U.S. Eases Sanctions to Allow Iran Earthquake Aid….

The Obama administration has announced it will temporarily lift sanctions for U.S.-based groups that want to send financial aid for the earthquake relief effort in Iran. More than 300 people were killed and thousands more wounded when the earthquakes struck northwest Iran earlier this month. Iranian-American groups had warned that harsh U.S. sanctions on Iran would greatly hinder international donations for victims. On Tuesday, the Treasury Department issued an order saying it will allow U.S.-based groups to donate money to Iran until early October.

South African Official Apologizes for Massacre of Striking Miners

South Africa’s defense minister has apologized for the police killing of 34 striking workers at a mine last week. The victims were killed more than a week after walking off the job at the Marikana platinum mine in a call for higher pay. Police say they opened fire after workers tried to attack them with machetes, but the miners have accused the police of committing a massacre. South Africa’s minister of police initially defended the killings, sparking outrage. In a visit to the mine on Tuesday, South African Defense Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula issued an apology, saying: “I beg and I apologize, may you find forgiveness in your hearts.” During a tense parliament session on Tuesday, the head of the opposition party, Congress of the People, called for top officials to be held accountable.

Mosiuoa Lekota: “Was it the minister of police? Was it the commander of the — who was this person who is above the Constitution? Who had the authority to decide that this right to life will be suspended today for this moment and therefore shoot?”

The shooting marked the worst mass killing in South Africa since the end of apartheid. South African President Jacob Zuma has announced a week of national mourning, as well as the formation of a commission of inquiry.

Courtesy of http://www.democracynow.org/