Take away the Dutch-inflected surnames of most of the protagonists and witnesses, and the trial of Pistorius, on charges that he murdered his girlfriend, sometimes feels almost placeless — a splashy celebrity whodunit that could have happened anywhere in the West. Here in South Africa, however, it has become far more personal, and the question of his guilt or innocence has cut unexpected lines across this socially and economically divided country. Pistorius told a three-judge panel he was “simply trying to protect Reeva” when, on Valentine’s Day last year, he shot through a bathroom door four times, killing her instead of what he thought was an intruder. The prosecution argues the sprinter shot Reeva Steenkamp after a bout of angry shouting. While Pistorius could have been cross-examined today, the chief judge, Thokozile Masipa, ended the trial early, accepting the defense argument that the defendant had not slept the night before and was exhausted.
A 9-year-old girl appeared to have been swept away by flash floods triggered by severe storms in Mississippi and more than 100 people were rescued from deluged apartment buildings in Alabama, authorities said on Monday. Firefighters in a Birmingham, Alabama, suburb worked for six hours to evacuate residents by boat and rope pulls after swift waters from a nearby creek flooded their apartments, said Homewood Fire Department Lieutenant Gus Murphree. Authorities in Mississippi were still searching for the young girl, believed to have been carried away by flash-flood waters triggered by storms that were expected to head north into the eastern United States. The missing child was from Yazoo County, where flooding had affected homes and businesses, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency said.
The US Navy believes it has finally worked out the solution to a problem that has intrigued scientists for decades: how to take seawater and use it as fuel. The development of a liquid hydrocarbon fuel is being hailed as "a game-changer" because it would signficantly shorten the supply chain, a weak link that makes any force easier to attack. The US has a fleet of 15 military oil tankers, and only aircraft carriers and some submarines are equipped with nuclear propulsion. Vice Admiral Philip Cullom declared: "It's a huge milestone for us."
By Jenny Clover KIGALI (Reuters) - The United Nations chief told a packed stadium of sombre and weeping Rwandans on Monday the world would "never again" let genocide tear their nation apart, at a ceremony marking 20 years since 800,000 people were butchered. A host of leaders and donors attended the commemoration, but France - an ally of the Rwandan government that ruled before the genocide - did not take part after rebel-turned-president, Paul Kagame, renewed charges of Paris' "direct role" in the killings. France has acknowledged mistakes in its dealings with Rwanda. Some in the crowd in Kigali were overcome with emotion on hearing a survivor's account and stewards had to lead them out of the stadium.