Violent protests at a platinum mine have left at least nine people dead in the past two days, and a large crowd overpowered police officers and stole their weapons, the police said Monday. The protests and clashes between rival unions took place at a mine run by Lonmin, a leading platinum producer, near Marikana, about 40 miles northwest of Johannesburg. Two police officers were killed Monday, Brig. Lindela Mashigo said. Officers opened fire on the crowd, killing at least three people, he said. The protests began Friday over a salary dispute, the company said. On Sunday, protesters killed two security guards, the authorities said. Two miners died Monday in other attacks, the police and company officials said. The fighting intensified Monday as part of a struggle between the National Union of Mineworkers and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union.
via - NY Times
The earliest unambiguous evidence for modern human behaviour has been discovered by an international team of researchers in a South African cave.
The finds provide early evidence for the origin of modern human behaviour 44,000 years ago, over 20,000 years before other findings.
The artefacts are near identical to modern-day tools of the indigenous African San bush people.
The research was published yesterday in PNAS.
Although 75,000-year-old evidence for human innovation has previously been found in southern Africa, the meaning of these artefacts has been difficult to interpret.
“These were things that seem symbolic, but there’s no direct link to those people. We don’t know what they were thinking,” explained co-author Dr Lucinda Backwell of the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa.
These new discoveries, however, resemble modern day tools used by San hunter-gatherers so clearly as to remove any doubt as to their purpose.
“You can hold [one of the] ancient artefacts in your left hand and a modern artefact in your right and they’re exactly the same. It’s incredible… the functions are very, very clear,” Dr Backwell told the BBC.