Mandela on life support as condition deteriorates
Family divided over burial site
Snowden ‘stuck’ at Moscow airport
Kevin Rudd ousts Gillard, set to return as Oz PM
Former Australian PM Kevin Rudd (L); and PM Julia Gillard leave the party room after a leadership ballot in Canberra on Wednesday. — AFP
Bomb targeting judge kills 9 in Pak
Security men gather at the site of a bomb blast in Karachi on Wednesday. — AP/PTI
27 killed in Xinjiang riots
Johannesburg, June 26
“Ailing former President Nelson Mandela is on life support in the Pretoria Heart Clinic where he has been fighting a recurrent lung infection since June 8,” The Citizen newspaper reported.
According to the paper, five highly placed sources close to the family, including two who recently visited him in the hospital, said the iconic leader’s health had deteriorated to the point where he was breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.
The revelation came as a group of elders of the AbaThembu clan, to which critically ill Mandela belongs, will assess his condition during a visit to the hospital to decide on a course of action, according to the daily The Times here.
Another source told the daily that Mandela was suffering from kidney failure and had been undergoing renal dialysis for three hours every second day.
“He is critical, but has an entire team of doctors, including a cardiac specialist, a pulmonary specialist, a kidney specialist and a main consultant, looking after him,” the source said, adding that the doctors had given the family the option to switch off the life support machines.
A meeting was called yesterday by Mandela’s eldest daughter Makaziwe at his ancestral home in Qunu in the Eastern Cape province during which it was decided that that the elders and Mandela’s confidantes would visit Mandela at the hospital.
The Afrikaans daily Beeld reported that two hours after the Mandela family meeting, a grave-digging machine was parked near the proposed graveyard where Mandela was likely to be buried.
However, reports from the Presidency only confirmed that Mandela remained in a critical condition. As South Africans steeled themselves for the worst, the family turned to prayer. — PTI
Pretoria, June 26
The family is reportedly divided between his grandson Mandla Mandela, who wants the anti-apartheid icon buried at his birthplace in Mvezo village, and the rest of the family that wants to respect his wish of being buried next to his children, The Star newspaper of South Africa reported today.
Mandla is the head of the Mvezo Traditional Council.
The controversy arose as Mandla exhumed bodies of his father Makgatho, uncle Thembekile and aunt Makaziwe from the family grave at Mandela’s homestead in Qunu and reburied them at his birthplace Mvezo in 2011. Makgatho died in 2005 due to an AIDS-related illness, Makaziwe had died in 1948 when she was just nine-month-old and Thembekile was killed in a car accident in 1969. All three were children from Mandela’s first wife, Evelyn.
According to the report, the family gathered at the Qunu homestead Tuesday for an “ibhunga” or a meeting to discuss an important family matter. Mandla reportedly stormed out of the meeting as the family members sought that the bodies of Makgatho, Makaziwe and Thembekile be moved back to their original burial sites in Qunu.
“This is making it impossible for Mandela to be buried next to his children because they are buried in Mvezo. Mandela is going to be buried in Qunu. Mandla did this without consulting the elders,” The Star report quoted one of the sources as saying.
When the newspaper called Mandla on his phone, he did not answer it. Makaziwe said she doesn’t “talk to The Star”. Tuesday’s family meeting lasted from 11 am to 2 pm. — IANS
Nelson Mandela’s grandson Mandla Mandela exhumed bodies of his father Makgatho, uncle Thembekile and aunt Makaziwe from the family grave at Mandela’s homestead in Qunu and reburied them at his birthplace Mvezo in 2011 Mandla now wants Nelson Mandela to buried at his birthplace in Mvezo village The rest of the family wants to respect the anti-apartheid icon’s wish of being buried next to his children in Qunu
Nelson Mandela’s grandson Mandla Mandela exhumed bodies of his father Makgatho, uncle Thembekile and aunt Makaziwe from the family grave at Mandela’s homestead in Qunu and reburied them at his birthplace Mvezo in 2011
Mandla now wants Nelson Mandela to buried at his birthplace in Mvezo village
The rest of the family wants to respect the anti-apartheid icon’s wish of being buried next to his children in Qunu
Moscow, June 26
The United States told Russia it has a "clear legal basis" to expel Snowden but anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, which helped organise his flight from Hong Kong, said he risked being stuck in Russia "permanently".
Meanwhile, Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, who by coincidence is expected in Moscow next week for an energy summit, said Caracas would consider any asylum request from Snowden just as Ecuador was doing.
In his first comments on the chase for the former contractor that has captivated world attention, Putin yesterday confirmed that Snowden had arrived in Moscow but said he had never left the airport's transit zone.
Snowden, who leaked revelations of massive US surveillance programmes to the media, had been expected to board a flight for Cuba on Monday, reportedly on his way to seek asylum in Ecuador.
But he never did and Putin hinted that his onward travel plans were still unknown.— AFP
Leak a serious security breach: Hagel
Washington: US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Wednesday that intelligence leaks by NSA contractor Edward Snowden were a serious breach that violated US laws and damaged national security. “I would hope that the Russians do the right thing here and turn Snowden over to the United States,” Hagel said.
Melbourne, June 26
Fifty-five-year-old Rudd staged the comeback by winning a caucus vote by 57 to 45, three years after Gillard toppled him in a similar showdown to become the first woman Prime Minister.
Gillard, a strong supporter of Indo-Australia ties who took personal initiative to reverse her party's policy on uranium sale to India, said she would stand by a pledge to quit from politics following the defeat.
Fifty-one-year-old Gillard confirmed she would not re-contest her Victorian seat of Lalor in the forthcoming election. "I will not recontest the federal electorate... at the forthcoming election," she said.
"Three years ago, I had the very great honour of being elected as Labor leader... This privilege was truly humbling," she said.
Former Prime Minister Rudd, however, did not address the media after he exacted revenge and won back his job.
According to reports, Gillard has written to Governor-General Quentin Bryce to ask her to commission Rudd as new Prime Minister.
She also congratulated Rudd on his win, the reports said.
The development came ahead of the September 14 general elections, surveys of which suggest Labor is set to lose.
It is unclear whether Rudd will stick to Gillard's schedule of the September election or go for an earlier one.
The earliest date Rudd can call an election is August 3.— PTI
Bomb targeting judge kills 9 in Pak
Militants killed nine persons with a bomb blast in Karachi that targeted a Sindh High Court judge known for his audacious decisions against terrorists.
Justice Maqbool Baqar was also critically injured along 14 others. Among the dead were an official of the paramilitary Rangers and six security personal and Justice Baqar’s driver.
The spokesperson for the banned Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Ehsanullah Ehsan, claimed responsibility saying the judge was targeted for "anti-Taliban and anti-Mujahideen decisions”. He added that the group would continue to target the judiciary.
Justice Baqar, a Shia, was also on the hit list of banned extremist sectarian outfit Lashkare Jhangvi.
In sporadic incidents of violence across the country on Wednesday, a senior police official was gunned down in Peshawar; and three members of a pro-government family working in an anti-Taliban peace committee were killed in Bannu area of Khyber Pakhtunkhawa.
In Balochistan province, one security staff was killed in a firing incident suspected to conducted by insurgent Baloch nationalists.
Beijing, June 26
The riots took place in remote Lukqun township of Shanshan County in Turpan Prefecture.
Seventeen persons had been killed — including nine policemen or security guards and eight civilians — before police opened fire and shot dead 10 rioters, officials said.
The province has been witnessing periodic violence as Uygurs have been protesting the migration of Hans into the province.
Xinjiang, which borders Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) is experiencing a major conflict between 9 million Uygurs and Han Chinese settlers, whose numbers have now grown over 40 per cent of the population of the province. China has deployed large number of security forces to deal with separatist East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), which according to Chinese security forces is connected with Al-Qaida. — PTI
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