Hitting the headlines today…
South African Jailed Over Dewani Honeymoon Murder
Progress in the investigation into the murder of Swedish woman Anni Dewani has been made as a South African man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Mziwamadoda Qwabe was charged with murder and another South African, Xolile Mngeni was also sentenced.
Mr Dewani, who has been accused of being accomplice in the murder of his wife, denies plotting to her and his extradition has been postponed by the High Court because he has been diagnosed as suffering from severe post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.
Defence lawyer Daniel Theunissen told the high court in Cape Town that Qwabe had agreed to plead guilty to kidnapping, robbery, murder and illegal possession of a firearm.
Mrs Dewani was killed in 2010 whilst she was on a honeymoon with her husban in Cape Town.
Bank of England Forecasts Close To Zero Growth
The Bank of England has downgraded the UK’s growth forecast to close to zero, following the continual double-dip recession, despite the prediction made in May of 0.8%.
The quarterly inflation report indicated no growth for 2012 compared with 2% predicted a year ago. The data will no doubt put pressure on Chancellor George Osborne to soften austerity measures and move to boost growth in the economy.
The Monetary Policy Committee has continued its policy of quantitive easing and is expected to pump a further £50bn into the system.
A scheme called the Funding for Lending initiative has also been launche to lend money at below-market rates to banks and building societies.
Egypt Air Strike On Sinai
Egyptian military helicopters launched an air attack on suspected Islamic militants in the city of Sinai following attacks on security checkpoints, according to officials.
Officials claim that 20 “terrorists” were killed in the air strike.
The raid by the Egyptian military comes after an attack on Sunday, in which militants killed 16 Egyptian border guards before breaching the border and penetrating almost 2km inside Israel.
Officials say that this is the first time the army has fired missiles in Sinai since the 1973 war with Israel to recapture the Sinai peninsula.
Egypt, which has claimed Palestinian militants from Gaza were partly behind the attack, has closed the Rafah border “until further notice”, leaving Gaza largely cut off from the outside world.
Boundary Change Vote To Go Ahead
Prime Minister David Cameron has vowed to go ahead with the boundary change vote despite Nick Clegg claiming to instruct the Lib Dems to vote against the measure.
The Liberal Democrats withdrew their support for the boundary change policy after the collaps of their House of Lords reform plans.
The parliamentary vote on boundary changes is due in autumn 2013, after the boundary commissions have published their final proposals, and is no doubt going to be a testing time for the coalition.
The boundary change will favour the Conservatives in the next General Election and some Tories fear that the chance of re-elction will be slim without it.
Ennis’s Gold Postbox Vandalised
A postbox that was painted gold in honour of Jessica Ennis’s Olympic success has been repainted after it was vandalised.
Graffiti was splashed across the box which is in Barker’s Pool in Sheffield city centre. The box postbox has already become a tourist attraction with one man reportedly travelling all the way from London to see it.
Crowds gathered to watch the first coat of gold paint being applied on Sunday, and since then many more visitors have come to see the postbox.