News you didn’t know you wanted to know


News you didn’t know you wanted to know

ALI VAN WYK collects bizarre, enchanting and thought-provoking news titbits and social media opinions from the farthest corners of the media.

Musk thwarted

A reputable consultancy, Glass Lewis, is advising Tesla's shareholders to reject a $56 billion payment to Elon Musk because it is “disproportionately large". The package was approved in 2018 but a judge in the state of Delaware declared it invalid in January. Glass Lewis says new shares will have to be issued to afford the package, which could have a “dilution effect" on existing shares and cause them to fall in value by around 9%.

Elon Musk.
Elon Musk.

Lees hierdie artikel in Afrikaans:

Facebook gives the middle-finger to monitors

Researchers who monitor elections in South Africa for disinformation and hate speech do not get any help from social media companies such as Meta, X and YouTube, says media expert Prof Guy Berger. He says that in the European Union, the Digital Services Act gives approved researchers wide access to these companies' application programming interfaces (APIs) to search for and monitor “systemic risks". The Legal Resources Centre and the Campaign for Free Expression are working on Promotion of Access to Information Act (Paia) application to compel platforms to disclose election information. — The Conversation

Elderly duo charged with murder

Jeremia Mtali, 75, and Daniel Madumo, 90, appeared in the magistrate's court in Brits on Monday charged with murdering Godfrey Temu, 84, at a nursing home in Jericho Village in North West. The men, each with one crutch, had to be physically assisted to enter the dock. Temu was  on his way from the bathroom at 4am when he ran into one of the two accused. A fight apparently ensued, during which the deceased was allegedly severely assaulted with crutches by the accused. Temu was taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Madumo is also charged with assault with intent to seriously injure after he also allegedly assaulted a bystander. — News24

Israel/Palestine divide Latin-America

In a bizarre twist, it emerged that the Roman Catholic-born president of Argentina, Javier Milei, has developed a spiritual obsession with Judaism. Milei, a radical right-wing libertine, economist and politician with a dramatic populist flair, visited Sephardic leader Rabbi Axel Wahnish in 2021 to demonstrate that he did not hold any pro-Nazi sentiments, and soon they were deep in conversation. Milei is now talking about conversion to Judaism. Wahnish accompanied him during his study of the Torah, and in turn he appointed Wahnish as Argentina's ambassador to Israel. Milei is probably the world leader who goes the furthest in his support of the increasingly isolated Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

Javier Milei is supported by Rabbi Axel Wahnish during a prayer session at the Western Wall, the Wailing Wall, in Jerusalem's Old City.
Javier Milei is supported by Rabbi Axel Wahnish during a prayer session at the Western Wall, the Wailing Wall, in Jerusalem's Old City.

Luckily there is Claudia

From the southernmost Latin American president to the northernmost, one who lives on the opposite political pole to Milei, the first woman and Jew elected as Mexico's president: Claudia Sheinbaum. A former senior British prosecutor and Chancellor of the University of Manchester, Nazir Afzal, tweeted the following:

No penis suits, please

A municipality in Spain has banned the wearing of giant penis costumes and the display of inflatable sex dolls in public in an attempt to curb rowdy and unrestrained bachelor and bacherolette  parties. The problem is that Platja d'Aro on the Costa Brava, with a population of 12,500,  accommodates up to 300,000 tourists on some weekends. The mayor, Maurici Jiménez, also says that if you appear naked or in underwear in town, you can face a fine of between R6,000 and R25,000.

Photo for illustration.
Photo for illustration.

Count your letter 11 times

A Scrabble player from Zambia, Paul Kalumba, has successfully defended his national title for the 11th time. It was not an easy road to the title for Kaluma, also known as PYK, during the Scrabble Association of Zambia's championship. He lost three times in the A division, before reaching Gibsonisation with 1,350 points on the last day. Gibsonisation is when a competitor is declared the champion before the tournament has even ended because he has reached an incontestable position. — Lusaka Times

Five more stimulating tweets

At 12.17pm on May 30, election statistician Dawie Scholtz was sure enough of the outcome to put out a tweet:

Karin Richards, a stockbroker and well-known on X, dug up Archbishop Desmond Tutu's prophetic words from the archives.

The election even elicited a cattiness from some normally decent politicians.

South Africans quickly saw the humour in our new reality. One Wilfred, who works at Hatfield Volkswagen, said at the bottom of the tweet: “At least now we have new people to blame for poor service delivery."

There were also people on X who recalled Cyril Ramaphosa's more revolutionary days with nostalgia.

Seen on Facebook

Bazooka scooter

The TAP in “Vespa 150 TAP anti-tank scooter” stands for troupes aéroportées, aka paratroopers, because 600 of these tough-as-nails Vespas were built near Toulon between 1956 and 1959 to be dropped with paratroopers behind battle lines to stiffen resistance against armoured vehicles and tanks. The weapon on the scooter is an M20 75 mm recoilless rifle, which didn't count for much against the T-34 tanks of the Soviet Union but made mincemeat of any lighter armoured vehicle. The idea was not to fire the mini-cannon on the go but to stop and mount the gun on a Browning M1917 tripod and let fly. The scooter saw action in the hands of French soldiers and the Foreign Legion in Algeria. Vespa has confirmed that this model is no longer available, not even for members of the Stellenbosch Mafia.



Werner is at a job interview at a large company and Kallie from the human resources department asks him: “What would you say is your greatest weakness?"

Werner: “Honesty. I am honest with everyone. I know no other way than to be honest with every dear person I meet."

Kallie: “I don't really see how honesty can be seen as a weakness. In fact, I think honesty is a very good quality.”

Werner: “Yeah, I don't really give a fuck what you think."


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