South Africa to establish new land court

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DURBAN, South Africa – The South African cabinet has approved the submission of the Land Court Bill which is aimed at ensuring stronger judicial oversight over land claims.

The new court will allow the appointment of permanent judges and will now go through the parliamentary legislative process, which will include public participation.

Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola said, “The bill seeks to ensure stronger judicial oversight over claims, and this must lead to better settlements, reduce the scope for corruption and avert the bundling of claims into dysfunctional mega-claims that lead to conflict.”

Lamola added that the bill seeks to address the systemic hurdles that make it difficult for land claimants to obtain land restitution.

“For instance, the bill allows for hearsay evidence for most families, who have to rely on oral history and the existence of elders with knowledge of description, location, and extent of land which their descendants previously occupied.”

Lamona further explained that the bill will also allow for expert evidence regarding historical and anthropological facts relevant to any particular land claim.

“It gives effect to the mandate of the sixth administration, namely, to ensure our approach to land reform is based on three elements — increased security of tenure, land restitution and land redistribution. This bill is a concrete intervention to improve the functioning of all three elements of land reform.”

“It creates a policy frame to ensure that land reform is guided by sound legal and economic principles and contributes to the country’s investment objectives and job creation initiatives,” said Lamola.

This bill is the outcome of the work done by the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Land Reform.

The Presidential Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture proposed a number of recommendations to the IMC including:

  • The Land Claims Court be conferred into a new Land Court to adjudicate on all land related matters, and not only restitution.
  • The court must be given additional responsibilities, both judicial and extra functions, such as conflict resolution and mediation.
  • The court must have a functional approach that is modeled on negotiation before litigation on matters such as Expropriation Without Compensation, which is proposed to Parliament in the Expropriation Bill.
  • The panel recommended that the Land Court include the appointment of a permanent judge president and four permanent judges.
  • The Land Court should also be required to check that settlement agreements give just and equitable compensation to landowners, in line with Section 25 and the new Expropriation Act, when enacted.

By Zakithi Dlamini
Photo credits: ewn.co.za

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Possible new law of nature on the way

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The world of physics is excited about strong but early evidence about the behavior of muons, paricles identical to electrons only 200x more massive (heavier), which once born take 2.2 microseconds to decay into an electron, and which spin like tops. In a new, extremely precise measurement, they were made to wobble using magnetic fields but they unexpectedly wobbled quite significantly faster than the Standard Model suggests they would. They might spin so fast due to an unknown force caused by an unknown particle, and this is what is so exciting.

“We found that a muon … is not in agreement with our current best theory of physics at the subatomic level, and … it potentially points to a future with new laws, new particles and new forces in physics which we haven’t seen to date,” said Professor Mark Lancaster at U of Manchester.

“The main goal of the experiment is to make the measurement and compare with the theory, and if they disagree then it’s telling us that there’s something in nature which is not in the theory,” explained James Mott at Fermilab.

The four known forces of nature (gravity, electricity, two nuclear forces: strong and weak interactions) have left scientists without an answer for some observed phenomena, such as the speed at which galaxies spin (faster than the best model suggests). Therefore, they continue to search for glitches in their already-tight models which might point them things they don’t yet know about.

The most recent work was done at Fermilab (Muon g-2 experiment), but a similar experiment was already done earlier at the Large Hadron Collider. These tools accelerate particles in large rings at close to the speed of light.

The evidence needs more tests for greater certainty, particularly to rule out the possibility of a systematic error, and particularly with a new, independent experiment, but physicists will be chasing this line of experiment eagerly.

“This is outstanding confirmation of experimental technique, and very, very suggestive of the possibility of new physics,” noted scientist David Hertzon of U of Washington.

By the editors

#AnomalousMagneticDipoleMomentOfTheMuon #QuantumElectrodynamics

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People in Kachin state demonstrate against China

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YANGON, Myanmar – The people in the Pharkant area of Kachin state demonstrated against China this week, drawing a cross on the Chinese flag and burning a picture of Myanmar’s military leader Min Aung Hlaing.

“China stands with the military leader,” shouted the demonstrators.

By Htay Win
Photo credit Aye Yarwaddy

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Myanmar military council arrests the artist Zarganar

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YANGON, Myanmar – The artist Zarganar was arrested by the Myanmar military council from his home in Tarmwe township, Yangon this morning.

Zarganar is not only a director but also a comedian famous for political jokes since the 1988 democratic revolution.

Zarganar was arrested by the Myanmar military many times before 2010.

By Htay Win
Photo credit Zarganar page

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Kayin IDPs struggle to get for food

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YANGON, Myanmar – Kayin internally displaced people are desperate for food, clothing and shelter, hiding in the forest from the air strikes of the Myanmar military.

The IDPs fled to neighboring Thailand, but Thai government turned them back. However, Wednesday morning the Thai government opened Maeseli jetty in Maehaungsaung district to sending rations and medicines over the border to Kayin state, according to a Thai media.

By Htay Win

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Twenty Myanmar celebrities charged with incitement

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YANGON, Myanmar -They were charged under the country’s media law with inciting government employees to join the popular civil disobedience movement (CDM) through social media.

Celebrities took part in the NLD election campaigns and are thought to have played a large part in influencing the public, particularly Myanmar’s youth, to vote for Aung San Suu Kyi.

By Htay Win
Photo credit Myanmar celebrity

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