A group of five countries says they have reached a deal to challenge the U.S.-dominated World Bank and International Monetary Fund by creating their own development bank. Leaders from the so-called BRICS countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — are gathered in Durban, South Africa, for a two-day summit. Together the countries account for 25 percent of global GDP and 40 percent of the world’s population.

[Tw: Violence against women, Domestic Violence]

South African paralympic star Oscar Pistorius is being questioned by South African police for shooting dead his girlfriend at his home in Pretoria, domestic media said on Thursday.
Johannesburg’s Talk Radio 702 said Pistorius was understood to have shot his girlfriend in the head and arm, although the circumstances surrounding the incident were unclear. He may have mistaken her for a burglar, the radio report said.
A police spokeswoman told Reuters that a woman had been found dead at the house but declined to give any more details.
Pistorius, who races wearing carbon fiber prosthetic blades after he was born without a fibula in both legs, was the first double amputee to run in the Olympics and reached the 400 semi-finals in London 2012.
South Africa has some of the world’s highest rates of violent crime and some home-owners carry weapons to defend themselves against intruders. (Source)

[Tw: Violence against women, Domestic Violence]

South African paralympic star Oscar Pistorius is being questioned by South African police for shooting dead his girlfriend at his home in Pretoria, domestic media said on Thursday.

Johannesburg’s Talk Radio 702 said Pistorius was understood to have shot his girlfriend in the head and arm, although the circumstances surrounding the incident were unclear. He may have mistaken her for a burglar, the radio report said.

A police spokeswoman told Reuters that a woman had been found dead at the house but declined to give any more details.

Pistorius, who races wearing carbon fiber prosthetic blades after he was born without a fibula in both legs, was the first double amputee to run in the Olympics and reached the 400 semi-finals in London 2012.

South Africa has some of the world’s highest rates of violent crime and some home-owners carry weapons to defend themselves against intruders. (Source)

A boy gestured at police in front of burning barricade on a highway during violent protests in De Doorns, South Africa, Wednesday. Farm workers across the Western Cape are on strike. Police said at least 50 people were arrested. Nic Bothma/European Pressphoto Agency

The South African government has sparked outrage after bringing charges against striking miners for the killings of 34 colleagues earlier this month, despite the fact they were shot dead by police. The victims were killed more than a week after walking off the job at the Marikana platinum mine in a call for higher pay. Police say they opened fire after workers tried to attack them with machetes, but the miners have accused the police of committing a massacre. The shooting marked the worst mass killing in South Africa since the end of apartheid. But on Thursday, the South African government invoked an apartheid-era “common purpose law” to charge 270 miners for their colleagues’ deaths.

Workers at a Lonmin PLC mine paid their respects Friday to Mpuzeni Ngxande, one of 34 striking miners killed by police Aug. 16 at an informal settlement near the Lonmin mine in Marikana, North-West Province, South Africa. A nearly three-week-old strike there has left 44 people dead. Rodger Bosch/AFP/Getty Images

Striking workers at the South African mine where police shot dead 34 people last week face a deadline to return to work today or face the loss of their jobs. The victims were killed more than a week after walking off the job at the Marikana platinum mine, owned by Lonmin, the world’s third largest producer of platinum. Police say they shot after workers armed with machetes ignored calls to disperse, but the workers’ union says the police committed a massacre. In response, South African President Jacob Zuma announced a week of national mourning as well as the formation of a commission of inquiry.

President Jacob Zuma: “I have decided to institute a commission of inquiry. The inquiry will enable us to get to the real cause of the incident and to derive the necessary lessons, too. However, today is not an occasion for blame, finger pointing or recrimination. Today challenges — today challenges us to restore calm and to share the pain of the affected families and communities.”


The shooting marked the worst mass killing in South Africa since the end of apartheid. The head of South Africa’s Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union said it evoked memories of the Sharpville massacre of 1960.

Joseph Mathunjwa: “I thought the history that I read about Sharpville massacre was a history. I never thought that in 2012 we will experience the same massacre under the democratic-elected government by ourselves. This is a shame.”

Police in South Africa opened fire on a miners’ strike near Johannesburg on Thursday, killing at least 30 people. Government officials say the police began shooting after workers armed with machetes ignored orders to disperse. The killings followed more than a week of clashes at the Marikana platinum mine. South Africa’s Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, which represents most of the strikers, has accused the police of committing a massacre. It was one of the worst mass killings in South Africa since the end of apartheid.

School children dance inside a classroom, ahead of the opening of a container library by the Bill Clinton foundation in celebration of Mandela day, at a school in Qunu, July 17, 2012. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton visited former South African President Nelson Mandela at his residence ahead of his 94th birthday celebrations. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

A civil defense officer carries the body of a South African teenager during a funeral procession in Doha May 29, 2012. Thirteen expatriate children were among those killed in Monday’s fire at the Villaggio Mall in Doha’s west end, including two-year-old triplets from New Zealand. REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad

A long exposure picture shows a seasonal fog illuminated by the lights of Cape Town harbor as the city prepares for the start of the southern hemisphere winter, May 8, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

A woman sits in the rain on the place where her shack once stood before a fire razed it down in Durban, South Africa, April 23, 2012. More than 100 people have been left homeless after the fire on Monday destroyed shacks in the Jadhu Place informal settlement. REUTERS/Rogan Ward