Just a Moment News - 2024-04-17


Hello, this is Erika, and you’re listening to ‘Just a Moment News’ on the 17th of April, 2024. Let’s dive into today’s news stories.

Our first story comes from Johannesburg, South Africa, where the city’s water and sanitation infrastructure is in crisis. The city’s water utility, Johannesburg Water, has identified a R24 billion renewal backlog due to assets reaching the end of their useful lifespan. The company’s infrastructure portfolio has depreciated by 59%, equivalent to a R68 billion loss. This underinvestment has significant implications for Johannesburg’s economic growth and poses a severe risk to its development objectives. The city’s situation is dire, with an estimated R64 billion needed over the next decade to replace aging infrastructure, yet only R7.3 billion is budgeted for the next five years. This shortfall threatens the sustainability of water services in South Africa’s financial hub, leading to recent water shortages.

Moving on, Minister of Police Bheki Cele reported that R176,000 was spent for him and his officials to attend a media conference in Durban, following the arrest of five suspects involved in the murder of Kiernan Forbes, popularly known as AKA. The suspects were detained at the end of February, with Cele holding a briefing in Durban to announce the arrests. A South African Police Service (SAPS) Cessna Sovereign was used for the two-hour flight. The costs covered various aspects including fuel, maintenance, labor, engine restoration, and other miscellaneous expenses.

In entertainment news, moviegoers in South Africa are feeling the pinch as ticket prices at the two leading cinema chains, Ster-Kinekor and Nu Metro, have seen significant increases between 2014 and 2024. This comes at a challenging time for these cinemas, as they face pressures from the COVID-19 pandemic and the rise of video streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon. Despite a resurgence in box office hits, the cinema chains recognize that blockbuster hits alone may not sustain their business. They are exploring new strategies to attract audiences, such as screening live music and sports events.

In tech news, Microsoft has committed one point five billion dollars to G42, an AI and cloud computing firm located in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. This move is in line with Microsoft’s strategy to deepen its market penetration in the Middle East, competing with other tech giants like Amazon and Oracle in providing cloud services. The partnership will exploit Microsoft’s cloud solutions and Azure infrastructure to foster AI applications in various sectors within the UAE.

In weather news, Dubai experienced unprecedented flooding on Tuesday after receiving a year’s worth of rainfall in just one day. The flooding turned roads into rivers, inundated homes and businesses, and affected airport operations at Dubai International Airport. The intense rainfall, approximately four inches over twelve hours, is a stark contrast to the usual climate of the region. Experts attribute such extreme weather events to human-driven climate change.

In sports news, the world of chess has experienced significant turmoil, highlighted by sophisticated cheating scandals, heightened paranoia, and geopolitical conflicts. The latest controversy emerged during the Candidates Tournament in Toronto, involving French grandmaster Alireza Firouzja, who was accused of walking too loudly during a critical match against Russian grandmaster Ian Nepomniachtchi. The incident prompted discussions among officials about possibly installing extra carpeting in the venue to prevent similar disruptions in the future.

Lastly, in the tech world, a coding style controversy involving Linus Torvalds, the founder of the Linux kernel, recently came to light. Torvalds reacted to a commit that replaced a tab with a space in a kernel file. He countered with a commit deliberately inserting hidden tabs to emphasize the importance of following the kernel’s established coding standards, which prefer tabs over spaces.

And that’s all for today’s news roundup on ‘Just a Moment News’. Thanks for joining me, Erika, and I look forward to bringing you more news in the next episode. Stay informed and have a great day!

Keywords - moment, daily, news