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News

  • Someone’s sticking needles in Australia’s strawberries, and no one knows why

    Australia's dealing with a rather odd crisis at present. Sewing needles have been found lodged in strawberries and bananas across the country, in what some are calling "commercial terrorism". Last week, a man was taken to hospital after swallowing a strawberry that contained a needle. This week, the issue has escalated, with six of the country's territories all reporting incidents. Incredibly, at least six brands are also afflicted. The country's minister for health Greg Hunt has ordered the "Food Standards Australia New Zealand to investigate the handling of strawberry contamination," he tweeted. "I urge all Australians be vigilant for potential contaminants." I have ordered...

  • Watch: Typhoon Mangkhut wreaks havoc in Hong Kong

    Last week, at least seven cyclonic storms were active in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. While all the news focused on Hurricane Florence which clattered into the US east coast, fiercest storm was making landfall just south of Hong Kong. When Super Typhoon Mangkhut finally struck China, it lashed Hong Kong with 180km/h wind and driving rain. Can't quite wrap your head around that number? That's more than enough power to rip a crane from a building in Tai Kok Tsui, Hong Kong. Scaffolding collapse at a building site in Kowloon pic.twitter.com/O69ILlXOJr — 高地柏啲 (香港) (@HighlandPaddyHK) September 16, 2018 This video was viewed over 1.4-million...

  • Canadian college offers new qualification in growing cannabis

    You can soon leave college in Canada with a qualification in growing cannabis. Yes Elon, weed. Ontario's Niagara College, CBC reports, recently debuted its cannabis programme which teaches students the fundamentals of cultivating and caring for the versatile herb. "Students will get intensive hands-on training in growing pot with classes that focus on topics like plant nutrition, climate control, pest control and plant selection," the report adds. Courses about Canada's cannabis legislation are also taught. Even with the prospect of sitting through boring legal chatter, the course as a whole is proving extremely popular. Reportedly only 24 spots are available, but more than 300 people...

  • Google’s Science Fair competition is now open for entry

    Google Science Fair is open for submissions until 12 December 2018 for those between 13 and 18 years of age. The competition, which first took place in 2011, has been a place for global learners to share and develop their science initiatives, and possibly win exclusive prizes from Google and sponsors alike. The possibilities for African entrants are tangible too. The last grand prize winner, Kiara Nirghin, was born in South Africa. In a blog post about fair’s commencement, Google interviewed Nirghin, who designed a way to help alleviate the effect of drought on crops using fruit waste as water retaining polymers. Her...

  • These people are getting very wet reporting on Hurricane Florence

    Hurricane Florence is just a few kilometres east of North Carolina at the time of writing, but hurricane-force winds have been lashing the US east coast since late Thursday. As is customary with hurricanes in the modern era, a few fearless meteorologists, reporters and camerapeople are braving the conditions to broadcast live images to stations and social media across the world. Nat Geo photographer Mike Theiss is one such example. Intense band from Hurricane #Florence swirling through Wrightsville Beach right now causing strong winds and torrential downpours !! Currently a barometric pressure of 989mb. pic.twitter.com/mA8X0em9dy — Mike Theiss (@MikeTheiss) September 14, 2018 Mike Seidel,...

  • Nelson Mandela Bay’s Churchill Dam is 100% full (and overflowing)

    On 3 September, the Eastern Cape's Churchill Dam held less than 25% of its storage capacity. As of today, the dam's more than 100% full. According to the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, the 35 420 megalitre dam just east of Humansdorp is full to the brim, with its neighbouring reservoirs not far behind. In all, the dams serving the metropolitan area surrounding Port Elizabeth are now 45% full. 10 days ago, they were 18% from being completely dry. Pictures of the Churchill Dam's remarkable recovery have also been posted to social media. Weather enthusiast account @ReenvalSA posted the below picture on Thursday morning,...

  • Donald Trump’s fist pump before 9/11 memorial has gone viral

    A picture of US President Donald Trump fist-pumping supporters on his way to a 9/11 memorial in Pennsylvania has gone viral. Although a full length video of the President acknowledging supporters doesn't seem out of character for the exuberant 72-year-old, a still of the moment, captured by AP photographer Evan Vucci, is far less flattering. President Donald Trump does double fist pump on way to a 9/11 event in Shanksville. #September11th pic.twitter.com/5ydGQ34LEv — Circa (@Circa) September 11, 2018 On Tuesday, as America observed the 17th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, Trump, his wife Melania and security detail were pictured at an airfield apron. The...

  • Hurricane Florence from space is beautifully frightening

    The next few days are going to be rough for those on the east coast of the United States. Hurricane Florence, a major cyclonic storm, is brewing in the central Atlantic at present and is set to impact North Carolina on Thursday into Friday. It'll be the region's first major hurricane since Hugo in 1989, but words can only describe half of Florence's expanse. Astronauts from the International Space Station (ISS) recently snapped the storm from 300km above planet Earth. And it's a monster. Hurricane #Florence this morning as seen from @Space_Station. A few moments later, #Isaac & the outer bands of #Helene...

  • Nelson Mandela Bay’s dams jump 22% in a single week

    What a difference a week makes. After Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality -- the metropolitan area surrounding Port Elizabeth -- last week reported dam levels just below the 18% mark, that number has more than doubled this week. A weather system which passed through the area this past weekend, which brought snow to areas of the Northern, Western and Eastern Cape's high mountains, also dropped considerable rainfall over the Municipality. 24 hour #Rainfall measured at 8:00 this morning. @ReenvalSA pic.twitter.com/7CfsuDSopK — SA Weather Service (@SAWeatherServic) September 7, 2018 As a result, Nelson Mandela Bay's dam levels are now at 39.9% full. The Churchill Dam...

  • Cape Town water restrictions to drop to Level 5 in October

    Cape Town residents, who have been forced to use just 50 litres of water per day for much of 2018, can finally enjoy a little more of the wet stuff daily. From 1 October, the City of Cape Town will ease the current Level 6B water restrictions to Level 5, giving residents 20 additional litres of water per day. This comes after dam levels exceeded the two-thirds full mark late in August. Level 6B was first implemented in February 2018, back when the City remarked that #DayZero looked "very likely". "The Western Cape Water Supply System’s dams are now at 68% capacity,...

  • Snow-covered giraffe in South Africa goes viral on Reddit, social media

    Snow in South Africa isn't rare, just ask those near the Drakensberg mountain range. But for the internet this weekend, seeing a giraffe in the middle of snow-covered vegetation was just a little too much to handle. On Saturday a post of this very scene on Reddit's r/NatureIsFuckingLit received more than 31 000 positive karma, with more than 400 comments to boot. The cold giraffe was snapped by local Instagram user Kitty Viljoen, whose timeline is packed with other remarkable snaps of the frigid Eastern Cape landscape. 🔥 Giraffe in snow🔥We had a major snowfall in South Africa last night from r/NatureIsFuckingLit Users...

  • Cape Town’s Theewaterskloof Dam is now 50% full

    Cape Town's largest dam, the Theewaterskloof, is now more than 50% full. That's a big milestone reached by the City of Cape Town's largest supply reservoir, which holds more than 53% of Cape Town's surface water. Read more: Cape Town’s dams begin September nearly two-thirds full Back in April, it was just above 11% full, with the Department of Water and Sanitation forced to build a coffer dam within it to exact the remaining water. This is seemingly no longer needed. As of 6 September 2018, the Theewaterskloof Dam is now 50.1% full, holding 240.5-billion litres. That's more than a third of Cape Town's...

  • Updating: Johannesburg CBD fire is now contained, 3 firefighters dead

    Update, 9am Friday: The fire which burned through a building in Johannesburg's central district has been extinguished. Update, 9pm Thursday: "Significant progress" has been made to extinguish a fire that has been raging in a building in Johannesburg's CBD since Wednesday morning. However, there's no indication that the fire has been extinguished completely as yet. Under the command of @CityofJoburgEMS Acting Director Mucavele, significant progress has been made in the effort to extinguish the #JoburgFire Our partners continue to support us in creating a safer @CityofJoburgZA pic.twitter.com/ZJ6d4T1dCr — Joburg Public Safety (@CoJPublicSafety) September 6, 2018 Original article: A fire which broke out in a...

  • #JoburgFire: Twitter accounts to follow for breaking news

    A fire currently tearing through a Johannesburg CBD building is one of the biggest news stories on Twitter today. While South Africans have the hashtags #JoburgFire to keep up to speed with developments, often hashtags can lead to unverified news disseminating. Here are a few official, trusted Twitter accounts you can follow for more news on the developing story. (Also, read our updating Johannesburg CBD fire roundup for more a more in depth look at the fire.) City of Joburg The City of Johannesburg's official Twitter account. @CityofJoburgEMS official is creating a buffer by directly splashing water into the building to prevent the fire from...

  • #Recession: South Africa’s politicians blast the ANC after GDP shrinks

    There's some bad news today, South Africa. The nation has fallen into a technical recession after its latest gross domestic product (GDP) figures were released today. The GDP shrunk for the second quarter in a row in 2018 -- a key determining factor when describing a technical recession. In Q1 2018, economic activity dipped by 2.6%. In Q2 2018, it reduced by a further 0.7%. Agriculture landed the heaviest blow, falling nearly 30% quarter-over-quarter. Transport (-4.9), Trade (-1.9%) and Government (-0.5%) were the other biggest sandbags on the economy. Decline in Q2:2018 #economic activity was driven by a drop in #agriculture, #government...