#Top5atFive: Here’s what’s happening in Lesotho and around the globe

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Here’s your mid-week wrap of the local and global headlines you might’ve missed in the past couple of days.

1. Local headlines

The Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC) has rolled out the second disbursement to cover 78 companies employing about 50 000 workers. Some of the factory workers have confirmed receipt of such allowances in their bank accounts, and according to a press statement from the LNDC, the second disbursement of the subsidy to the beneficiaries was made effective from Monday.

The corporation acknowledges and applauds the support rendered by the key stakeholders including financial institutions, employers and unions in the facilitation of the payments to the beneficiaries. It further says the manufacturing sector is a significant contributor to Lesotho’s economy in terms of private investment inflows, export or forex earnings, taxes, and employment.

[2nd industrial wage subsidy disbursed, Maseru Metro News]

2. Local headlines

In commemoration of the International Gun Destruction Day, Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) on Thursday destroyed over 1020 illegal firearms at the Police Headquarters.

Giving his remarks, the Commissioner of Police, Holomo Molibeli said the destroyed guns were acquired through police search campaigns, arrests and handing over while some were gathered through community tipoffs. He says guns that were handed over voluntarily and through tip-offs indicate that there are still members of the nation that love peace and stability and therefore cooperate with the police.

Minister of Police and Public Safety Hon. Mamoipone Senauoane says the government of Lesotho is concerned with the manner in which guns are used by criminals. In this country she said guns are only allowed to be used by national security agencies, who also regulate their use, and a small portion of private individuals certified by these agencies. She therefore called upon all the illegally armed individuals to handover their guns to the police and the community members in the know to give police information leading to the capture of those firearms.

[LMPS destroys illegal firearms, Informative News]

3. Global headlines

US President Donald Trump’s government has dropped its plans to deport international students whose courses move fully online because of the coronavirus pandemic. The U-turn comes just one week after the policy announcement.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University sued the government over the plan. District Judge Allison Burroughs in Massachusetts says the parties have come to a settlement.

The agreement reinstates a policy implemented in March, amid the virus outbreak, which allows international students to attend their classes virtually if necessary and remain legally in the country on student visas, according to the New York Times.

Large numbers of foreign students travel to the US to study every year and are a significant source of revenue for universities. Those who had returned to their home countries when term ended in March – as the coronavirus crisis grew – were told they would not be permitted to return if their classes had since moved online.

[Foreign students in US: Trump administration drops deportation plans, BBC News]

4. In lifestyle

MultiChoice in a statement to the media on Tuesday announced that it would be releasing four new original shows on its streaming platform Showmax. “We’ve deliberately ramped up emphasis on local content,” says Candice Fangueiro, Showmax’s head of content. 

The first new Showmax Original will be Life with Kelly Khumalo. The reality show about one of South Africa’s biggest music stars will launch on 6 August 2020. Coming in 2021 will be the long-awaited second season of Tali’s Wedding Diary aptly titled Tali’s Baby Diary. Produced by Sketchbook Studios the second season sees an unexpected pregnancy force Tali (Julia Anastasopoulos) into a desperate pivot from Insta-influencer to ‘wholesome’ momfluencer, as Darren (Anton Taylor) and Rael (Comics’ Choice nominee Glen Biderman-Pam) navigate the choppy waters of the Cape Town property game.

Also coming in 2021 is the murder-mystery Skemerdans, a Cape Flats neo-noir set at The Oasis, a jazz club and after-dark entertainment venue that becomes the centre of a power struggle between two brothers, a scorned widow and an organised crime syndicate. 

[Showmax announces four new originals including Kelly Khumalo reality show and Tali sequel, News24]

5. What we’re reading

With the number of infections steadily climbing in Lesotho, we thought this article about the toll of COVID-19 on survivors would be a timely read. It highlights the intense psychological experience of the infection, on top of challenging physical recovery, including social stigma and anxiety/depression. 

[Survivors talk about the aftereffects of COVID-19, The Reporter]

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Matlhabeli Molaoli
Matlhabeli is a reader, an Afro-feminist and a firm believer in the power of human-centered design to create lasting social-economic impact. She is a rising junior at Smith College where she majors in both Biochemistry and Anthropology and also dabbles in venture consulting for the local start-up ecosystem. Matlhabeli also enjoys dialogue so she has spent much of her time attending, speaking at and organising TEDx conferences in both Lesotho and South Africa during her time as a student at the African Leadership Academy.