18 January 2008South Africans Alex Harris and Sibusiso Vilane made history on Thursday when they became the first South African team to walk unassisted to the South Pole.The duo set out on their epic 65-day journey on 10 November, dragging 130-kilogram sleds almost 1200 kilometres across some of the most hostile terrain on the planet.Antarctica generates much of the bad weather in the southern hemisphere, and storms there can be fierce. Temperatures range from an ambient of about -8 degrees to about -40 degrees Celsius.They completed their journey without the help of support teams putting out food or rigging up tents, and without using wind power or sled dogs, in what Harris described as “the purest form of getting to the South Pole”.Harris and Vilane are no strangers to extreme feats, with Harris becoming the second South African to summit the highest peak on each of the seven continents, the so-called “seven summits”, in 2005 and Vilane becoming the first black South African to climb Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain, in 2003.The two men spent almost a year training for the trek, dragging tyres requiring a pulling force of 30-40kg every second day, covering a distance of about 17 kilometres per training session.The trip was premised on covering at least 20 kilometres a day – they carried only an extra five days’ worth of emergency fuel and food – meaning that any mileage lost in a day would have to be made up for, or they would risk running out of supplies.They just made it, taking exactly five more days than planned – one day more and they’d have been running on empty.The physical and mental toughness it took to achieve this is hinted at in some of the extracts from Harris’s trip journal …No painkillers– extracts from Alex Harris’s journal21 November 2007have only covered distance of 45kms so far, but the last 6 days we have been stuck in our tent with high winds, so it is very frustrating23 November 2007finally on the move again. whiteout today so tough going. broke a ski in the wind the other day. did a repair job, just hope it lasts27 November 2007hi. only managed 14km in 8hrs. weather was perfect but it was the toughest day yet. soft snow made pulling desperate. but we finally made it to 81 degrees!01 December 2007at last. day 18 and did 20.48km in 8.5hrs. felt good, weather perfect and snow improving all the time. 42 more days!02 December 2007another good day. day 19. did 19.4km. my heel is starting to act up. there is a monster bank of clouds rolling in from the east.04 December 2007day 21. i battled today. heel burning like a hot poker. trying different things. sibu is fine11 December 2007day 28. last two days have been desperate conditions. zero vizibility and thick snow. only managed 15km today. heaviest the sleds have felt!13 December 2007this place deprives us of the luxury of nightime but the gloom of the day robs us of the light. instead we move through a grey twilight that knows not dawn nor dusk. it is fit for neither the living nor the dead. battled for 10hrs in the same conditions just for 15km04 January 2008day 52. feel exhausted. did 22.3km but getting colder measured -25.9 in my pocket! done 800km12 January 2008day 60 comes at last. perfect weather. still -22. did 25.4km in 10 hrs. tomorrow its on to emergency rations some juicy tidbits not mentioned before for fear of freaking the folks out. in that very windy spell in the first week, i got frostbite on my inside left thigh, about the size of my hand. not serious though as there is nothing to freeze solid and fall off. unless it was higher up my leg! anyway i have had to doctor it every day and make sure it doesnt go septic. but it is finally healing and forming scabs.14 January 2008day 62. mon 14th. gloomy day but still did 25.4km. countdown! 3 more days. 67km. unbelieveable! JTB #3. In the first week sibu and i had a huge argument about whether it was acceptable to do a #2 in the bell of the tent if conditions outside warranted it! thankfully it never came to that!15 January 2008day 63. JTB #4 We have had no painkillers on this trip. zip! must have fallen out when i was consolidating 2 kits into 1 at home16 January 2008day 64. wow, we have only 15km to go. listen to 702 thurs 4to6. you might catch us. i cant believe this day has finally come!SAinfo reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo material
(AP) – A redacted version of the special counsel’s report on Russian election interference and the Trump campaign is stirring controversy even before its release.Democrats say a news conference ahead of the redacted report’s release on Thursday allows Attorney General William Barr to spin its contents before lawmakers and the public have a chance to read it.The nearly 400-page report is expected to reveal what special counsel Robert Mueller uncovered about ties between the Trump campaign and Russia that fell short of criminal conduct.Democrats have vowed to fight in court for the disclosure of additional information from the report. They are expected to seize on any negative portrait of the president to demand the release of the full report.
Chris Darimont discusses the impact of humans’ unique predatory behavior on the planet, and Catherine Matacic talks with Sarah Crespi about whistled languages, Neolithic massacres, and too many gas giants. Hosted by Sarah Crespi.
Tamim Iqbal scored 95 to steer Bangladesh’s largest successful run chase in one-day international cricket as they beat Scotland by six wickets to keep alive their quarterfinal chances at the World Cup.Scotland set Bangladesh 319 to win Thursday after posting 318 for 8, an innings built around a record-breaking 156 of opener Kyle Coetzer. Iqbal’s innings of 95 from 100 balls, which was the highest by a Bangladesh batsman in a World Cup match, and his partnership of 139 with Mohammad Mahmudullah (62) established the strong pace that was necessary for Bangladesh to achieve the target with 11 balls to spare.Iqbal was out in the 32nd over when Bangladesh were 201 for 3, leaving a lot of work still to do, but he had cleared the way: Bangladesh were 191 for 2 after 30 overs where Scotland had been 152 for 3. Mushfiqur Rahim then spurred the Bangladesh chase, which was the second-highest successful run chase in World Cup history, scoring 60 from 42 balls.Bangladesh were a batsman down after regular opener Anamul Haque dislocated a shoulder while fielding and that made a solid and fast-paced start essential if it was to run down Scotland’s demanding total. When Rahim was out, with 72 runs still required, Shakib Al Hasan made an unbeaten 52 and Sabbir Rahman added 42 in an unbroken stand for the fifth wicket to guide Bangladesh to their second win at the tournament.Bangladesh have now beaten Afghanistan and Scotland and shared points with Australia in a washed-out match to take five points and stake a strong claim for a place in the tournament quarterfinals. But it has tough matches remaining against England and New Zealand and may have to win one of those games to ensure their progress.advertisement”Our bowlers haven’t bowled well but the good thing is the batters got runs, especially with a big match (against England) coming up,” Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza said. “We still have two chances. We will try our level best against England, if not against New Zealand.”The Scottish squad was disheartened to have lost in a match in which it set so many team milestones.Coetzer compiled the first century for Scotland in a World Cup match and his 156 – his second ODI hundred – was the second-highest individual total for Scotland in all ODIs, and the highest score by a batsman from an associate – or second-tier – team in World Cup matches.He reached his century from 103 balls, eclipsing the previous-highest score for Scotland in a World Cup match which stood at 76. Scotland had confidence of defending their total to achieve their first-ever World Cup win but the Bangladesh run chase was too skilfully managed.”It’s very tough to take,” Scotland captain Preson Mommsen said. “We did a lot of things right today but unfortunately we couldn’t put the full package together.”Unfortunately, we just couldn’t create enough chances to get 10 wickets.”Coetzer swelled the Scotland total in partnerships of 78 for the third wicket with Matt Machan (35) and 139 for the fourth wicket with Mommsen (39). Scotland’s total was their third highest in ODIs, their highest against a top-tier nation, and marked only the third occasion they have surprassed 300.