Today in History for July 18th

Highlights of this day in history: The Spanish Civil War begins; Sen. Ted Kennedy’s passenger dies when he drives his car off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island; South Africa’s Nelson Mandela and musician Ricky Skaggs born.

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Zuma denies accusations of wrongdoing in ties with Gupta family | AFP

South Africa’s former president Jacob Zuma tells a judicial inquiry that he is innocent of any wrongdoing over his dealings with the Gupta family, allegedly at the heart of a web of corruption. SOUNDBITE

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A harrowing heroin addiction grips South Africa | AFP

He’s one of the many faces of the heroin addiction problem that South Africa faces : Ashley, a 37 year-old homeless man, says he regrets the day he started taking the drug, but can’t live without it.

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Coal dust and smog plague lives in South Africa’s Highveld region | AFP

South African NGOs are taking the state to court, accusing it of violating people’s constitutional right to a healthy environment. At the heart of the case is one of the most polluted areas in the world – the South African Highveld, a region where hundreds of people die prematurely from health issues – victims of an invisible killer.

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Today in History for June 16th

Highlights of this day in history: Abraham Lincoln says America cannot remain divided over slavery; Valentina Tereshkova becomes the first woman in space; Deadly Soweto riots erupt in South Africa; Ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev defects. (June 16)

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Penguin-cam sheds light on seabird fishing techniques | AFP

When pint-sized African penguins dive in the icy waters off South Africa’s Stony Point, there’s a good chance that hungry cormorants and shearwaters are hovering overhead. Air-borne birds remain in an holding pattern because the penguins, when they reappear, are likely to have herded a school of anchovies to within striking range.

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High spirit for African teams ahead of women’s World Cup | AFP

Three African teams have qualified for football’s Women’s World Cup in France : Nigeria, Cameroon and South Africa. AFP reviews each squad. A VOICED AFPTV REPORT

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