South Africa

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This Is the Oldest Evidence of Cancer in Humans

It comes from 1.7M-year-old foot bone

(Newser) - The oldest evidence of cancer in human relatives has long been a 120,000-year-old Neanderthal. A single foot bone changes that, by a lot. Belonging to an early hominin who lived 1.7 million years ago in South Africa, it holds the oldest example of a malignant tumor in a... More »

An Appeal in Pistorius Case —but Not From Pistorius

Prosecutors say sentence was 'shockingly' lenient, want more jail time than 6 years

(Newser) - South African prosecutors announced their intention to appeal against Oscar Pistorius' six-year jail sentence for murder on Thursday, calling it "shockingly" lenient and a decision that could bring the country's justice system into "disrepute," the AP reports. The announcement prolongs the 3.5-year legal saga of... More »

With Radio Telescope's First Image, 1.3K Galaxies Revealed

MeerKAT radio telescope will only get more impressive

(Newser) - Scientists promised it would be the world's most powerful radio telescope, capable of exploring dark energy, black holes, and traces of the universe's creation 14 billion years ago. South Africa's MeerKAT has already exceeded expectations. Though operating at a quarter of its eventual capacity with 16 of... More »

Pistorius Gets 6 Years for Murder

Judge goes easy on 'fallen hero'

(Newser) - Oscar Pistorius was sentenced to six years in prison Wednesday for the murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp , with the judge who decided the punishment calling the double-amputee Olympian a "fallen hero." South Africa's minimum sentence for murder is 15 years, but the judge said "substantial and... More »

Pistorius: Reeva Wouldn't Want Me Jailed for Long

Athlete gives first TV interview since shooting his girlfriend

(Newser) - Reeva Steenkamp wouldn't want Oscar Pistorius behind bars for long—according to Oscar Pistorius. In his first TV interview since killing the model in his Pretoria apartment on Valentine's Day 2013, the 29-year-old former Olympian says he deserves a prison sentence but doesn't want to "waste... More »

Famed Mine Spits Out 121-Carat Diamond

Petra finds white gem in same mine where British crown jewels diamonds were discovered

(Newser) - From the Cullinan mine in South Africa emerged in 1905 what still ranks as the world's largest rough diamond: the Cullinan diamond , a 3,106-carat gem that was cut down into smaller stones and incorporated into the British crown jewels. Now Petra Diamonds announces it's made another sparkling... More »

Pistorius Removes Prosthetics in Court to Show 'Vulnerability'

Defense had him walk on stumps to try to get out of long prison sentence

(Newser) - Oscar Pistorius tried in vain in March to appeal his conviction before South Africa's highest court in the 2013 murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, and so he made a last-ditch effort Wednesday to avoid a lengthy prison sentence: He took off his artificial legs, Reuters reports. Pistorius lawyer Barry... More »

Elephant Chases Schwarzenegger's Car

And he has a typical Arnold reaction

(Newser) - What happens in Johannesburg stays in Johannesburg—unless you're Arnold Schwarzenegger and your safari vehicle gets chased by an elephant, in which case, yeah, the entire world is going to see that video. The clip, which Schwarzenegger uploaded himself to YouTube , shows exactly what transpired when the Terminator visited... More »

Desmond Tutu's Daughter Leaves Church Over Gay Marriage

Reverend Mpho Tutu-Van Furth married a woman in December

(Newser) - The daughter of Africa's most famous archbishop is leaving the priesthood over her marriage to a woman. The Washington Post reports Reverend Mpho Tutu-Van Furth, daughter of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Desmond Tutu, married Marceline Furth in December. Same-sex marriage was legalized in South Africa in 2006, but the... More »

Dying CIA Agent Admits Sending Mandela to Jail

He says he provided tip that led to 1962 arrest

(Newser) - In an interview recorded two weeks before his death, a former CIA agent claimed he had prevented a war by giving South African authorities a tip that led to the arrest of the "Black Pimpernel"—better known as Nelson Mandela. In March, 88-year-old Donald Rickard told film director... More »

'Mom' Guilty in Crazy 1997 Baby-Snatching Case

Woman found guilty of kidnapping 3-day-old baby from mom's side

(Newser) - A 51-year-old woman was found guilty Thursday of kidnapping a newborn in 1997 as the girl's mother slept in a hospital in Cape Town, South Africa. The unnamed defendant had pleaded not guilty, insisting she adopted the infant and "didn't know the baby was stolen." Incredibly,... More »

In 1997, a Baby Was Stolen From Her Mom. Now, a Trial

Zephany Nurse was finally found in 2015

(Newser) - When the story broke one year ago , it was jaw-dropping: After South African schoolkids noticed a physical resemblance between two girls, a DNA test revealed that one of them was Zephany Nurse, a girl kidnapped as a baby in 1997 from a Cape Town hospital; the other, her younger sister.... More »

Body, Cash Found on US Jet Impounded in Zimbabwe

Apparent stowaway's arm severed, blood spattered across fuselage

(Newser) - Zimbabwean aviation authorities impounded a US-registered cargo jet, a senior official said Monday, after a body later believed to be a stowaway and millions of South African rand were found on board Sunday. The Herald, a state-run newspaper, reported that the MD-11 trijet was traveling from Germany to South Africa... More »

Now in South Africa: Scholarships for Virgins

16 girls pledge to 'be pure and focus on school'

(Newser) - A South African mayor has awarded college scholarships to 16 young women for remaining virgins to encourage others to be "pure and focus on school," her rep said Sunday. Each year the mayor's office awards scholarships to more than 100 promising high school and university students in... More »

Mos Def Arrested for Fake 'World Passport'

Rapper has 14 days to leave South Africa and is banned for 5 years

(Newser) - A government spokesman says the American entertainer commonly known as Mos Def was arrested in South Africa for traveling with a fraudulent passport. Department of Home Affairs spokesman Mayihlome Tshwete tells the AP that the 42-year-old rapper and actor was arrested at Cape Town International Airport on Thursday. Mos Def... More »

Student Commandeers Bus to Make It to Exam

Town rallies to pay his police fine

(Newser) - A student in South Africa who was worried about being late for a math exam got himself in trouble with the law in trying to avoid that fate. When his bus driver failed to show up, Le-Aan Adonis, 20, found the keys in the bus, started it up, and began... More »

Oscar Pistorius Released

Will serve remainder of sentence under house arrest

(Newser) - Oscar Pistorius has been released from prison and is now under house arrest, CNN reports. The Olympic runner had been in prison in South Africa since October of last year; he was sentenced to five years for culpable homicide in the 2013 shooting death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. But... More »

Early Release for Pistorius Blocked

South Africa justice minister says decision to let him out was 'premature'

(Newser) - Looks like Oscar Pistorius may have a slight delay before he gets to chillax in mansion prison . The Paralympian's early release tomorrow has been blocked by Michael Masutha, South Africa's justice minister, who says that while the country's law dictates releasing inmates after they've served one-sixth... More »

Note to Pythons: Maybe Pass on the Giant Porcupines

South African snake's snack turns out to be a fatal idea

(Newser) - Anyone traumatized by the 2005 report of the exploding python might have imagined this wasn't the best idea ever conceived by a predator: A cyclist in South Africa's Lake Eland Game Preserve earlier this month came upon a nearly 13-foot python who looked about as stuffed as your... More »

Stowaway Plunges Out of Plane Over London

2nd stowaway survives on 6K-mile journey from South Africa

(Newser) - Two stowaways clung to a British Airways passenger jet on its 6,000-mile journey from South Africa to London, but police say only one survived the trip, NBC News reports. The plane was 11 hours into its flight and preparing to land at Heathrow Airport yesterday when one of the... More »

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