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A collection of longer form stories, submitted, sourced, or written by our team, that would not make sense to cover in a traditional broadcast news format, but which we wanted to share with you anyway.

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Iono - Behind the Bulletins

Week in Review - 19 August 2017

While many in water starved regions of South Africa were very grateful for the rain and snow being brought in by the cold front that hit near the end of the week heavy rains in the West Central African region brough misery as over 400 people in Sierra Leone and up to 40 in the DRC were killed as landslides engulfed parts of the capital city and a fishing camp respectively.
 
Locally there was mild outrage as it was revealed that the majority of the beneficiaries of the Ministry of Poverty Eradication's Food Bank programme earned above the threshold of N$ 400 per month and were thus ineligible.  Namibians also decided that enough is enough when it comes to crime and especially tourists being attacked in the country with a petition being shared to have the system changed and Government condemning the attacks. There was good news in that the three people who had been admitted for observation after having come in contact with a man who died of Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever were revealed to be free of the virus, and in welcome news for consumers and anyone with debt the Bank of Namibia on Wednesday announced that the Repo rate had been decreased by 25 basis points and now stands at 6.75%.
 
South Africa found itself in the midst of a diplomatic crisis after Zimbabwean First Lady Grace Mugabe was accused of assault in the case of her allegedly attacking South African model Gabriella Engels with, amongst other things, an extension cord. After first telling South African police that she would hand herself over and appear in court Mugabe 'disappeared' only for the country to later find out that she had decided to request diplomatic immunity in the case. The case took on a new twist when on Thursday it was revealed that Afriforum's Gerrie Nel was representing Ms Engels and that she had turned down what was described as a 'blank cheque' from Mugabe to make the case go away.
 
South Africa also commemorated the fifth anniversary of the Marikana tragedy with many pointing out that not much has changed for miners and the poor in the preceeding years and at least one opposition party insisting the day should become a public holiday. Outspoken ANC MP Makhosi Khosa also finally lost her job in parliament following outspoken criticism of both the ruling party and Jacob Zuma, and the Western Cape government released another hard hitting traffic advert – this time dealing with the issue of speeding.
 
Kenya remained tense this week as opposition leader Raila Odinga continued to refuse to accept the result of recent elections, while in Zambia Hakainde Hichilema, the leader of the official opposition UPND party was finally released from prison and the treason charges he was facing dropped. There was sadly also despair in Burkino Faso following an attack on a restaurant in the capital Ouagadougou which left at least 20 people dead.
 
Sticking with terrorism related incidents, Spain was left reeling when a van rammed into people in Barcelona, killing at least 13 and injuring dozens on Thursday, and then on Friday morning in a second attack a car drove into seven people, injuring them, in the Catalan town of Cambrils.
 
Things were tense in the United States following clashes between far-right groups including known neo-Nazis and KKK members protesting the removal of Confederate statues, and rival demonstrators. The clashes claimed the life of at least one person, as 32 year old Heather Heyer died after being rammed by a car driven by white nationalist Alex Fields, in an incident that saw 19 other people injured. President Donald Trump also faced increasing criticism for failing to denounce the far-right marchers, indeed in his private tweets seeming to show sympathy towards them, and some would say, his own right-leaning prejudice.

Week in Review - 12 August 2017

All eyes were on South Africa this week as we first waited to hear whether parliamentary speaker Bathabile Dlamini would allow the vote of no confidence in Jacob Zuma to be conducted via secret ballot, and then after she said it could to see if the motion would succeed or not. As mostly expected, even if many held out a secret hope, Zuma survived but the once united ANC seemed slightly more vulnerable as anywhere between 21 to 30 members are thought to have vote against Zuma, and according to the ANC at least, the party. Not happy that the motion had failed the DA decided that they would attempt to pass a resolution in parliament to have the body dissolved and early elections held – a move most saw as growing desperation in the official opposition, and a lack of understanding that Zuma remaining in power a little bit longer is probably their best hope for increased votes at the next elections, especially with more and more sordid details being revealed of the depth of corruption his relationship with the Guptas has exposed the country to.
 
Locally, there was a bit of an outcry when it was revealed that “white people did not want to take part in the Namibian Population-based HIV Impact assessment survey” when in reality across the planet people in higher socio-economic brackets with a greater income generally shun surveys no matter their race. The controversy aside this is a very important survey for our country, visit the Radiowave Network News Facebook page to listen to an interview that explains why, and why even if you know your HIV status you should still participate if you have been selected to do so.
 
There was good news for the country in that the annual rate of inflation is reported to still be dropping with a new low of 5.4% having been recorded in July, increased consumption of beef both locally and internationally is creating more opportunities for the countries meat industry, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism announced the head of their dedicated anti-poaching unit – which should mean good things for our wildlife, and the UK Embassy in Windhoek announced that applications for scholarships to study in the United Kingdom in 2018/19 as part of the Chevening scholarship programme are open until November 7th.
 
Tensions rose in Kenya, following elections that received the thumbs up from observers, after opposition leader Raila Odinga claimed the provisional numbers being released were flawed and that the electronic voting system had been hacked. More than 4 people have already died in isolated flare-ups of violence as all parties involved called for calm and the country's elections body assuring the public that the final result will be thoroughly checked and will be valid.
 
The world also appeared to have taken a step closer to nuclear war and the United States and North Korean tensions continued to rise following US President Donald Trumps threat  that North Korea faced 'fire and fury' over its weapons and ballistic missile programmes, a threat Pyongyang laughed off before shortly thereafter claiming that their missiles are capable of targeting mainland America and revealing that they intended to advance plans to implement a missile strike on the American Pacific Island state of Guam.
 
In other news the United Nations warned of early warning signs of a genocide in the Central African Republic urging the world to act now rather than regret it later; China suffered at 7 magnitude earthquake which killed at least 19 people and injured a further 247; Australia's ruling party rejected a push to allow lawmakers to decide on the issue of gay marriage, instead opting to conduct a postal plebiscite on the topic; and Zimbabwe's 7 main opposition parties admitted for the first time that they have wasted time fighting each other, choosing to unite and contest the elections under the banner of the MDC Alliance, backing veteran opposition leader Morgan Tsvangarai.
 
And finally in what was perhaps the best news of the week for many it was announced that pending the President's approval the Namibian Time Bill of 2017 will come into effect, effectively ending the practice of observing Daylight-Savings Time in Namibia.

Building a solid credit history

By Anton Smit – Executive Officer: Credit

Banks generally evaluate credit applications on three basic principles, namely integrity, repayment ability and security. In this article I will focus on one of these basic principles, namely integrity.
 
An important aspect of integrity is your credit “history”.
 
Your credit “history” is a record on how you pay bills or repay money you have borrowed. It includes your record and timeliness of payments of your bank accounts, loans, credit card accounts, store accounts and other lending.
 
A good credit “history” helps you realise your dreams:
 
Buying a home, car, leasing an apartment, getting a job – all these events may require a credit check. Credit grantors such as banks make use of a credit report issued by credit bureaus to determine your creditworthiness by assessing both past and current credit behaviour.
 
How to establish a credit “history”:
 
• Begin by opening a savings and cheque account in your name. Over time, your deposits, withdrawals and transfers will demonstrate that you can handle money responsibly.
 
• Apply for a loan or finance of an asset, but be aware of the cost, since payment of interest is applicable.
 
• Open a clothing account. Start with a low amount and pay your account regularly.
 
• Apply for an open, 30 day credit account at shops where you frequently buy. For responsible users, these credit accounts are a useful tool. All charges are due in full every month, and no interest is charged.
 
• Find a friend or family member to be a co-signer/surety. A co-signer/ surety may help you qualify for credit, but remember that the friend or family member will be responsible if you default on your agreement to pay.
 
Factors that can jeopardise your credit history:
 
• Late payments are noted on your credit report, even if you pay it later. You must pay your instalments as per the initial arrangement.
 
• Using more credit than your arranged facility. This action has a negative effect and incurs unnecessary costs like penalty fees.
 
• Cheques issued with insufficient funds in your account. In addition to incurring unnecessary excess fees, your cheques may be returned which will negatively influence your credit record.
 
• Not paying your loan or asset finance. An unpaid instalment reflects negatively on your credit record and places your cash flow under pressure if you have to meet more than one payment the next month.
 
• Personal debt is too high. Banks and other lenders take into account your total debt when considering whether you qualify for additional commitments.
 
• If you are placed under administration, declared bankrupt or a summons is issued against you, it will have a serious effect on your credit “history”. If this happens, it will be very difficult to restore your creditability to obtain new credit.
 
Advantages of a good credit “history”:
 
• Makes it easier to obtain credit.
 
• Favourable terms and rates can be negotiated.
 
• Good credit is an asset. It is a valuable tool for building wealth for you and your family in the long term.
 
How to improve a poor credit “history”:
 
• Recognise your problem, stay in contact and negotiate new arrangements like extension or new payment schedules or reach a compromise with your credit provider.
 
• Immediately stop taking up more credit. Ensure that you can afford your monthly repayments.
 
• Try to catch up on arrear instalments and keep to your arrangements.
 
Whilst banks need to be responsible in the extension of credit, you can be a responsible borrower and thereby limit unnecessary debt.