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Saturday, February 1, 2014 - 3
A view of the high water levels on the Arno River taken from Santa Trinita bridge on yesterday in Florence, Italy. Many areas of central and northern Italy have been hit by a wave of wet weather causing ooding and disruption to tra c.
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turn to gambling
Zimbabweans hang out in
Harare's crowded low-end
betting halls, placing stakes as
little as US 20 cents on world
soccer matches and international
horse and dog races with fervent
hopes of getting quick returns on
their bit of cash.
e gambling intensi ed in
January, when many families
were cash-strapped after year-
end spending and children's
school fees were due. Many
short of cash responded by
ocking to Harare's downtown
licensed betting shops in search
of a windfall. Five new betting
agencies opened in the capital
in the past year, frequented
primarily by poor men.
At one, unemployed 28-year-
old Tinashe Marira said he
spends his days gambling on
soccer matches and depends on
sporadic winnings to feed his
family and elderly parents.
He won $140 from a $5 wager
on a soccer match and rushed out
to buy long-overdue groceries.
Although he does not win
all the time, Marira declared
gambling is now his full-time job
and won't be looking for formal
employment again anytime soon.
" is pays better than any job
I could ever nd," Marira told
e Associated Press after his
Zimbabwe's already high
unemployment rate, estimated
at more than 80%, increased in
the past year when hundreds
of companies shut down. e
country's economic crisis has
deepened since long-time
President Robert Mugabe, who
will turn 90 this month, won re-
election in July.
Factories in the once bustling
industrial zones in the main
cities are eerily silent. Job seekers
on foot in the scorching heat
are turned away. Railroad tracks
once used by trains to ferry in
raw materials and supplies are
now overgrown with weeds.
e jobless drift into to
Harare, the capital, to look for
opportunities to make money
and many end up selling
vegetables, trinkets and mobile
phone airtime on the street.
Forty-six percent of Zimbabwe's
13 million people now survive
by running such informal
businesses, according to the
Both young and elderly
unemployed say gambling is a
way of making money.
"It is a relief to many
unemployed people roaming the
streets," said Roger Tekwa, 46,
another regular at the betting
"Gambling here is done with
seriousness coupled with a sad
desperation," said Harry Ndlovu,
bookmaker and manager at
Zimbets, a downtown betting
shop that provides, along
with slot machines, an array
of sporting events to bet on
including televised horse and dog
races, European soccer matches
and virtual video roulette.
A subdued atmosphere engulfs
the shop; there is no animated
chatter. At one end elderly
patrons sit at tables in pairs
whispering betting tips to each
other and occasionally breaking
o to watch horse races on giant
tv screens. At the other end, a
huddle of younger men is deeply
engrossed in an English league
soccer match. e somber mood
is suddenly broken by boisterous
cheers of youths celebrating a
" ese people don't bet for fun,
for them it's a desperate search
for money to pay for household
expenses," Ndlovu said.
He said many gamblers try to
play it safe, placing $1 bets on
several games to maximize their
chances of winning. eir fear of
losing is palpable and some walk
away sad and dejected after a bad
day, he said.
"After losing a couple of times,
they don't come back for a while,"
Others are rash and gamble
away all their cash away and
resort to begging for money to
get home. One daring gambler,
feeling lucky after a previous
win on a virtual roulette game,
wagered $3000 meant for wages
at his company and lost it all.
He was later arrested and is now
serving a prison term, Ndlovu
" e thrill of just thinking of
the possibility to become what
they always dreamed of makes
them take reckless chances," he
Ndlovu told the Associated
Press that he can take up to
$50,000 in cash on bets in a
single month and pays out about
40% of that in winnings to
e young men, like Marira, say
they feel con dent to bet on top
ight English soccer matches
that are popular in Zimbabwe
because they are familiar the
team stars and their form.
"You nearly always get
something from soccer. We
know the game," Marira said.
Older betters stick to what feel
they know best horse racing,
which has a long tradition in
Jonathan Muchenje, 44, said he
has always dreamed of owning a
big house and a top-of-range car
for him and his family.
A security guard for a local
company, Muchenje placed $15
in bets on several international
and regional horse races being
So far, ve of his predictions
have come through, he waits
for the sixth one to hit the
big jackpot and win what
he describes as "hundreds of
thousands of dollars" to enable
him to "give his family a better
life." --- AP
Honeymoon murder suspect loses
bid to block extradition
British honeymoon murder suspect Shrien
Dewani has lost a High Court bid to block
his extradition to South Africa until he is t
to stand trial.
Lawyers for Dewani, who has post-
traumatic stress disorder, argued that he
should not be sent there until he is t to plead
over the murder of his Swedish wife Anni in
a township outside Cape Town in November
But judges ruled it would not be "unjust
and oppressive" to extradite him if the South
African government agrees to return him to
Britain if he never recovers su cient health
to go on trial.
e court heard that South Africa has
indicated it was willing to give such a
guarantee and has 14 days to do so.
"We're required to undertake that if he
becomes un t to stand trial while he is here,
the government must send him back to
Britain," Bulelwa Makekec said.
" at is obviously understandable and the
state has agreed to make that undertaking."
Dewani has been ghting extradition from
Britain to face proceedings over his wife's
death until he has recovered from mental
health problems, including depression and
post-traumatic stress disorder.
Dewani, who has been committed to a
mental hospital, is accused of ordering the
killing of his 28-year-old wife, who was shot
as the taxi the couple were travelling in was
Dewani denies any involvement in the
Anni Dewani's family, who were present in
the High Court, welcomed the ruling.
Amit Karia, a cousin, speaking on their
behalf, told reporters after wards: "We are
happy with the judgment. We have waited
for it for three years, three months."
But he warned Dewani could still appeal
to the Supreme Court, the highest court in
"We are always worried and don't take
anything for granted," he said.
He described the situation for Anni
Dewani's parents as "immensely di cult ---
they do not have normal life any more".
He added: " ey just want the truth ---
that is all we have ever wanted."
A South African man, Xolile Mngeni, was
jailed for life for the murder last December.
Two other local men jailed over the killing
allege that Dewani ordered the hit. --- AFP
Actress's hacked voicemail at centre of trial
British actress Sienna Miller spoke
overnight of her anger that "titillating"
information about her a air with James Bond
actor Daniel Craig had been made public at
the phone-hacking trial of a former Rupert
Murdoch tabloid editor.
e trial of Andy Coulson, who edited
Murdoch's now defunct-News of the World
Newspaper, has heard lengthy evidence this
week about a voicemail message she left for
Craig in 2005 which has taken centre stage
in the high-pro le court case.
Coulson, editor of the mass-selling tabloid
until 2007 and then Prime Minister David
Cameron's head of communications up to
early 2011, is accused of conspiracy to illegally
intercept messages on mobile phones, a
charge he denies.
Giving evidence at London's Old Bailey
court via videolink from the United States,
Miller said she was unhappy that personal
details had been disclosed in the trial.
" is is a really di cult and uncomfortable
period of my life to discuss," she said, adding
the evidence had meant she had been
"gossiped about and analysed and vili ed".
On Monday, her former boyfriend,
actor Jude Law, was quizzed about their
relationship, which had fascinated Britain's
tabloid press. He testi ed that he had
telephoned Craig to confront him about his
alleged a air with Miller.
Dan Evans, a former reporter on the paper
who has admitted illegally tapping thousands
of voicemails, has since told the court that he
had hacked Craig's phone and later played a
delighted Coulson a message left by Miller.
He told the jury she had said: "Hi. It's me.
Can't speak. I'm at the Groucho (club) with
Jude. I love you."
Miller agreed she had probably left the
message but added: " e thing that's been
slightly misconstrued about this voicemail
message is the fact that I said 'I love you'
and that this was some incredibly important
declaration of love.
" at's how I would have ended my
phonecalls to him. It's been turned into a
titillating piece of information. I regret it's
allowed to be analysed the way it has."
e 32-year-old actress, who appeared in
the Layer Cake and Al e lms, described
Craig as her best friend but later said:
"Whether or not I was in a relationship with
Daniel Craig at the time, it was a very brief
Coulson's lawyer Timothy Langdale, who
has accused Evans of lying about the former
editor's knowledge of the hacked voicemail,
suggested to her that, given what she had
said, it could not have formed the basis for
a subsequent News of the World exclusive
story about the a air.
"People who heard who didn't understand
the relationship would have thought it was a
pretty exciting message to hear," said Miller,
who has been lming in New Orleans.
by Dave Green 1212 Di culty Level
QUICK QUIZ 418
1. Which Australian businessman borrowed money in 1987 so he could buy a Van Gogh
painting for $US53.9m?
2. Who was the Roman god of fire, whose name was given to a natural phenomenon?
3. Violet Walrond, a 15-year-old swimmer, in 1920 became the first New Zealand
sportswoman to do what?
4. Skibo Castle, in northwest Scotland, hosted the wedding of which star in 2000?
5. What term describes animals such as kangaroos, wallabies and possums?
6. Tunnel Beach, Long Beach and Blueskin Bay are either near or in which New Zealand
7. What is the name of the scale devised in 1805 to measure wind speed?
8. Which Turkish dish is made up of layers of filo pastry containing nuts and honey?
9. What is the name of the disc-shaped structures that help blood to clot?
10. When she was made a Dame in 1998, aged 34, who became the youngest
New Zealander to be knighted since Edmund Hillary?
ANSWERS: 1. Alan Bond, 2. Vulcan (volcano), 3. Compete at an Olympics, 4. Madonna, 5.
Marsupials, 6. Dunedin, 7. Beaufort, 8. Baklava, 9. Platelets, 10. Susan Devoy.
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