Today's Big Stories

Back-to-school, 3 million Charlie Hebdo copies to hit stands, Mbete vs EFF

EWN Correspondents Nomsa Mdhluli, Emily Corke and Vumani Mkhize on this story: with inland schools headed back to school today, the Gauteng Education Department says it has completed 98 percent of school admissions and has done everything it can to ensure that the first day of school goes as smoothly as possible. Gauteng primary schools are expecting to welcome around 105,000 grade ones and around 73,000 pupils will begin their high school careers. Sixteen new schools across the province will open their gates for the first time today. This year will also see 17 schools spearhead a paperless classroom initiative in which pupils will use computers and tablets instead of textbooks.

3 million copies of Charlie Hebdo are set to hit news stands today: with digital versions to be posted in English, Spanish and Arabic, with print editions in Italian and Turkish. The French satirical publication will publish a front page showing a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad holding a sign saying "Je suis Charlie" in its first edition since terrorists attacked the satirical newspaper. With demand surging for the edition due on Wednesday, the weekly planned to print up to 3 million copies, dwarfing its usual run of 60,000, after newsagents reported a rush of orders.

EWN Parliamentary Correspondent Gaye Davis on this story: National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete has asked the EFF and its leader Julius Malema not to question Zuma during the State of The Nation Address (Sona), by using it as an opportunity to demand answers on the Nkandla spending scandal. But with Malema insisting Zuma must be held to account, Parliament’s opening next month could be set for drama. Malema has warned that if Mbete does not grant a special early sitting of Parliament, he and his red beret Members of Parliament (MPs) will put the questions to Zuma when he presents his opening address in Parliament on 12 February. Mbete turned down Malema’s request for an early sitting so that Zuma can finish the question and answer session that abruptly ended with chants of "Pay back the money" last August.


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