Zuma in doghouse after pet comments

Updated 28 December 2012
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Zuma in doghouse after pet comments

JOHANNESBURG: South African President Jacob Zuma got into a spot of bother Thursday when he suggested that owning a dog was not African and belonged to white culture. Local media reported that Zuma had remarked that buying a dog, taking it for walks and paying for veterinary care belonged to “white” culture.
Not able to let sleeping dogs lie, Zuma went on to say that pet ownership was part of a worrying trend of black Africans trying to be white. That prompted howls of protest from South African pet owners of all hues and mottles on social networking sites. The presidency later tried to fend off some of the criticism, insisting Zuma had been trying to “decolonize the African mind.”
“The message merely emphasized the need not to elevate our love for our animals above our love for other human beings,” said spokesman Mac Maharaj. “He made the well-known example of people who sit with their dogs in front in a van or truck with a worker at the back in pouring rain or extremely cold weather.
“Others do not hesitate to rush their dogs to veterinary surgeons for medical care when they are sick while they ignore workers or relatives who are also sick in the same households.”


‘Mini-Me’ actor Verne Troyer dead at 49

Updated 23 April 2018
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‘Mini-Me’ actor Verne Troyer dead at 49

LOS ANGELES: Verne Troyer, best known for his role as Mini-Me in the “Austin Powers” movies, died Saturday. He was 49.

While no cause of death was given, a statement on the actor’s social media accounts said he had gone through a “recent time of adversity” and alluded to suicide and depression as “serious issues.”

“Over the years he’s struggled and won, struggled and won, struggled and fought some more, but unfortunately this time was too much,” it added.

Troyer, who lived in Los Angeles, was taken to hospital early this month for unspecified treatment. The actor spoke about his alcohol addiction during another hospital stay a year ago.

One of the world’s shortest men at just two feet eight inches (81 centimeters) due to achondroplasia dwarfism, according to reports, Troyer was born in 1969 in Sturgis, Michigan.