Africans rally against xenophobia

(Transcript from World News Radio)


Rallies against xenophobia have been taking place across the African continent with concern over the deaths of five foreigners in South Africa.



The largest rally took place in South Africa’s coastal city of Durban where almost five thousand people marched through the streets.


Greg Dyett reports.


At least five people have been killed and foreign-owned shops looted in recent weeks in a country that has an unemployment rate of 24 per cent.


Some of those without work in South Africa accuse foreigners of taking jobs in the country at their expense.


South Africa’s President, Jacob Zuma, has told parliament no amount of frustration or anger can justify the attacks on foreign nationals and the looting of their shops.


At the Durban rally, local resident Joe says the xenophobia is extremely worrying.


“This is too much, too much like disorder and chaos and stuff like that. (Guys) need to… just unite under a peaceful kind of format instead of lashing out in anger, I suppose.”


In Johannesburg, a local mayor Mondli Gungubele called on protesters to obey the law.


“When Africa is stable and Africa is at peace, there is a chance for prosperity, and we are saying to our people let’s stop doing this. We are saying to those who are doing it they must know the law would not play games with them.”


“Stop Xenophobia in South Africa. Stop Xenophobia in South Africa. Stop Xenophobia in South Africa.”


These pleas have been chanted in Nigeria, where an anti-xenophobia rally took place in the city of Lagos.


This man says Nigerians are keen to show their solidarity with those in South Africa who are opposing the violence.


“What is happening here is our way of condemning in the strongest terms xenophobia in South Africa. I don’t believe Africans deserve what they’re going through in South Africa because Africans, particularly Nigeria, was in the forefront of the war of the fight against apartheid. You know Nigeria contributed resources, you know manpower, everything, you know even empathy, in the fight against apartheid and I believe what is happening there is not the best way to repay, you know, the sacrifices of Africans and Nigerians.”


And in Ethiopia, there were similar sentiments from the country’s prime minister, Hailemariam Desalegn.


“We as Africans, we all feel that we have contributed for the liberation of South Africa from the yoke of colonisation and apartheid. So, Africans should come together and should live everywhere where they want to live, of course based on the laws and regulations of that specific country. But, we feel that this is an incident and that incident can be taken care of by the ruling party the ANC, as well as the government.”


Plan to expand MH370 search area

(Transcript from World News Radio)


Australia, China and Malaysia say they’ll double the search area for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 if wreckage is not found in the current target area.



Mystery still surrounds the jetliner’s fate, which disappeared without a trace in March last year with 239 people on board.


Darren Mara reports on the latest in the efforts to find the plane.


Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss has faced the media in Kuala Lumpur, alongside the Chinese and Malaysian transport ministers.


His Malaysian counterpart, Liow Tiong Lai, had this message for the families of those on board the missing flight.


“All three nations are committed to the search for MH370. If we cannot locate the aircraft within the 60,000 square kilometres, we will continue the second phase of another 60,000 square kilometre search. So, this is the commitment given by the three governments.”


About 60 per cent of the current zone in the Indian Ocean off the West Australian coast has been searched.


It’s investigators’ best guess as to where the plane might have crashed.


It’s thought the first search phase will be finished some time in May.


Warren Truss is involved in the search in his capacity as federal minister for transport.


He says expanding the search zone would cover the entire highest probability area identified by expert analysis.


“So there is no change in the search zone, we are just moving, like Minister Liow said, to widen out the search area and to extend it in every direction.”


The second phase of the search would cost an estimated 50 million dollars, which would be shared by Malaysia and Australia.


Mr Truss says it’s expected the second search zone would take at least the rest of this year to scour.


But, he says, if MH370 is there, they’ll find it.


“I am very confident that we have the best search equipment in the world and if the aircraft is in the area that we’re looking in we will find it. The high resolution of the picture that the ministers have been shown today gives us a high level of confidence that if there is any piece of the aircraft that’s within the range of these vehicles, they will pick it up and be able to identify it.”


Mr Truss says he remains optimistic search teams will be able to recover the aircraft, which vanished from radar screens shortly after taking off from Kuala Lumpur, bound for Beijing.


Investigators believe it was flown thousands of miles off course before eventually crashing.


Four vessels equipped with sophisticated underwater drones have been searching a previously unmapped expanse of rugged sea floor, but have been unable to yield results.


Chinese Transport Minister Yang Chuantang says search teams haven’t given up hope of finding MH370.


(translated) “We will have a more positive attitude and adopt more positive measures to search for the plane. For instance, we will select and dispatch capable vehicles and vessels, and transform certain devices and equipment in efforts to find the plane.”



Migrants killed in ‘religious clash’ on Mediterranean boat

Forty-one more deaths were reported in a separate incident.


Police in the Sicilian capital Palermo said they had arrested the men, from Ivory Coast, Mali and Senegal, after survivors reported they had thrown 12 people from Nigeria and Ghana to their deaths and threatened other Christians.

The 15 were arrested on charges of multiple homicide motivated by religious hatred.

“The motive for the resentment was traced to their faiths,” police said. “Twelve people are said to have drowned in the waters of the Mediterranean, all of them Nigerian and Ghanaian.”

The survivors’ account underscores the rising chaos in the Mediterranean, which thousands of migrants, many fleeing war and deprivation in Africa, try to cross in rickety boats in the hope of a better life in Europe.

Around 20,000 migrants have reached the Italian coast this year, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) estimates, fewer than arrived in the first four months of last year, but the number of deaths has risen almost nine-fold.

Almost 450 people are now thought to have died this week after rescued migrants brought to the Sicilian port of Trapani on Thursday said 41 others travelling with them had drowned.

About 400 died earlier this week when passengers crowded to one side of their boat, causing it to capsize, survivors said.

Traffickers take advantage of a breakdown of order in Libya to charge some $1,000 for every migrant to whom they give a passage. Some also turn violent, threatening coast guards with machine guns to avoid having their boats confiscated.

The murder suspects were among almost 100 migrants brought to Palermo on Wednesday. The arrests were made on the basis of testimony from about 10 survivors, who said they had left Libya in a rubber boat on Tuesday, police said.

Italy phased out a dedicated maritime search and rescue operation called “Mare Nostrum” or “Our Sea” late last year, making way for a European Union border control mission.

The EU operation, called Triton, has been criticised by humanitarian groups and Italian authorities as it has a much smaller budget and a narrower remit than Mare Nostrum.


ASADA fumes after tribunal’s Dank findings

ASADA has suffered another blow, making its frustration and disappointment clear with the AFL anti-doping tribunal’s verdicts on sports scientist Stephen Dank.


The tribunal found Dank guilty of 10 out of 31 doping-related charges.

Dank oversaw Essendon’s controversial 2012 supplements regime.

“ASADA is disappointed in the tribunal’s decision to clear Mr Dank of a number of serious alleged violations,” the national anti-doping body said in a statement.

The tribunal’s verdicts, released late on Friday afternoon, come only four days before ASADA has to decide whether it will appeal against the same tribunal’s not-guilty findings on 34 current and past Essendon players.

When the tribunal announced those not-guilty verdicts on March 31, the AFL indicated the Dank verdicts would be announced after Easter.

The Dank verdicts were made public at 5pm (AEST) on Friday and ASADA said it received them at 3.30.

“ASADA notes that all 35 matters (Dank and the 34 players) were heard concurrently by the tribunal,” the anti-doping body said.

“We also note the tribunal stated its preference was to release their decisions on all 35 matters at the same time.

“The reality however is that we have only just received the findings on Mr Dank.

“ASADA is disappointed that this comes as the window of appeal on the first 34 matters rapidly closes.

“ASADA will now consider both decisions in their totality.”

The day after the players were found not guilty, ASADA chief executive Ben McDevitt said his organisation wanted to examine the tribunal’s Dank findings before making the call on whether it appealed against the players’ verdicts.

Once ASADA’s 21-day appeal window closes, the World Anti-Doping Agency also has 21 days to consider its own appeal against the player verdicts.

Crucially, the tribunal was not comfortably satisfied that Dank administered the banned substance Thymosin beta-4 to any Essendon players.

ASADA had also charged the Essendon players with taking Thymosin beta-4.

Those charges were laid after a two-year joint ASADA-AFL investigation and the players’ not guilty verdicts were a major setback for the anti-doping body.

Dank refused to cooperate with the investigation and did not appear at his tribunal hearing.

He has threatened legal action of his own and said earlier this week that he was waiting for the tribunal verdicts before deciding what to do.

Dank has repeatedly insisted he did nothing wrong at Essendon.

The tribunal found Dank guilty of trafficking banned substances to staff at Essendon.

It was also comfortably satisfied that Dank trafficked a banned substance to an unnamed Carlton support person in 2012.

As well, Dank was found guilty of attempting to traffic a banned substance to support staff at Gold Coast.

And he was found guilty of trafficking offences in baseball.

Finally, Dank was found guilty of trafficking the banned substances GHRP6 and Mechano Growth Factor to customers at the Medical Rejuvenation Clinic.

“The breaches include trafficking, attempting to traffic and complicity in matters related to a range of prohibited substances,” the AFL said in a statement.

The three-man tribunal’s verdict was unanimous. It will sit again on May 5 to decide penalty.

Bad boys Chelsea show lack of respect to referees

Chelsea, who have a seven-point lead in the Premier League with seven games remaining, have received widespread criticism for their attitude towards referees this season despite Mourinho suggesting they are victims of a ‘campaign’ by the FA and media.


The data, complied by FA Fair Play delegates who attend every Premier League match, shows Chelsea have the least respect towards match officials, the Telegraph reported.

Teams are marked out of seven when assessing behaviour towards the referee and his assistants, and Chelsea have a respect mark of 159 compared to Liverpool’s 181, which makes Brendan Rodgers’s side the most respectful towards officials.

“A positive attitude, including the acceptance of doubtful decisions without protest, will be rewarded with high marks,” guidelines published on the Premier League website state.

“Normal behaviour without any particular positive attitudes or gestures towards match officials is likely to receive a score of 6 rather than 7.”

Chelsea are also the second worst team when it comes to the behaviour of club staff on the touchline, with struggling Sunderland the only side above them.

Mourinho’s assistant Rui Faria appeared to celebrate Cesc Fabregas’s late winner right in front of opposition manager Chris Ramsey in Sunday’s west London derby against Queens Park Rangers.

“Positive and negative aspects of the team officials’ conduct will be assessed — such as whether they calm down or provoke angry players or fans and how they accept the decisions of the referee,” the guidelines state.

“Co-operation with the media will also be taken into account.”

West Ham United currently lead the overall Fair Play League.

(Reporting By Michael Hann; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)