Flash Briefing: Diesel will ease loadshedding, May’s short Brexit extension; Boeing 737 Max fix in weeks

By Linda van Tilburg

In today’s global headlines:

  • After hours of haggling, the European Union has agreed to extend the Brexit date. If the UK Parliament agrees to Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal, the Brexit date is 22 May, if not it is the 12th of April. On this date the UK must say whether they are going to participate in the European elections, if not, there could be another extension. So, it just became even more confusing and it is not sure when or if the UK will leave the European Union.
  • New Zealand moved to ban military-style semi-automatic weapons, assault rifles and high-capacity magazines as soon as next month stepping up its response to the slaughter of 50 worshipers at two Christchurch mosques by a lone gunman. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said her government would also pay cash to gun owners who surrender their weapons in a nationwide amnesty.
  • An emergency of catastrophic proportions is unfolding in Mozambique as emergency teams arriving in flood-devastated areas hit by the Idai tropical cyclone struggle to cope. The government says 15,000 people need to be rescued, but it is feared that it may be worse, and that the death toll could rise substantially. Several government and private NGOs with helicopters are helping to pluck peoples from trees and dropping food and emergency supplies.
  • Boeing says fixes to software linked to the two Boeing 737 Max airliner crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia should be ready within weeks. The company is also tweaking the training of pilots and installing an extra safety alarm on the jets. Meanwhile air crash experts are gathering in Ethiopia to analyse black-box data from the Addis Ababa crash.
  • Back home, Eskom Holdings cut 4,000 megawatts from South Africa’s electricity grid on human right’s day as it continued rotating outages that seek to lower demand and avoid a collapse of the network. Eskom is in discussions with Petro SA to accelerate the offloading of a shipment of diesel in a bid to ease the need for load shedding. Eskom said further rolling blackouts today and into the weekend depends on the arrival of the fuel.