tis the season to be jolly, and here I am, laughing at myself. I spent the weekend agonizing about the Nene crisis and constructing a
counter-revolutionary plot that might have put me in jail, then I wake up this morning and poof, Van Rooyen is gone, finance is back in steady hands and the Mad King is mortally wounded. This country!
KARL CLOETE: What does the working class stand to gain from the #ZumaMustFall

The call that #ZumaMustFall call implies that changing personalities changes policies. In fact, it would at best make no difference to policies,
and at worst could replace one individual with an even worse individual. That is definitely what the business interests have in mind – a President who is a more reliable servant of monopoly capitalism.
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