South Africa Locks Onto Coal Despite Water Risks, Grim Market Trends FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Keith Schneider for Circle of Blue:South Africa’s allegiance to coal mining and coal-fired power generation in an era of rising concern about water supply and quality, and weakening national and global demand is causing a furor in the country’s mining sector, affecting the financial community, and tearing holes in President Jacob Zuma’s veil of privilege and scandal.The national turmoil and a number of distinct regional conditions are tilting the balance of benefits and risks against new coal development in this area, say many residents. A deep two-year drought, the worst ever experienced in northern KwaZulu-Natal, emptied the drinking water reservoirs of Vryheid and nearby Paulpietersburg late last year. Thousands of town residents line up every morning to fill buckets with fresh water transported by tanker trucks from sources as far away as Pongola, a farm town set by the river of the same name that is 132 kilometers (82 miles) east of here.Outside the hill towns, where springs and deep wells are still active, one coal company is drawing nearer to gaining a license to mine a new coal seam near Paulpietersburg. At least nine other companies have been quietly nosing around the steep slopes of the area’s tabletop mountains for unmined reserves.Markets for new reserves are thought to include coal-fired power stations in neighboring Mpumalanga province, and for export. Richards Bay, South Africa’s primary export shipping terminal, is 214 kilometers east (133 miles).Senior managers of the South Africa Department of Mineral Resources declined to be interviewed for this article. The department’s weak public involvement mechanisms and Web site make it difficult for citizens to follow new licensing applications. Farmers, acutely anxious that pollution from new coal mines could contaminate their water, have responded by establishing a new advocacy group, the Pongola River Catchment Protection Association, to keep abreast of mining activity on the ground, and to oppose new mineral development.Full article: South Africa Locks Onto Coal Despite Water Risks, Grim Market Trends More here.
Karim Benzema has been charged over his alleged involvement in a sex tape blackmail plot against fellow France international Mathieu Valbuena.The prosecutor said the Real Madrid star has been charged with “complicity in attempted blackmail and participation in a criminal association planning an offence punishable by at least five years imprisonment (in this case blackmail).”Benzema, 27, is not allowed to have any contact with Lyon midfielder Valbuena after being charged.Both men were previously expected to be named in France’s squad for two upcoming friendly matches in the next few days, but coach Didier Deschamps now has an unexpected complication to handle.Benzema was arrested on Wednesday morning in France and questioned over the scandal which also saw former France striker Djibril Cisse taken into custody last month.Cisse was released after being questioned by police but Benzema was referred to the investigating judge in the Versailles courthouse after spending the night in custody. News agency AFP says Benzema, who plays with Valbuena for the France national team, emerged from the headquarters of the judicial police at Versailles at around 9am CET on Thursday.”Karim Benzema was taken to the courthouse to be brought before a judge who will decide later on in the procedure,” said a public prosecutor. “The judge will decide at the end of this presentation the status of Karim Benzema in the procedure, particularly his possible indictment or his placement under the status of assisted witness.”AFP are reporting that Benzema has recognised that he intervened in the blackmail affair and now the striker has been formally charged.What is Benzema’s alleged involvement?A source close to the investigation divulged information to AFP. The source said: ” Karim Benzema has recognised that he intervened with Valbuena at the request of a childhood friend approached by three crooks who had a sex tape in their possession. He said that he agreed with a childhood friend about what he would say in order that his team-mate would negotiate exclusively with him. “AFP also adds that Benzema said he wanted to help his friend without thinking that he was doing wrong by Valbuena. Benzema is thought to have discussed the matter with Valbuena in October when France met up for matches against Armenia and Denmark.What does this mean for France?Didier Deschamps is expected to soon announce his squad for friendlies against Germany and England on November 13 and 17 respectively. However, Benzema has been prohibited from meeting with the victim, his team-mate Valbuena.The France squad is expected to gather at Clairefontaine on Monday. So eight months before Euro 2016 takes place on French soil, it appears Les Bleus will be without their star striker for two important preparatory games.As hosts, France did not play any qualifying matches so the two matches against Germany and England are key to their preparation.–Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySports