By Linda van Tilburg
In today’s global headlines:
- The European Union has agreed to extend the Brexit date to 22 May, not the three months Prime Minister Theresa May asked for. May’s problems are growing, she is facing a backlash from Parliament and the public after she blamed MPs in a televised address for the Brexit delay. A petition asking Parliament to cancel Article 50 rather than extending it crashed Westminster computers. It has more than a million signatures.
- New Zealand moved to ban military-style semi-automatic weapons, assault rifles and high-capacity magazines as soon as next month stepping up its response to the slaughter of 50 worshipers at two Christchurch mosques by a lone gunman. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said her government would also pay cash to gun owners who surrender their weapons in a nationwide amnesty.
- Boeing says fixes to software linked to the two Boeing 737 Max airliner crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia should be ready within weeks. The company is also tweaking the training of pilots and installing an extra safety alarm on the jets. Meanwhile air crash experts are gathering in Ethiopia to analyse black-box data from the Addis Ababa crash.
- An emergency of catastrophic proportions is unfolding in Mozambique as emergency teams arriving in flood-devastated areas hit by the Idai tropical cyclone struggle to cope. The government says 15,000 people need to be rescued, but it is feared that it may be worse, and that the death toll could rise substantially. Several government and private NGOs with helicopters are helping to pluck peoples from trees and dropping food and emergency supplies.
- Back home, Eskom Holdings cut 4,000 megawatts from South Africa’s electricity grid on human right’s day as it continued rotating outages that seek to lower demand and avoid a collapse of the network. Eskom is in discussions with PetroSA to accelerate the offloading of a shipment of diesel in a bid to ease the need for load shedding. Eskom said further rolling blackouts today and into the weekend depends on the arrival of the fuel.
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