NEWS ABOUT: South Africa

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Pistorius: I Was Too Sad to Scream

Athlete faces last day of cross-examination

(Newser) - Today was the final day of Oscar Pistorius' grilling by Gerrie Nel, and once again, the prosecutor questioned the athlete's story of what happened the night Reeva Steenkamp died. When Pistorius realized he had shot his girlfriend, "Why would you not scream then?" Nel asked him, per NBC... More »

Pistorius Hammered About Reeva's Last Meal

Prosecutor also questions 2012 tweet about 'intruder'

(Newser) - Prosecutor Gerrie Nel hammered Oscar Pistorius on the details of the night Reeva Steenkamp was killed, asking about everything from the placement of her clothing on the floor to Pistorius' tone of voice. "Remember, the theme for the day is [that you have been] tailoring your evidence," Nel... More »

Pistorius: I Spoke to Reeva After I Heard Intruder

He says he told her to call police, but didn't wait for reply

(Newser) - Oscar Pistorius' cross-examination is in its third day, and the topic returned to the moments leading up to Reeva Steenkamp's shooting. Pistorius described waking and moving fans in the bedroom, and moving to put a pair of jeans over a light shining from an amplifier. That's when he... More »

Pistorius: I Never Told Reeva I Loved Her

Cross-examination continues

(Newser) - It was another heated exchange in court today as Oscar Pistorius was again cross-examined by prosecutor Gerrie Nel, nicknamed the "bull terrier" for his fierce style. Nel tried to paint Pistorius as controlling—a text from Reeva Steenkamp said he "snapped at her" for chewing gum—selfish, and... More »

Prosecutor Gets in Pistorius' Face

It's a 'harrowing exchange,' tweets journalist

(Newser) - Oscar Pistorius has again taken the witness stand, apparently fighting emotion as he gave an account of Reeva Steenkamp's final moments. When he found her after breaking down the bathroom door with a cricket bat, he said, "I could see she was breathing, struggling to breathe." Trying... More »

Pistorius Takes Stand After Vomiting Again

Apologizes to Steenkamp's family

(Newser) - Oscar Pistorius' defense team is launching its case , and yet again , the testimony seems to have been too much for the athlete to take. Pistorius threw up multiple times—now a frequent occurrence—into a bucket as a forensic pathologist discussed the bullet wounds that killed Reeva Steenkamp, Reuters reports.... More »

Ex-Cop: Item Missing From Pistorius Crime Scene

Defense emphasizes shoddy police work on day 10

(Newser) - After days of graphic testimony that left Oscar Pistorius vomiting , the athlete appeared "calm and composed" for day 10 in court today, the Telegraph reports. The court was shown photos taken of Pistorius following the shooting in which he appeared in shorts and wearing his prosthetic legs, covered in... More »

Testimony That Made Pistorius Vomit Released

Expert says he used rare, maximum-damage bullets

(Newser) - Oscar Pistorius killed his girlfriend almost instantly with expanding, hollow-point bullets designed to cause maximum damage, a pathologist said yesterday in testimony so graphic it made the athlete vomit . The judge banned live reporting of the expert's testimony, which included detailed autopsy results, but later decided that journalists could... More »

Pistorius Vomits Amid Autopsy Details

Reporting of graphic information barred

(Newser) - Autopsy details provided today at Oscar Pistorius' murder trial are so graphic that reporting and tweeting have been banned—and indeed, the findings appear to have been too much for Pistorius himself. He threw up in court as pathologist Gert Saayman discussed Reeva Steenkamp's injuries, AFP reports. His emotional... More »

Pistorius Trial Takes 'Soap Opera' Turn

Ex-girlfriend Samantha Taylor testifies

(Newser) - It was "a bit of a soap opera" in court today for the fifth day of Oscar Pistorius' murder trial, a journalist tweeted . Pistorius was "transfixed" on the witness stand as his teary ex-girlfriend Samantha Taylor told the court he kept a gun on him "all the... More »

Pistorius Gags as Trial Turns Graphic

Plus: Neighbor maintains screams he heard were from a woman

(Newser) - Oscar Pistorius' murder trial continued today and up for discussion again were those "bloodcurdling screams" neighbor Michelle Burger said she heard the morning of Reeva Steenkamp's death. Her husband, Charl Johnson, took the stand to dispute what Pistorius' lawyer had said were perhaps screams from the athlete himself... More »

Pistorius Trial: 'Bloodcurdling Screams,' Then Shots

South Africa gears up for 'trial of the century'

(Newser) - The murder trial of Oscar Pistorius is under way, with the double-amputee athlete pleading not guilty in what the New York Times calls a "clear voice" to the murder charge. The trial's first witness, neighbor Michelle Burger, then testified that she awoke after 3am on Feb. 14 of... More »

Trapped South African Miners Refuse to Come Up

Some emerge, but others fear being arrested

(Newser) - About a dozen miners have been freed from a mine in South Africa since getting trapped there yesterday, but others are refusing to emerge because they don't want to be arrested for illegal mining, Reuters and CNN report. One miner is trying to convince about 19 others to surface,... More »

Trapped Miners Begin Emerging From Illegal S. Africa Mine

Rescuers in contact with 30 illegal miners near surface; more below

(Newser) - A handful of the 200-plus illegal South African miners trapped in an abandoned gold mine near Johannesburg have begun to emerge, reports the BBC . Rescuers are in contact with a group of about 30 miners who are near the surface, reports Reuters . "They told us there are about 200... More »

Rare, Huge Blue Diamond Unearthed in South Africa

Could be worth as much as $20M

(Newser) - A rare, huge blue diamond was found in a South African mine earlier this month. The 29.6-carat sparkler is about six times larger than an acorn, and could be worth as much as $20 million. The dazzling stone was dug up by New Jersey-based Petra Diamonds at its Cullinan... More »

It's 2014 Somewhere

Images of celebrations from around the world

(Newser) - It's that time of year again: Time for Australia and New Zealand to steal everybody else's thunder. Auckland has already rung in 2014, and Sydney has lit up the sky with its annual much-heralded firework extravaganza. In most of the rest of the world, everyone's still just... More »


Fired PR exec issues apology over AIDS tweet that exploded

(Newser) - The not-so-PR-savvy former PR executive behind the "tweet heard round the world" is very and predictably sorry, reports ABC . Justine Sacco has issued an apology—blessedly not via Twitter—saying, "Words cannot express how sorry I am, and how necessary it is for me to apologize to the... More »

Bogus Mandela Interpreter Helped Burn Two Men Alive

Thamsanga Jantijie describes incident as 'mob justice'

(Newser) - Thamsanqa Jantjie has done things a lot worse than making up sign language —including burning two men alive, one of his relatives and three of his friends tell the AP . We already knew that Jantjie had murder charges on his resume, but now we know the specifics: Apparently Jantjie... More »

Hometown Lays Mandela to Rest

South African icon buried in Qunu amid fanfare, tears

(Newser) - South Africa has laid Nelson Mandela to rest in the gentle hills where he began his "long walk to freedom," burying the anti-apartheid icon in his hometown of Qunu as military jets and helicopters flew overhead in tribute. Some 4,500 people, including many foreign dignitaries, attended a... More »

Mandela's Body Lies in State

Thousands pay their respects in Pretoria

(Newser) - Thousands of visitors—ordinary people, dignitaries, and a few celebrities—are thronging the Union Buildings in Pretoria, where Nelson Mandela was sworn in as president of South Africa and where his body is lying in state today. His casket was greeted by a military honor guard upon its arrival, and... More »

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