Today's Big Stories

Nobel recognises fight for children, Russia-SA nuclear deal lost?

Wins for South Asia activists in the fight for children's rights: the Nobel Peace Prize for 2014 has been jointly awarded to Pakistan’s Malala Yousafzai and India’s Kailash Satyarthi. It was announced by the Chair of the Norweigian Nobel Prize Committee, Thorbjørn Jagland. EWN India Correspondent, Venkat Narayan on Kailash Satyarthi:

He is instrumental in getting the government of India to ban child labour. He also got UNESCO to establish a global partnership for education. It’s an absolutely remarkable recognition made by the Nobel Committee of an Indian Hindu man and a Pakistani Muslim child. This is a great gesture that will reseal global recognitions in fighting the rights of children and child slavery.

Associated Press Pakistan Correspondent, Mohammed Fayaz on Malala Yousafzai:

The reaction has been mixed in Pakistan. Some have appreciated this, as they say it will help other children get an education. There is a group who are still at large that are against education, especially of girls. Overall, the government and women of Pakistan have appreciated this. 15 000 schools have been destroyed in some areas and the government has still been unable to repair some of these schools.

Was the SA-Russia nuclear deal lost in translation?: the Business Day says that Russian nuclear company Rosatom is now disowning its earlier statement that its signed a massive deal with our government to build and operate nuclear power stations here. Rosatom is now claiming that this was a badly translated document that caused all of this. Energy expert Chris Yelland says he doesn’t believe this claim:

The Russian media reported exactly what the South African media were reporting. If they can’t read English, it’s stated in plain English that the agreement also included wide-ranging technology considerations. It was a badly worded statement.

Will government salaries and social grants take over the public budget?: in the Financial Mail, new research suggests that within twelve years the entire government budget will be taken up with paying salaries and social grants. Chief Economist at Econometrix, Dr Azar Jammine:

It is very serious. In part, it’s an attempt to address job creation by government where it’s not happening in private sector while unions are demanding huge increases. If one looks at budgets from the past year, the intention is to slow down that trend dramatically.

Is a pregnancy grant viable for South Africa?: a new call from human rights group Amnesty International is that government should extend social grants to women who are pregnant. Director of the University of Johannesburg’s Centre for Social Development in Africa, Professor Leila Patel:

Yes, I think the proposal has merits due to the positive developmental benefits for nutrition with the mother and child that social grants present. What we must remember is not ‘the money’ but in fact what is the money buying. There are good proposals, good ideas out there, but let’s not look just at the financial benefit but what will be the return to society be.

Will democracy ever be realised in Hong Kong?: talks planned for today between pro-democracy protestors and the Beijing administration in Hong Kong have been called off. The talks were announced with great fanfare and were going to be live on television. EWN Hong Kong Correspondent Steve Vines:

Two days ago, I’d said it was the least worst of the worst options they’d (government) had – they must have changed their mind and realized in fact it is one of the ‘worst’ options. So within something like 24 hours’ notice, the government said the conditions the students had insisted upon to talk were unreasonable and therefore they wouldn’t take place.

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