Iko Nini Bwana Seed?
WHAT UK NEWSPAPERS SAY - EXCHANGE RATE AGAINST THE POUND TODAY IS KSHS. 110.76
A Kenyan lady passed away in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, UK on Tuesday 27th January, 2009. The late Helina Mugo (Helen) was living with Mr. Maina Gatangi & Mrs Lucy Maina of Milton Keynes. She has no relatives in UK. Daughter to Joseph Mugo and Joyce Mugo, sister to Muchira Mugo and others all of Kerugoya-Kenya. Mother to Catherine Nyaguthia Nairobi, Rose Njeri Nairobi and Shiru Mugo Mwea. Helen was Grandmother to Lucy Nyakio and Kiragu. Prayers are being held daily at 130 Pettingrew Close, Walnut Tree. Milton Keynes, MK7 7LW commencing from 6pm. Memorial service on Sunday 01/02/2009 at Church of Christ Kents Hill. Milton Keynes. The body will be taken to Kenya for burial. A fundraising will be held on Saturday January 31st 2009 in Milton Keynes at 4.00pm-6pm. Further details will be forthcoming. The family needs your thoughts, prayers; and financial contributions to overcome the heavy financial expenses. Contributions to: Bank Name: Barclays Bank, Acc. Name: Mrs. L.J. Maina, Account No: 20957216, Sort Code: 20-80-14 or Send a Cheque to L.J. Maina 130 Pettingrew Close, Walnut Tree. Milton Keynes, MK7 7LW. For more information please contact: Mr. Maina Gatangi: Tel: 07896668543, Mrs. Lucy Maina: Tel: 07878439309 Or 01908 691875, Mr. Joseph Wamithi: Tel: 07940461266 or Mrs. Mercy Chege: Tel: 07828333361.
The late Helina Mugo (Helen) who passed away in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, UK on Tuesday 27th January, 2009
Kenya government withdraws arrest warrant against Triton boss Devani, behind KShs. 7.6 billion oil scandal and charges facing him
Kenya has now become the world's number one in exporting presidents - SEE THE VIDEO
A 20-year-old man and a 15-year-old boy have been charged with the murder of a father-of-five who was allegedly attacked when he refused to hand over a bottle of wine. Michael Eccles, 43, died in hospital on Monday after the incident which occurred just yards from his home in Lichfield, Staffordshire, on Sunday as he made his way home from shops in the Dimbles area of the city. The bottle of wine was found smashed on the street nearby. The pair are to appear at Tamworth Magistrates' Court later over Mr Eccles' death, police said. A spokesman for Staffordshire Police said both the charged man and the youth were from Mr Eccles' home town of Lichfield. A post-mortem examination established that Mr Eccles died of "multiple injuries consistent with a serious assault", the spokesman said.
NEW POLICE BOSS IN UK
Sir Paul Stephenson has been named as the new Metropolitan Police Commissioner. The 55-year-old's new post has been confirmed by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith. On Monday, Ms Smith and London Mayor Boris Johnson agreed on Sir Paul following a final interview. Their decision was approved by the Prime Minister before the Queen confirmed the appointment. The news will have come as a bitter disappointment to his rival Sir Hugh Orde, the chief constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland. The cross-party interview panel agreed on Sir Paul to serve London and Britain for the next five years in the £254,000 post.
Mombasa hit by maize flour shortage
Written By:Jane Kariuki , Posted: Tue, Jan 27, 2009
Farmers in the North Rift region are holding on to their maize stocks in anticipation of better prices as most supermarkets in Mombasa run out of maize flour stocks. A spot check by KBC in Mombasa reveals that for the last one week most shops have not received any supplies from the millers. It is claimed that some millers are hoarding their stocks in anticipation of a price increase. Where it is available a 2kg packet of maize flour is being sold at 112 shillings and limited to two packets per shopper at a time This is despite the government's efforts to subsidize maize flour where a 2kg packet is supposed to cost 72 shillings in urban areas and 52 shillings in rural areas. And in the North Rift farmers are holding on to their stocks with the hope that the government through the National Cereals and Produce Board will review their prices upwards from the current 1,950 shillings. They say the price being offered by the government is too low compared to the price paid for importing a 90 kilogram bag of maize. The farmers said their deliveries are currently limited to wheat. However they said they are frustrated by the long queues they have to undergo before the wheat is received. The farmers also welcomed the sacking of the top management of the NCPB saying it was long overdue. Agriculture minister William Ruto sent top managers at NCPB packing following scandals that have hit the maize buying body. Ruto dissolved the board even as police grilled three permanent secretaries and other senior government officials over the scandals. More than 100 000 bags of maize cannot be accounted for fuelling suspicions that the grain may have been pilfered from the NCPB stores and sold. NCPB is also suspected of having allocated maize to briefcase millers who do not have the capacity to mill the amount indicated in their applications for allocations.
Cows with names like Daisy, Gertrude or Buttercup produce more milk than their sisters with no names, according to a study released Wednesday. Cattle who are given "the personal touch" can produce up to 500 pints of milk a year, said experts at Newcastle University. "Just as people respond better to the personal touch, cows also feel happier and more relaxed if they are given a bit more one-to-one attention," said Catherine Douglas, who conducted the research. "By placing more importance on the individual, such as calling a cow by her name or interacting with the animal more as it grows up, we not only improve the animal's welfare and her perception of humans, but also increase milk production," she added. Almost half of those surveyed -- 46 percent -- said the cows on their farms had individual names. Dairy farmer Dennis Gibb from the Eachwick Red House Farm outside Newcastle said it was "vitally important" to treat cows individually. "They aren't just our livelihood -- they're part of the family. "We love our cows here at Eachwick and every one of them has a name. Collectively we refer to them as 'our ladies' but we know every one of them and each one has her own personality." The study was compiled by Newcastle University's School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, based on interviews with 516 dairy farmers, and published in the online journal Anthrozoos.
Cows with names like Daisy, Gertrude or Buttercup produce more milk than their sisters with no names
KNUT meets House Team as strike enters second week
Written By:Jane Nyambune , Nairobi, Kenya Posted: Wed, Jan 28, 2009
The Kenya National Union of Teachers - KNUT- is currently meeting the parliamentary Committe on Education to discuss the standoff between the striking teachers and the government. KNUT Secretary General Lawrence majali said the union would present their case to the committee to see if they could help end the stalemate that led to the strike. "We will just explain our position and why we have decided to stick by it to see if they can help come to a solution. We have to give them the history of the discussions we have had with the Government and then say what we have agreed on," said Mr Majali. The meeting came as the teachers' strike entered its eighth day with the instructors defying a court order issued by the industrial court last week rendering their strike illegal. The strike is also in defiance of a decision by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to withdraw salries for primary school teachers pending verification and the eviction of those living within the staff quarters. Majali said the union was monitoring the situation countrywide to see where its members would be thrown out of the houses. The union maintained that TSC cannot evict the teachers from staff houses since they are owned by the school management committees and the boards of governors. Meanwhile, teachers in Nairobi and Kiambu Wednesday sought divine intervention over their salary dispute. Parents in parts of the country also sought alternative ways to compensate for the time their children have lost in the wake of the teachers' strike. In Meru, parents have resorted to private tuition for their children. A spot check by Kenya News Agency-KNA- revealed that hundreds of parents in the area were now pooling resources together to hire teachers majority of who are on strike to offer private tuition to their children. Elsewhere in Kajiado, the District Edication Officer Kariuki Manyuira has instructed all bording primary schools in the district to keep pupils in school inspite of the ongoing strike. Manyuira told KNA that the authority to allow parents to take their children home can only be obtained from the Ministry of Education and no one else.
Bishop J.B. Masinde arrived in London on Tuesday morning 27th January, 2009 for a five-day crusade in Slough, Berks, UK. Several preachers will be preaching at the crusade including Evangelist Theresa Wairimu of Faith Evangelistic Ministry, UK and Kenya who is arriving on Thursday morning. The crusade which has been hosted by Pastor Peter and Pauline Kamau of Emmanuel Celebration Centres, Slough will run from Wednesday 28th January with one session for Wednesday and Thursday but two sessions on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Ladies meeting with Evangelist Theresa Wairimu on Saturday morning as from 11.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. and Men's meeting with Bishop J.B. Masinde running at the same time in a different room. Evangelist Wairimu will be having his crusade in London the following weekend as from 5th to 8th February at Emmanuel Centre, in London where Pastor Henry Hinn brother of Pastor Benn Hinn will be one of the guest speakers. You can contact Bishop J.B. Masinde in UK on 07888741613 or firstname.lastname@example.org - MORE FOR ECC and MORE FOR FEM
Bishop J.B. Masinde (left) and Evangelist Theresa Wairimu (centre) are having a crusade in Slough and London this weekend and the host will be Pastor Peter and Pauline Kamau (right)
Universities and colleges warned to sign up now to the
new points system if they want to teach international students
UK Border Agency, 27 January 2009
The deadline is fast approaching for universities, colleges and schools who want to sponsor international students when the student tier of Britain's tough new points system goes live, the UK Border Agency warned today. The points-based system was created to manage the number of people coming here to work and study in the best interests of the United Kingdom. The introduction of the student tier, Tier 4 will complete the rollout of the points-based system. If education institutions want to bring in international students when Tier 4 starts at the end of March they must apply by 2 February. So far more than 800 universities, colleges and schools have signed up. Institutions who do not apply before the deadline will not be able to sponsor students from the go-live date in March. Under the new rules schools, colleges and universities must pledge to take responsibility for any students they bring here from outside Europe and have a licence to do so.
The new system will be rolled out over the next 12 months. This strict new approach will weed out bogus colleges who abuse the system and ensure that international students wanting to take advantage of Britain's world-class universities, colleges and schools play by the rules, preventing bogus students from failing to show up or overstaying. International students who want to come here under Tier 4 will have to be sponsored by a UK Border Agency-licensed education institution, prove that they have the means to support themselves and their families and supply their fingerprints. The tough new student route means Britain can continue to recruit good students from outside Europe while cracking down on those who seek to abuse the system. Border and Immigration Minister Phil Woolas said: "Everyone who comes here must play by the rules and that includes foreign students wanting to take advantage of our world-class universities and colleges. The new student tier of the points system will ensure we will know exactly who is coming here to study and crack down on bogus colleges. That is why I am delighted that more than 800 colleges and universities have registered so far. I now urge other educational institutions to sign up so they are ready when the system goes live at the end of March." The Agency has worked closely with the education sector to ensure legitimate schools, colleges and universities do not fall foul of the new regime and are ready for the introduction of the new rules. The new points system is just one part of the biggest shake up to immigration and border security in a generation, along with fingerprint visas for anyone wanting to come to the United Kingdom and compulsory ID cards for foreign nationals.
Nangole: I haven’t eaten in days...
By Standard Team
The frail woman can neither sit nor stand, apparently drained of all energy due hunger. Ms Ethuuko Nangole, whom our team met on the Lodwar-Kalokol highway, with all the energy she can muster repeatedly whispers: "I haven’t eaten for the past three days". Emaciated and sand-bathed, she is supported by some two women near the Katotum manyatta in Turkana North Constituency. Breathing faintly, she adds, "I took some porridge three days ago," revealing the sheer magnitude of her situation to the world. Hers is only one of the many shocking pictures of hunger-stricken Kenyans in various regions that speak volumes of the current food crisis. A Standard survey of various regions recorded first-hand accounts of the scary face of the famine. Later our team meets another woman, Ms Annah Nachok, a mother of 10 who is struggling to keep her family alive in Turkana South. "Death is staring us and our children in the face, the famine is very severe, we have had no rain for long time," she says. She is boiling water at her manyatta to serve to Adung Piarae 80, Akut Koriban, 70 and Alice Eruwan, 50.
It is 6.30pm and three-year-old Loboche Ewalan sitting by her side won’t stop crying because of hunger. We witness the family sharing about three litres of boiled water, perhaps to cheat hunger until the following day when a World Vision field officer is expected to deliver food. Starting today and for the next one week, The Standard brings you a special report on the food crisis and how Kenyans are struggling to stave off the famine. Some have gone for days without a meal as they desperately wait for relief food that has not been forthcoming. Hunger-stricken residents of North Rift, Coast and parts of Eastern Province have been reduced to eating wild berries and roots. Reports by the Kenya Red Cross which have not been independently verified, indicate three people have died of famine-related causes. About 84 per cent of the 232,000 residents in the district are starving according to data released by the Ministry of Planning. In Samburu East District, mothers have resorted to giving children wild berries dipped in cooked goat blood. In the Coast, in parts of Taita, Taveta, Kaloleni, Ganze, Kilifi and Malindi districts, many residents have resorted to wild roots and fruits. The scenario is the same in parts of Makueni, Kajiado and Narok. Other badly hit areas are in Tana River, North Eastern, Eastern and Central provinces. Hunger pangs have forced many parents in Mandera West to send their children to school Enrolment in primary schools in North-Eastern Province has risen. Parents, who during rainy seasons send children to herd animals, now have a different reason for renewed interest in education. Ironically, the fact that teachers are on strike has not deterred pupils from going to school. Children are joining schools to benefit from the World Food Programme school-feeding programme. —By Adow Jubat
Kenya Cabinet ministers and government officials accused of crimes against humanity by the Waki commission will stay in office, after all. They will only be required to step aside after investigations have confirmed that they have a case to answer, according to a deal struck by Members of Parliament on Tuesday. Under normal circumstances, those suspected of wrongdoing are required to leave office so as not to interfere with investigations. The Waki envelope contains names of six ministers and five MPs, among others. The MPs agreed to a clause in the draft Bill, which imposes strict secrecy on the names of suspects during the investigative period. The Bill states in Article 26 (6): “The names of persons under investigations shall not be made public or otherwise disclosed to persons other than those directly involved in the investigations before the indictment has been made.” The meeting, dubbed the Speaker’s Kamukunji, was called to arrive at a consensus before the Bill establishing the Special Tribunal for Kenya is taken to the House.
Kenyans in Bedford joined the rest of the world in celebrating President Barack Obama’s victory at Harpur Suite in Bedford on Saturday 24th January 2009. The colourful celebration was attended by local councillors and the Chairman of Bedford Race Equality Council who gave the key note speech on what Obama’s victory meant to the Black people and the world. Mr Sam Ochieng, Director of Sacoma in London, was the Master of Ceremonies. The Kenyan Community Bedford used the occasion to market Kenya with Sandra Hullette a tutor at Westbourne College winning a holiday to Kenya. Sandra scored the highest marks in an environmental quiz. She was delighted to win the two return air tickets and two nights at the Mara Sarova Lodge situated in the world famous Maasai mara courtesy of Kenya Airways and Sarova group of hotels who supported the inauguration dinner dance. - MORE
Prime Minister Raila Odinga has suspended one of his aides over the maize scandal and promised to sack any ODM minister implicated in corruption. Mr Odinga also disclosed that several trucks of maize were smuggled to Southern Sudan despite an export ban on the commodity. The Government, he added, was investigating two individuals involved in the smuggling of maize to Sudan with a view of prosecuting them. They are said to have colluded with some government officials. The PM told the Nation that he had asked that his aide be investigated after he received word that he could have been involved. “There is one officer whom I asked he be suspended and investigated,” he said. And Mr Odinga put all members allied to his party on notice – anyone involved in any scandal will face the law. “Any minister or assistant minister found to be involved in this digression will definitely lose his position in the government and the law will take its course.” The PM said although action had been taken on officers in government over scandals, investigations were going on and anyone involved would be dealt with. “The political leadership will also take responsibility if they are implicated in the ongoing investigations,” he added. The PM spoke a day after top managers of the National Cereals and Produce Board were sacked over the maize scandal. Mr Odinga dismissed claims that he had wavered on his pledge to fight corruption, saying he had initiated sackings and suspensions in several parastatals. - Daily Nation.
Motorists drive through a pool of water after it rained in Nairobi on Tuesday morning. Lack of proper drainage systems on Kenyan roads have contributed to dilapidation of roads on left and on right motorists drive through a pool of water along Nairobi's State House road after it rained on Tuesday morning. Lack of proper drainage systems on Kenyan roads have contributed to dilapidation of roads. Photo/JOSEPH KANYI
Zeituni Onyango, U.S. President Barack Obama's Kenyan aunt has been allowed to stay in the United States for now, pending a legal hearing on her immigration status in April, her lawyer said on Monday 26th January, 2009. "While she is in proceedings she can stay in the country," Margaret Wong, the attorney for Onyango, was quoted as saying in U.S. TV news reports. Just days before the November election last year, it was reported that Onyango, the half-sister of Obama's late father, was living in Boston, Mass., despite a deportation order issued four years earlier when her asylum request was denied. Wong said a motion to reopen Onyango's case was granted on Dec.17, 2008, and on Dec. 30, 2008, a stay was placed on the order to remove her. She is scheduled to have a new hearing before a Boston immigration court on April 1. Wong said her client had not received any special treatment in the immigration system. But being the president's aunt, Onyango had tickets to attend her nephew's swearing in last week, and attended at least one inaugural ball in Washington.
"Hi, you are from Kenya, I have never been to Kenya although you are our neighbours. I hear Kenyan politicians are very corrupt. I hope they are going to change this time because of Obama." - Ethiopian Taxi Driver in Washington DC
Liberia's president has declared a state of emergency in response to a plague of crop-destroying army worms. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf said all possible resources would be used to fight the insects, that have spread to next-door Guinea and are nearing Sierra Leone. Liberia has already appealed for international help to carry out aerial spraying against the insects. The "worms" - which are actually caterpillars - are among the world's most destructive agricultural pests. A delegation from the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) is in Liberia taking samples of the caterpillars to determine the best ways of controlling them. Guinea has started spraying, and Sierra Leone has announced it will mobilise chemicals and personnel to its border. Creeks and rivers - which some villages rely on for drinking water - are being polluted by the massive amount of faeces being produced by the swarm.
A freight train hauling tankers of petrol has derailed and caught fire in Ayrshire, Scotland. It is understood the train hit a pylon while crossing a bridge, which has now collapsed. Power lines have come down and the nearby A735 has been closed. At least six wagons came off the rails but no-one is reported to have been injured. - CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE FIRE
Octuplets Born in California Are Second Set in U.S. History
Woman gives birth to eight babies in five minutes. Proud and surprised: doctor Karen Maples today with colleagues Mandhir Gupta and Harold Henry at the hospital near Los Angeles where they had been expecting just seven babies
Jan. 27 (Bloomberg) -- A woman gave birth to six boys and two girls at a hospital in California, only the second birth of octuplets in the U.S., doctors said. The babies, who weighed from 1 pound 8 ounces (680 grams) to 3 pounds 4 ounces, were delivered by cesarean section early yesterday, Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Bellflower, California, said in a statement on its Web Site. They were born nine weeks prematurely to a woman whose name hasn’t been released by the hospital. Medical staff, who thought there were seven babies, were surprised to find an eighth baby who hadn’t appeared on ultrasound scans, they said at a televised news conference. “It’s incredibly easy to miss one baby when you are anticipating seven babies,” Dr. Harold Henry, who helped lead the team, told reporters. “Ultrasound doesn’t show you everything.” Henry said the birth, which involved a team of 46 people, had gone “flawlessly.” The team had carried out a series of “dry runs” in preparation for the delivery, with the last one just minutes before the multiple birth. Each of the babies cried spontaneously after birth, a good sign, the doctors said. The first 72 hours are the most critical for the newborns, who were doing well, the hospital said. Two were on ventilators, a third on oxygen and the rest were breathing on their own, the Associated Press reported. The hospital didn’t say whether the octuplets’ mother had used fertility drugs. She plans to breastfeed all the babies, AP cited doctors as saying. “She’s a very strong woman, so she probably will be able to handle all eight babies,” Dr. Mandhir Gupta, a neonatologist involved in the birth, told the AP. Preliminary research shows it is only the second time octuplets have been born in the U.S., the hospital said. The first U.S. set was born in Houston in 1998. One died after a week and the other seven have just celebrated their 10th birthday, the AP said.
Previous record of Octuplets was in USA in October, 1998 born to Nigerian natives Nkem Chukwu and Iyke Louis Udobi. Chukwu (27) in Houston. Their new names were chosen in the Ibo tribal tradition, a major ethnic group in Nigeria. The children all share the surname Louis. Their given names are listed, followed by the English translation and the child' s nickname.
Previous record holder Nkem Chukwu and her mother left and on right with her children
- Baby girl A: Chukwuebuka Nkemjika ('God is Great"); nickname - Ebuka
- Baby girl B: Chidinma Anulika ("God is Beautiful"); Chidi
- Baby girl C: Chinecherem Nwabugwu ("God Thinks of Me"); Echerem
- Baby girl D: Chimaijem Otito ("God Knows My Way"); Chima
- Baby girl E: Chijindu Chidera ("God Has My Life"); Odera
- Baby boy F: Chukwubuikem Maduabuchi ("God is My Strength"); Ikem
- Baby boy G: Chijoke Chinedum ("God is My Leader"); Jioke
- Baby girl H: Chinagorom Chidiebere ("God is Merciful"); Gorom
US first live-born octuplets delivered in Texas, 1998; seven survive
Octuplets born in Italy, 2000; two die shortly after delivery
Octuplets born in Mexico City, 1967, but all died within 14 hours, according to Encyclopedia Britannica
World's first surviving set of septuplets born in Iowa, US, 1997
First all-female surviving sextuplets born in the UK, 1983, to the Walton family
Absent parents in UK may lose passports
London, Tuesday 27th January, 2009. Absent parents who do not pay child support could have their passports and driving licences seized without having to be taken to court. The Department for Work and Pensions said the proposals contained in the Welfare Reform Bill would be a "last resort" if other sanctions failed. Latest estimates suggest absent parents owe nearly £4bn in unpaid maintenance. But opponents say the government's plans could lead to breaches of parents' civil rights. The Child Support Agency can confiscate the driving licences of parents who refused to pay for their children, but it had to apply for a court order to do so. Last year, Parliament passed an act giving the body which oversees the CSA and is developing its successor - the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission (CMEC) - the same power in relation to passports. The new legislation would allow the CMEC to bypass the courts and confiscate absent parents' passports and driving licences until the money is paid in full. The government argues that this is "faster, simpler and easier for the taxpayer". Work and Pensions Secretary James Purnell said: "We are supporting parents in these tough times, but for those who choose not to support their own kids, we will not stand by and do nothing. "If a parent refuses to pay up then we will stop them travelling abroad or even using their car. "We want fair rules for everybody and that means giving people the support they need, but in return expecting them to live up to their responsibilities."
Janet Allbeson, from the one-parent family advisory group Gingerbread, told the BBC she supported the idea as a last resort. "Over half of all children in single-parent households are poor. And we know, because Parliament has told us, that if all non-resident parents who are required to pay money each week by the Child Support Agency did so it would lift an extra 100,000 children out of poverty." The government says the new plan will be tested in certain areas of the country. Similar schemes in the US and Australia have been successful in increasing payments. Other powers open to the CMEC include taking money from a bank account without going through the courts; applying for a curfew, or recovering money from a dead person's estate. Opponents are worried that civil liberties may be undermined if bureaucrats have the power to take away passports and driving licences. The Liberal Democrats have also criticised the plans. Work and pensions spokesman Steve Webb said: "This latest bill will have more talking tough, but we've heard it all before. "What we really need is an efficient, effective system and this bill isn't going to bring it in." The Welfare Reform Bill also includes measures to require many single parents and people on incapacity benefit to seek work. But Labour MP and former welfare reform minister Frank Field said: "The government is debating welfare reform whilst standing on the burning ship." He is calling for a time limit on benefits for under-25s who have never worked. In a report for the Reform think-tank he also advocates the National Insurance system being reformed so that employees with a longer record of work receive more contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance if made redundant.
Following the death of the late Lorna Wanjiru (Suzy) in Royal Free Hospital, London on18th January, 2009 family and friends are inviting well wishers for a fundraising event to be held on Saturday 31st January, 2009 at Live and Let Live Club, 264-266 Romford Road, E7 9HZ near Barclays Bank, Forest Gate as from 4.00 p.m. They have run short of funds to transport the body back to Kenya. For more information please contact Effy on 07949427201 or Charles 07939152923.
Islamist insurgents have captured most of Somalia's central city of Baidoa - one of the last strongholds of the fragile transitional government. Officials and witnesses say Islamists have seized the parliament building in the city, some 250km (155 miles) north-west of the capital Mogadishu. Some reports say the presidential palace is also under their control. The MPs are currently meeting in neighbouring Djibouti, where they are due to elect a new president this week. They have voted to expand parliament to bring some 200 moderate Islamists into parliament. They are also expected to vote on whether to delay the presidential election, which is currently due before Wednesday.
Cabinet ministers suspected of involvement in post-election violence may not be forced to leave office after all. The clause in the Waki Report that recommended such action was struck out after intense lobbying at the Serena Committee and at the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs levels. A copy of one of the final drafts of the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2009 and the Statute for the Special Tribunal for Kenya obtained by The Standard revealed the clause had been deleted. Central Imenti MP Gitobu Imanyara, who is a lawyer, said: "The Bill is totally unacceptable. It cannot pass in its present form and will fall short of the 148 MPs required for a constitutional amendment." "The aim is obvious… to create delays and plot how to block Kenya from going to The Hague by claiming the process is on track. I can assure you we will battle those seeking to entrench impunity," he added. Mr Imanyara warned the Government to ensure important clauses raised by Human Rights Watch, legal experts and the international community were followed or risk having the implicated leaders carted to The Hague. - The Standard.
Pamela Mboya, widow of MP Tom Mboya, died on Monday 27th January, 2009 in a South African hospital where she had been undergoing treatment, family members said. Pamela, 70, died 40 years after her husband, then Economic Planning Minister, was assassinated in one of independent Kenya’s most enduring murder mysteries. After Mboya’s assassination, Pamela led a low profile life, keeping off politics. Professionally, she served as Kenya’s envoy to the UN-Habitat and Chairperson of Helpage Kenya. Pamela was also a member of Kenya Women’s Political Caucus. Mboya and Pamela, who wed in 1962, were among independent Kenya’s glitterati couples, owing to her husband’s high-profile political style. - The Standard.
Envoys are pushing President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to act on corruption allegations. British High Commissioner Rob Macaire, US ambassador Michael Ranneberger and his German counterpart, Mr Walter Lindner, warned that gains so far made by the Grand Coalition could be eroded by corruption scandals. "Everyone must recognise that corruption is a serious issue and an impediment to the ordinary Kenyan. It is pertinent that whenever there are allegations they should be acted upon with the seriousness it deserves," said Macaire at a clean development mechanism workshop in Nairobi. The UK envoy on Monday said Britain would only assist Kenya’s famine relief effort through agencies like World Food Program and the Red Cross Society. "If the situation deteriorated further, we will of course give our help, but through transparent bodies," said Macaire. - The Standard.
The Kenya shilling was unchanged against the dollar as banks assessed the market after highly erratic trade in the previous session, following the appointment of a new finance minister. Banks traded the shilling at Sh79.75/85 per dollar, unchanged from Friday’s close. The unit traded in a Sh79.65 to Sh80 band in earlier trade. Last Friday, the shilling saw volatile trade as some traders panicked after the naming of Uhuru Kenyatta as new finance minister. "There’s activity on both sides but small. The shilling is directionless at the moment," said Mr Jeremiah Kendagor, head of foreign exchange at Kenya Commercial Bank.
The pound ended its seven-day slump against the euro today and rose against the dollar, to above $1.40, despite horrific news from the High Street. Sterling was up 0.74 cents against the European single currency, to 1.0684 euro, making one euro worth 93.6p. It was also up 1.42 cents to $1.4082 against the greenback, having fallen to $1.35 on Friday — its weakest since September 1985. The rally came despite the bleakest forecast from the High Street in 25 years after nearly two-thirds of retailers saw business decline on a year ago in the New Year sales.
Agriculture Minister William Ruto has dissolved the National Cereals and Produce Board even as police grilled three Permanent Secretaries and other senior civil servants over the maize scandal. New NCPB Chairman Jimnah Mbaru, as well as Managing Director Gideon Misoi, will, however, remain in office, according to Agriculture Assistant Minister Kareke Mbiuki. In a related development, ODM called for a parliamentary group meeting this morning to address wrangles over corruption claims implicating its members. Elsewhere, Prime Minister Raila Odinga met US Ambassador Michael Ranneberger where the latter announced an $85 million (Sh7.9 billion) loan to buy food for Kenyans. They said those implicated in the maize scam should face the full force of the law. Permanent Secretaries Joseph Kinyua (Finance), Romano Kiome (Agriculture) and Mohamed Ali (Special Programmes) were questioned for hours by CID detectives as they sought to establish those behind the irregular sale of maize from NCPB. - The Standard.
Hackers have stolen the personal details of millions of job seekers in the biggest case of data theft in British history. The recruitment giant Monster said hackers now held confidential information contained on its database, including user names, passwords, telephone numbers, email addresses and "some basic demographic data". The company said the stolen information did not include CVs, national insurance numbers or personal financial data.
A Kenyan lady has passed away in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. The late Susan W. Muiru has passed away in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Daughter to Grace Muiru and the late Brian Muiru, sister to Hellen Muiru, Dennis Muiru both of Baltimore, Maryland, Edward Muiru of Columbus, Ohio; Julius, Pauline, Jane, Irene, Nancy all of Nairobi-Kenya. Prayers are being held daily at 1411 Winter Park Circle, Apt. L, Baltimore MD 21221 commencing from 7pm. The body will be shipped to Kenya for burial. A fundraising will be held on Saturday January 31st 2009 in Baltimore at 4.00pm. Further details will be forthcoming. The family needs your thoughts, prayers; and financial contributions to overcome the heavy financial expenses. Contributions may be sent to Bank Name: Bank of America Acc. Name: Hellen Muthoni, Account No: 446013750752, Routing No: 052001633. Or sent to the address:1411 Winter Park Circle, Apt. L, Baltimore MD 21221. For further information contact Mwihaki Muita: 443-739-3348, Hellen Muiru: 410-574-9448, Dennis Muiru: 443-470-0465 and Edward Muiru: 614-753-2359.
The late Susan W. Muiru
Nairobi, Monday 26th January, 2009. The murder trial against Judge G.B Kariuki began Monday with the victim alleging that the judge was drunk at the time of the incident. The first murder trial against a sitting judge in the country's history, saw the defense hire eight lawyers to represent him. Robert Karori, a driver for the International Organization for Migration testified in the criminal case against judge GBM Kariuki charged with attempted murder late last year. A visibly shaken and nervous Karori told the court that it was his first time to be in court. He narrated how he was stabbed with a Simi well known as Somali sword. Karori told the court that he was only provoked to slap the Judge after the judge initially slapped him and also declined to give him his car key. 8 lawyers are representing the judge in the matter. Meanwhile, a case seeking to block the implementation of the constitution of Kenya has been filed in the high court. Represented by lawyer Kibe Mungai the applicants comprising a section of religious leaders argue that the review act is unconstitutional for providing the making of a new constitution through the amendment of the Bomas and Wako drafts. They now want orders to stop the implementation of the constitution of Kenya Act 2008 pending the hearing of the suit. They argue that the review process envisaged in the act is not capable of resolving all contentious issues in which the applicants and other Kenyans have a different view from that of the political class. Among some of the contentious issues are the separation of the state and religion and true place of doctrinal issues such as abortion, unnatural unions and religious courts. They also took issue with the universal and equal taxation which is connected with the proper powers and composition of the parliamentary Service Commission. "The applicants are convinced that the review organs dominated and controlled by politicians cannot legitimately settle these issues with finality that will create a just and stabel constitutional order" they stated in their petition.
Men who are more sexually active in their 20s and 30s may run a higher risk of prostate cancer, research suggests. The Nottingham University study quizzed 800 men on how often they had sex or masturbated. Those who were most active while younger had more chance of developing cancer later in life. The researchers said higher levels of sex hormones could lead to a bigger sex drive and the cancer, the journal BJU International reported. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK, with well over 30,000 new cases diagnosed each year. It affects the prostate gland, which is found close to the bladder and makes a component of semen.
January 20th 2009 was no ordinary day for Americans and more so for Kenyans, It was a momentous day, the day that history was changed forever. He did it, the “Yes we can man”, Barack Obama became the president of the United States of America. In Washington DC where action was concentrated, there were many inauguration Balls many of which were attended by celebrities. One of the inauguration party was held in Rockville Maryland just few miles from Washington DC and it is here that all Kenyans gathered and celebrated in style. It was an international gathering as there were many nations represented. They came from Ghana, Togo, Cameroon, South Africa, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria and USA among many other countries. This party was organized by the Kenya cultural and Heritage organization in conjunction with a few local Christian pastors. The most important aspect was giving thanks to God Almighty who made this historic day possible. With God all things are possible was the resounding message that was preached by the pastors .The main message was delivered by pastor Katharima of Christ worship center who preached about King David and his brothers and how David though insignificant was chosen as the King of the children of Isreal.Apart from the preaching there was praise and worship by different groups from all over the continent of Africa. After the praise and worship session there was a dancing celebration session led by Haki Haki band, the Boys choir and Friends of Sironka maasai Dance Troupe group, all from Kenya. - By Diasporamessenger
Kenya community in action at the celebrations
London, Monday 26th January, 2009. Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling are set to postpone the Budget until April as they consider whether to try a new economic stimulus package. Sources have told the Standard that the tax and spending package usually unveiled in March is likely to be held back until after the start of the next financial year. A poll today shows a slump in confidence in the Prime Minister's handling of the economy. But CBI boss Richard Lambert urged Britons to cheer up because the country was not in danger of going bust. A delay in the Budget would give more time to see the shape of Barack Obama's plans to create up to four million jobs with a fiscal boost worth about £600 billion. Another reason being cited by insiders is to give Mr Brown more time to focus on two major summits. The G20 meeting is set for 14 March and the Leaders Summit hosted in Britain is to be held on 2 April. In a keynote speech today, the Prime Minister called for a “new world order” of better regulation for the global economies in future. Pre-empting this week's world economic forum at Davos, he called for improved regulation of hedge fund activities, securitised loans, and credit default swaps.
Iceland's coalition government has collapsed as a result of an escalating economic crisis. Prime Minister Geir Haarde announced the resignation of his cabinet, after talks with coalition partners failed. Iceland's financial system collapsed in October under the weight of debt built up during years of rapid growth. The currency has since plummeted and unemployment soared. The cabinet had faced daily protests with demonstrators accusing it of ruining the country. The economy is forecast to shrink by 9.6% this year. Mr Haarde told reporters on Monday: "I really regret that we could not continue with this coalition. I believe that that would have been the best result."
London, Monday 26th January, 2009. Steelmaker Corus has confirmed that it is cutting 3,500 jobs worldwide, including about 2,500 in the UK. The announcement comes after Corus, like all steel firms, has seen a substantial fall in demand. Corus, a subsidiary of India's Tata Steel, currently employs 24,000 people in the UK and 42,000 worldwide. It said it would be "mothballing" a facility at Llanwern near Newport, south Wales, and was trying to sell a majority stake in its Teesside site. Corus said that 600 jobs would go at Llanwern, as part of a total 1,100 cuts across the firm's Welsh operations. A further 1,400 jobs will go at other UK sites, including 713 in Rotherham, 108 at Wednesbury in the West Midlands, 93 in Scunthorpe, and 61 at Wolverhampton. The other affected Welsh plants include Shotton, Ammanford, and Pontardulais.
High Street shoe shop chains Barratts and PriceLess have gone into administration, it has been announced. The two chains consist of 400 stores nationwide, employing a total workforce of 5,450 people. Administrators from Deloitte said the shops had not been closed and were continuing to trade as normal. Barratts and PriceLess are owned by a Bradford-based firm, Stylo. The parent company is not in administration, but its shares have been suspended.
Barclays shares rose more than 25% after an open letter from the bank's under-pressure bosses helped settle investor nerves. Chairman Marcus Agius and chief executive John Varley wrote the letter to "address the principal causes of concern which we are hearing". Barclays shares have tumbled for the past fortnight and the bank lost almost half of its value last week amid fears that it will have to turn to the Government for funding help. But Mr Agius and Mr Varley said Barclays would not need to ask the Government for any financial assistance. Barclays shunned a taxpayer bail-out last year, but has raised more than £7 billion through a fundraising which leaves almost a third of the bank in the hands of Middle East investors. The letter, released through the stock market, said the capital raising gave Barclays more than the required funds to provide a buffer against future losses. Barclays had "confidence that our capital resources are sufficient to manage Barclays safely and prudently even in these difficult markets", it added.
The man killed in Nairobi on Saturday 24th January, 2009 had recently completed his PhD in international law at the Sheffield University in the United Kingdom. The son of a former Member of Parliament has been shot dead in Westlands near Sarit centre, Nairobi. Former Gatundu North MP, in Central Kenya, Patrick Muiruri lost his son the early morning incident. According to an eye witness an argument ensued before the victim was shot twice in the head. “I noticed a car swerve in front of another and since there was not much traffic I thought they knew each other. However, two men sprung from both vehicles and started arguing only to see one of them remove a gun and shot the other guy twice in the head.” The Nation team found Mr Muiruri at the Parklands Police Station where the vehicle of the deceased was towed waiting to get a report from the police. “I was called this morning at around 8 am in the morning by my last born son who was accompanying the deceased and told me to rush to MP Shah Hospital. I arrived there and was told that my son is at the casualty only to find his body sprayed with bullets,” he said. The deceased had recently completed his PhD in international law at the Sheffield University in the United Kingdom. Mr Muiruri added: “How cruel can life be just to have him die before he can start enjoying the fruits of his labour. We were to attend his graduation next month.” The incident happened at 7 am after the deceased and his friends were leaving an entertainment spot in the area. “They were from one of the pubs in Westlands shopping centre and were heading home,” added the distraught former Assistant minister for agriculture. The brother of the deceased and their lady colleague, who survived the incident were in shock. Relatives and friends gathered at the police station to console the family. - Daily Nation.
Former Gatundu North MP Patrick Muiruri and his wife at the Parklands police station after their 29 year old son was shot dead on Saturday.
The man who shot dead a son of a former Gatundu North MP will be charged with murder on Monday, police spokesman Eric Kiraithe has said. The police inspector, who joined the Force recently, had an argument with 29-year-old James Ng’ang’a as the two were drinking beer in Westlands on Saturday morning. Mr Ng’ang’s was the son of Mr Patrick Muiruri. According to Mr Kiraithe, the argument between the two degenerated into a quarrel until they were kicked out of the bar. It was then that the police inspector Mr Kiraithe declined to name, followed Mr Ng’ang’a. The police spokesman declined to say at what point Mr Ng’ang’a was shot, but a witness had previously said Mr Ng’ang’a was driven away by a friend in his car, but the inspector followed them then overtook and blocked the road. Mr Ng’ang’a got out of his car before the two started to argue again. It was at this point that the policeman pulled the trigger. Mr Kiraithe said the inspector shot Mr Ng’ang’a once, but his father Mr Muiruri, who served in the Police Force before becoming an MP, said that his son was shot five times. “He was shot twice in the shoulder, then the third bullet tore through his chest into the heart,” said the former assistant minister for Agriculture, who went to see his son at the MP Shah Hospital immediately after the shooting. He said the assailant shot his son twice in the mouth after he fell down. Mr Kiraithe could not confirm the former MP’s claims saying the truth will be known after a post-mortem test.
“This is a High Court case and I don’t want to be prejudicial. Let’s wait for the post-mortem,” the police spokesman who spoke by telephone, said. Nevertheless, he faulted the inspector saying: “He joined the force recently and was just excited about having a gun.” He added that he used the gun unlawfully. Incidents of police officers turning against their opponents and shooting them dead are not new. Such cases usually end in court. And in some incidents, the policemen commit suicide after committing murder using their official guns. If the inspector had reason for using the gun, Mr Kiraithe said, the matter would have been settled internally. “But we must take him to court because he could not justify why he used the weapon,” he said. Sources told the Nation that the young inspector went to report the incident at Buru Buru Police Station instead of Parklands Police Station, which is nearer to the scene of shooting. And he reportedly said he had shot a bank robber. But police at Buru Buru, the source said, later locked up the inspector after their colleagues at Parklands explained the circumstances under which the incident happened. Mr Kiraithe declined to say where the inspector was being held. Mr Ng’ang’a, his father said, had just finished a PhD course in International Law at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom. On Sunday, Mr Muiruri was devastated by the death of his second-born son. The former MP said: “He was my life and my everything.” He claimed there were other people who had accompanied the University inspector and wondered why they had not been arrested. Mr Muiruri was among the first people at the MP Shah Hospital after the incident. His last born son is the one who called him on Saturday morning to break the sad news to him. - Daily Nation.
WHO IS MY WIFE AMONG THE TWO?
You would think they are twins. The husband of one of them was caught by surprise when the other entered a ceremonial venue. "Oh, my, how come my wife is here without telling me" the husband asked. He had to call his wife to come and see her photocopy. Mrs. Jane Somba (right) and Caroline Kungu (left) looks alike. The husband of Jane (centre) Mr. Steve Somba had this to say jokingly: "Who is my wife now, I think I am a man of two wives, let us go home." The ladies met again on Sunday 25th January, 2009 at CCBC Swahili Church in Barking, London. They sat next to each other and everyone was convinced that they are twins. They don't know each other before nor are they relatives. Jane's email - email@example.com and Caroline email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Obama mania goes off limits in Abuja
Being proud of one’s ancestry is one thing but harassing others because one of your own has become a US President, is another. Rafsanjan A. Tatya narrates how some people take the patriotic thing a bit too far.
Where do you come from?” The answer to this question, at least for most Kenyans these days, must involve the name Barack Obama. I thought Obama was more of an American than an African or Kenyan for that matter but on my trip to the MTV Africa Music Awards (Mamas) event, I found out different. I mean, it’s clear to all of us that Obama is the President-elect of the United States of America and the President of Kenya is called Mwai Kibaki – but most Kenyans are yet to tell the difference.
Americans are proud of their new President and the whole world knows so they don’t need to add his name on their IDs like most of our Kenyan colleagues have done. They have caught a syndrome called “No Kenyan without Obama” or should it be “No Obama, No Kenya!”
Do I hate Kenyans? No! Am I jealous that Obama has Kenyan roots? No, and I even believe that: “East Africa together tunawakilisha, indeed.” But it makes me uneasy when someone starts making others uncomfortable because he/she comes from the land of Obama’s father. One Kenyan female journalist smoked on the plane simply because she “comes from Kenya, the land of Obama.”
Julie Masiga of the Drum magazine was bound for a seven-year jail term in Nigeria after she was caught smoking on KQ 432 flying from Nairobi to Lagos on November 20. She was part of the press crew going to Abuja to cover the inaugural Mamas. It is as though she stopped understanding English the moment the urge to smoke a cigarette took over. What explains her lighting a smoke when time and again the flight crew announced that smoking on the aircraft was not allowed?
Her luggage was confiscated and she was told to stay at the airport. I expected her to be apologetic and stop her mouth running but wapi! She went on to throw tantrums and even attacked the MTV manager who was trying to help her out. She shouted: “Damn it! I’m Kenyan, and I give no hell of interest in what you say about me, I’ve got to enjoy my life, Obama!” She made sure she ended every statement of hers with that name.
And that was just the curtain-raiser. It was also then that I really respected whoever invented the saying, “Birds of the same feather flock together...” because Masiga flew with a fellow Kenyan journalist Anthony Mochama of The Standard. What Masiga does, Mochama supports and also does. They shared thoughts and so much more!
As we waited to board the plane flying from Lagos to Abuja, the pair irritated the rest of passengers with their chanting, “Obama, Obama, Obama…” You may think that was wrong but they didn’t realise as they were drunk. In fact, they were almost always drunk. Wherever we went they made sure they told everybody that they come from “the land of Obama.”
When we went to the restaurant at Nicon Luxury Hotel, Mochama almost exchanged blows with a Ugandan journalist (names withheld) after he told the Ugandan chap to remove his Obama T-shirt because it was too old. “You don’t know anything about Obama, remove the T-shirt you’re just a Ugandan,” Mochama said. I had to intervene to stop the emerging conflict.
Then Mochoma had a face-off with a Ghanaian when he said that if Nigeria was a house, Ghana would be its toilet. I must say, I enjoyed Mochama’s slapstick jokes, but only when he left Obama out of it. I remembered what my mother told me as a little boy, that when you invest effort in trying to convince the world and his dog that you’re related to some famous figures, you forget that you have your own life to lead and it makes you discontent with your own. So I wanted to see an independent Mochama who doesn’t need to claim somebody else’s fame. He and Masiga even infuriated the Nigerians we met at Velodrome, the venue for the awards ceremony. A disgusted crowd waiting outside the stadium gates almost lynched us because of these two people.
As we pleaded with the security guys to open for us, Masiga said, “Open for us the foreign press, we’re from Kenya Obama.” Her statement angered the citizens who had waited for longer than us. The crowd threatened to break and forcefully get through “if the Kenyans are allowed in.” One of them shouted: “Dare no, what do you “mean-o”, are Kenyans better than Nigerians, dare “open-o”!” On realising that it was mission impossible we moved to the next gate.
Inside the auditorium Masiga became nuts after taking one too many. She was drunk and shouted “Kenya, Obama” every time the emcee Trevor Nelson came on stage. It was like the Kenyan woman was out to outdo Nelson in a talking competition despite the fact that he was using a microphone. She then loudly said that Kenyan women are better than Nigerian women. The girls around us got angry and I told her it was not right to attack people you don’t know and then she turned her guns on me.
For whatever she said, I simply smiled and nodded so I would make her think she was right. That calmed the Nigerians and at the end of the day everybody was happy. But that was not over yet, Mochama had also a face-off with Tanzanian singer Professor Jay. But the Kenyan chap saved the best for the last and on our return, he climaxed the drama with a super scandal on the plane. It started when he told a South African passenger to respect him because he comes from Obama’s land. Even with the South African keeping quiet the arrogant fellow wouldn’t lay off. Then the South Africa hit back and was going to slap him when a flight attendant intervened. Mochama was made to switch seats with some lady but he left the airport still quarrelling. So much for Obama mania. - Daily Monitor.
"I trust in the Lord with all my heart, and I lean not unto my own understanding." (Proverbs 3:5.
UK cities outside the south-east England are likely to be hit hardest by recession, a new report warns. The Centre for Cities charity put on "red" alert Belfast, Liverpool and Hull, owing to high numbers of unemployed and unqualified residents. Least vulnerable - on "green" - were places including Oxford, Cambridge and Reading, with what the report called their "highly qualified workforces". But the charity warned that "in 2009 all cities will feel recession bite". Cities like Bristol, London and Edinburgh were placed on a medium "amber" alert as "they specialise in vulnerable financial services". "But these cities have highly skilled residents - which means a more flexible and mobile workforce," the report added. Cities on "green alert" are mainly in the South East. "The stronger city economies of the Greater South East, with highly qualified workforces and their profusion of 'knowledge' industries are not immune to job losses but are likely to be less exposed and better placed to recover more quickly," the report suggests.
According to the Centre for Cities, Cambridge saw the lowest increase in people on Jobseeker's Allowance in 2008, while Hull saw the highest increase. The charity found that more than two thirds of the cities with the largest increases in people on Jobseeker's Allowance were in northern England, "suggesting early job losses amongst more vulnerable workers". "UK cities will be hit harder than they think by this recession. Nearly all say they are well-placed to weather the storm - but they can't all be right, " said charity director Dermot Finch. The organisation believes that cities will be "leading the upturn as the economy recovers". "But they can't just rely on action from Whitehall. Each city needs its own front-line action plan, to keep jobs and retrain workers - and more powers over economic development," said Mr Finch. Sir Jeremy Beecham, vice-chairman of the Local Government Association, said: "It is clear that a national, 'one size fits all' approach to dealing with the recession simply isn't going to work. "The fastest way to get out of recession is for more decisions about the economy to be taken at the local level, which means councils and other local bodies continuing to work together with local people and businesses."
PM accuses media of tarnishing his character
Written By:PMPS , Posted: Sun, Jan 25, 2009
Prime Minister Raila Odinga Sunday censored a section of the media for propagating smear campaign aimed at tarnishing his character before the public. He dismissed recent press reports insinuating that he had changed his ways and abandoned the war on corruption since the premier jointly with President Mwai Kibaki ratified the inception of a coalition government in the country. Odinga reiterated that his resolve to champion for good governance and uphold transparency and accountability in public affairs was unwavering contrary the misplaced perception a local media house was trying to depict. "Now a section of the press are saying that have stopped fighting graft in the country yet I have neither declared nor made a statement to that effect but I urge them to exercise professionalism and ethical standards in the work" he said. The Premier however maintained his support for the freedom of the press in the country but was quick to point that such freedoms must be enjoyed responsibly. He urged journalists to avoid trivial issues and sensational reporting. He also denied reports on a section of the press that implicated him in the recent maize scandal. The Premier attributed the current shortage maize in the country to poor harvest in the last two seasons after most farmers were affected by the aftermath of the last general polls which disrupted farming activities for the better part of the planting period. He announced that the government had finalized plans to avail maize flour at subsidized prices as promised and explained that exercise delayed while the National cereals and produce Board (NCPB) was sourcing private distributors to channel goods to designated points. Odinga said the government was compelled to intervene into the maize distribution network to protect the interest of the consumers after unscrupulous middlemen took advantage of the shortage of the staple produce to exploit the masses. "The government had to intervene to control the price of maize after brokers invaded the industry and charged millers exorbitantly pushing the retail price higher than expected but we are now offering @kg packages of maize flour at Ksh 72 " he said. The Premier assured Kibera residents during a tour of development projects that the government was determined to meet her pre election pledges.
People around the world are preparing to celebrate Lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year, and welcome the Year of the Ox and on right the ox, one of 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac, symbolises calm, hard work, resolve and tenacity. The Year of the Rat was in 2008.
Prime minister without a salary
Prime Minister Raila Odinga has worked for nine months without pay following a dispute in top government administrative circles over his salary scale, the Nation can reveal. The embarrassing situation is also being blamed on failure by MPs to give direction on the trappings of the Prime Minister’s office, which was created at the formation of the grand coalition government last year. According to correspondence seen by the Nation, the controversy over Mr Odinga’s salary revolves around two schools of thought in government — one which recommends that his pay should be equal to that of Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, and another which proposes that the PM’s pay be pegged on the President’s.
In the meantime, Mr Odinga has for close to a year been paid as Lang’ata Member of Parliament and drawn allowances of a Cabinet minister. A letter dated September 29, 2008 from the Head of Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet, Mr Francis Muthaura, to the Clerk of the National Assembly, Mr Patrick Gichohi, says that the Government had decided to pay higher salaries to the Prime Minister, Vice-President and the two deputy prime ministers. Mr Muthaura says that this was to ensure that the overall salaries for the VP, PM and deputy PMs are within the range of packages paid to some chief executives of government agencies while maintaining relativity to that of the President. President Kibaki earns a Sh2 million basic salary a month and also draws Sh1.2 million monthly in extraneous and entertainment allowances, according to Mr Muthaura. “It is, however, to be noted that the President does not draw any remuneration from Parliament since he is a constitutional office holder while the vice-president, prime minister and the deputy prime ministers draw various allowances from Parliament,” Mr Muthaura says. The President’s pay is drawn from the Consolidated Fund. The VP, PM and his deputies receive salaries and allowances from Parliament totalling about Sh800, 000. In addition, as ministers, they receive Sh200,000 ministerial allowance, Sh100, 000 house allowance and Sh23,400 domestic allowance.
It is in the same letter that Mr Muthaura directs that Mr Odinga’s salary be equal to that of Mr Musyoka. Mr Muthaura proposes that the PM’s and VP’s salary be Sh1.3 million — Sh800, 000 salary, Sh300,000 ministerial allowance and Sh200, 000 as house allowance. He proposes that deputy prime ministers Musalia Mudavadi and Uhuru Kenyatta get Sh950, 000 which is broken down into Sh500, 000 salary, Sh250, 000 ministerial allowance, Sh150, 000 house allowance and Sh50,000 domestic staff allowance. Earlier, the permanent secretary in the Prime Minister’s office, Dr Mohamed Isahakia, had written to the Clerk of the National Assembly complaining that it was unfair for Mr Odinga to perform his official duties without pay. Sources said Dr Isahakia asked that the issue of the PM’s pay be discussed, determined and that his salary be paid to him urgently. Last week, the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) met to deliberate on the issue and it was then that Mr Muthaura’s letter was produced. Some of Mr Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) MPs in the PSC were incensed by Mr Muthaura’s proposal to equate the Prime Minister office with that of the Vice-President.
Sources said the MPs want the Prime Minister’s salary to be above that of the VP considering that he was an equal partner with President Kibaki as far as the National Accord and Reconciliation Act that created the PM’s office was concerned. The same sentiments were expressed in Dr Isahakia’s letter to the Clerk. However, an MP who did not wish to be quoted discussing PSC matters outside the committee asked why ODM members in the PSC had not brought the matter before Parliament in order to resolve it through the ballot rather than through administrative channels. The National Accord and Reconciliation Act, which was signed on February 28, 2008 states that the PM and his deputies shall be entitled to salaries and allowances, benefits, privileges and emoluments as may be approved by Parliament from time to time. - Daily Nation.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Monday 26th January, 2009. The Obama administration will have to persuade the world that the U.S. strong dollar policy is for real this time as it prepares to borrow $2 trillion to revive the U.S. economy from its worst crisis in decades. Less than 48 hours after Barack Obama became president, his choice for U.S. Treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner, said a strong dollar is in the United States' interest. That phrasing -- first used by former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin more than 14 years ago -- lost its weight and credibility when it was over-used by the Bush administration. The greenback lost about 40 percent of its value versus the euro and more than 15 percent versus the yen between 2000 and 2008. A weaker currency was an important step for the Bush White House in rebalancing a global economy plagued by a U.S. trade deficit and huge Chinese surplus. "This time around the administration probably means it when it says it backs a strong dollar. They have to be dead serious about it," said Samarjit Shankar, a director for global strategy at the Bank of New York Mellon, in Boston. "Trillions worth of U.S. debt is coming soon to the markets. Which foreign central bank or institution will buy this debt if they are not fully convinced the dollar will remain strong?" he added.
The challenge for Obama's team, analysts said, will be to support the dollar's value without direct manipulation in the markets, with the economy in recession, interest rates near zero, and a ballooning current account deficit. Moreover, Washington will have to achieve all that without antagonizing China, the biggest holder of U.S. Treasury debt, the analysts said. "It will be a real test. One thing is to finance a $450 billion deficit and another is to finance $2 trillion," said Chris Rupkey, a senior financial economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi in New York. "We are always worried foreigners could ditch the dollar. But they have no incentive to do that," he added. "The amount they own is so large that they can't get out of it without impacting their own currencies and economies in the process. And that includes China." Geithner, in written response to questions from the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday, said a strong dollar "is in America's national interest." For details, see [ID:nN22364222] But while stressing the need for a stronger dollar Geithner also said the administration would be vigilant against currency manipulation, in particular that stemming from China. President Obama "believes that China is manipulating its currency" and that he has pledged to use "all the diplomatic avenues open to him to see change in China's currency practices," he said in his response.
"Learn how you can release the ability of God by the words of your mouth." - Harrsison House, USA.
London, Sunday 25th January, 2009. The prospect of the three-day week returned to haunt Britain on Saturday as it emerged that ministers are considering paying firms to cut hours in order to survive the recession. Tens of thousands of businesses are already planning to scale back working hours this year in an effort to stay afloat. But as the country comes to terms with the reality of a recession, it emerged that the Government is looking at compensating employees, through their firms – thereby drawing comparisons with the shutdowns of the 1970s. While the move would safeguard jobs, it would mean that the financial crisis is on a much larger scale, further undermining confidence in the economy with the suggestion of Britain grinding to a halt. Major firms such as JCB have already downed tools for one day a week and are considering moving to a three-day week, with state help, if the recession gets worse. The firm's chief executive, Matthew Taylor, said that he is pressing Lord Mandelson, the Secretary of State for Business, to introduce compensation for workers if their hours are reduced. Some of the jobs earmarked for redundancy, he said, could be saved if the move is introduced by April. Ministerial sources insisted last night that a scheme to help compensate workers was "not imminent" but said it was an option being discussed. It would match measures introduced by the German government. The Thatcher government brought in a short-time working directive in the 1980s to cover earnings lost through shorter hours. Such a move would cost the Government millions of pounds, but would be cheaper than the huge rise in unemployment benefit claims as a result of job losses. Yet the move would stir bad memories of the three-day week of the early 1970s, when the Heath government imposed a cut in hours to save electricity as a result of industrial action.
Advice on how to ride the downturn published on the Department for Business website tells firms that cutting hours is one way to reduce overheads and ride the economic storm. The guide, Real Help for Businesses Now, suggests firms could cut staff costs by reducing hours, rather than by making redundancies. "Cutting overheads such as property costs... will take much longer to have an effect on the balance sheet," it said. "You can also cut staff costs by restricting overtime or cutting staff hours. You could also consider reducing your number of employees – though redundancy payments will increase costs in the short term. However, the consequences of redundancies can be devastating, particularly for small businesses, and morale could suffer." Experts fear that the recession could be the worst for 60 years. Figures released on Friday showed that the economy is contracting faster than at any time since 1980. Kenneth Clarke, the new shadow Secretary of State for Business, last night accused Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling of "panicking" over the recession. Ministers were treating voters "like fools" by claiming they could see the "green shoots" of recovery, Mr Clarke wrote in the News of the World. Figures from the British Chambers of Commerce, which represent 100,000 firms, show that 39 per cent of businesses are planning to cut hours. Many firms in the car industry have introduced or are considering a three-day week, such as Bentley Motors in Crewe and Nissan in Sunderland. But the practice is spreading to the rest of the manufacturing sector, and business leaders fear it is only a matter of time before other industries resort to the measure. Mr Taylor, of JCB, said: "We would rather go to a shorter working week than lay people off." Three-day weeks have been backed by the unions, whose members are happier to take pay cuts than lose their entire salary and pension benefits. Government sources said there were issues about whether to restrict compensation to the car industry or apply it to all firms. The CBI refused to comment last night, but a source said some firms would be able to reduce output to three days more easily than others.
When the three-day week crippled Britain
The three-day week carries a particular resonance for anyone who remembers the 1970s, as it recalls a time when firms were forced into short-time working, redundancies, and lay-offs. As now, the crisis erupted amid an economic emergency. But the cause of a problem that crippled the nation's infrastructure was not a financial calamity but a breakdown in industrial relations. Britain's miners walked out on 9 January 1972 – their first strike in 50 years – over the failure to meet their demand for £9 on top of an average weekly wage of £25. The impact of closing all 289 pits in England and Wales – and pickets at power stations – was dramatic. A month later, the Prime Minister, Edward Heath, declared a state of emergency and, with dwindling electricity supplies forcing factories to close, he imposed a three-day week. A week into the state of emergency, it was announced that electricity would be switched off on a rota basis between 7am and midnight every day. By the middle of February, it was estimated 1.2 million people had been laid off. Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) gave a week's notice to its 60,000 weekly paid staff as a precautionary measure. Although the crisis ended with a pay deal on 19 February, the miners repeated their industrial action less than two years later, provoking another three-day week and, ultimately, the removal of the Heath government in February 1974. - The Independent, London.
"Many people have been defeated in life because they believe and spoke the wrong things. They have allowed the words of their own mouths to hold them in bondage." - Harrison House, USA
NO EMAILS MR. PRESIDENT
President-elect Barack Obama will have to give up the BlackBerry that he's had literally by his side (clipped to his belt, a surprising fashion faux pas by the normally quite fashionable candidate). Because of security concerns, the chief executive is not allowed to send emails. President George W. Bush has gone without email for eight years, and was reported to be looking forward to sending them again a few months ago. Obama does plan to bring a laptop to the Oval Office, and there's some talk of setting up a read-only email account. How would you cope with living without email?
15 members of an airline cabin crew were arrested were on Tuesday 20th January, 2009 at Heathrow airport after officers from the UK Border Agency seized approximately 50 kilos of cannabis worth about £150,000. The cabin crew were arrested after UK Border Agency officers discovered the drugs in three pieces of baggage that had arrived on a South African airways flight from Johannesburg. Following the detection, the case was passed to HM Revenue & Customs and enquiries are continuing. Bob Gaiger, HM Revenue & Customs Heathrow spokesman said: "Those arrested are now being held in custody and will be interviewed by HMRC investigation officers. HMRC together with UK Border Agency play a vital role in the fight to prevent illegal drugs from entering the UK and in protecting our communities from the violence and corruption that always accompany this hideous trade. Anyone with information about activity they suspect may be linked to drugs smuggling should call our 24 hour customs hotline - 0800 59 5000."
LEFT: The Independent on Sunday warns that Britain could see a return to the three-day week on the scale of the 1970s, as the recession - likely to be the worst for 60 years - takes its toll. CENTRE: The Sunday Express reports how estate agents are warning that "greedy bankers" are in danger of crushing the first "green shoots" of a housing recovery by failing to loosen their grip on Britain's purse strings. RIGHT: The Mail on Sunday says Whitehall mandarins in charge of saving Britain from the economic slump drank whisky and danced the night away at the Treasury on the day the recession was officially confirmed.
"I am married to a black American, you know they like arguments, my wife was arguing with me the other day that President Obama is not an Africa. I told her - you have eyes and you do see, can't you see that head is a head of a Kikuyu from Kenya." - A Nigerian Taxi Driver in Washington DC, USA, little did he know that I was a Kikuyu.
Private servants in diplomatic households – changes to the handling of applications
23 January 2009
The UK Border Agency has announced changes to the treatment of applications for private servants in diplomatic households. This follows a commitment by Ministers that settlement provisions will be retained for those entering the United Kingdom (UK) under tier 5 of the points-based system. The following arrangements will apply:
Private servants in diplomatic households working in the UK on or before 26 November 2008
We previously introduced transitional arrangements for private servants in this category. Applications approved were eligible for a one-off grant of leave to remain of up to five years, which is the current threshold for settlement. To ensure that all those who were eligible to apply under the transitional arrangements have an opportunity to do so, we will exceptionally continue to accept applications under these arrangements for a further 18 months, until 26 May 2010.
New entrants to the UK
Under changes which came into force on 27 November 2008, new private servants in diplomatic households applying to enter the UK need to apply under the tier 5 temporary worker - international agreement sub-category of the new points-based system. Under this category they will be eligible to extend their stay in the UK, as outlined in the immigration rules and guidance for both migrants and sponsors. These private servants may be granted further extensions to their leave for periods of up to 12 months at a time, up to a total of six years. They will now be eligible to apply for settlement once they have reached the required threshold, which is currently five years. This will be reflected in the immigration rules at the next formal change in March 2009.
Mrs. Nelly Wanjiru Mwangi and family has lost her sister-in-law the late Rosemary Wanjiku Gichimu on Monday 19th January, 2009 in Nairobi, Kenya after a long illness. She is the wife of GG Maina formerly of Galexy Security, London. For more information please contact 07930213059 or Mr. GG Maina in Kenya on 0722881432.
Kibaki threatens to sack his ministers
President Kibaki on Thursday read the riot act to four Cabinet ministers over disunity in government and the maize and oil scandals which have rocked the Grand Coalition Government. He threatened to sack Cabinet ministers who quarrel in public and those who were unable to handle critical issues in their dockets. Forestry and Wildlife minister Noah Wekesa came under sharp criticism for his Wednesday attack on Prime Minister Raila Odinga over the saga involving a second grain handling facility at the Mombasa port, oil and maize scandals. Dr Wekesa later sent a note of apology to Mr Odinga expressing regret that he had discussed the issues in the media “without first examining the implications”. “In view of collective responsibility that my office requires of me, I should not have associated myself with this party sentiments and I once again apologise and promise to work closely with you to uplift the image of Government,” the minister said in a letter addressed to Mr Odinga.
Dr Wekesa, one of the vice-chairmen of the Party of National Unity, had criticised Mr Odinga over the current maize shortage asking him to tell Kenyans what he has done to prevent the crisis as chairman of the Cabinet sub-committee on food security. “The Rt honourable Prime Minister chairs the sub-committee on food security. Can he explain to Kenyans what action he has taken on the crisis or else we hold him culpable for neglecting duty and therefore failed the country,” Dr Wekesa said in a statement issued at a Nairobi hotel. Lands minister James Orengo got a dressing down for statements he made in public regarding some Cabinet colleagues, which were interpreted as a breach of the government’s collective responsibility. On the other hand Energy minister Kiraitu Murungi and his Agriculture counterpart, Mr William Ruto, were put on the spot for their handling of the recent oil shortage, the Triton scandal and mismanagement of the sale of maize from the National Cereals Board to millers. The tough stand was uncharacteristic of President Kibaki as the Cabinet held its first meeting this year. Sources familiar with the proceedings described some of the session as “hot”. Later in the afternoon, Mr Murungi and Mr Ruto faced a barrage of questions in Parliament as they tried to explain to MPs goings on in the oil industry and the maize sub-sector. Triton Petroleum Company is accused of selling fuel worth Sh7.6 billion without the knowledge of international and local financiers who had invested in oil stocks held in their trust by the Kenya Pipeline Company.
The stocks, amounting to 126 million litres, were released to Triton, which is owned by Mr Yagnesh Devani, between November 2007 and November 2008 without the financiers’ consent. The maize scandal revolves around the allocation of government stocks to brokers who posed as millers at a price of Sh1,750. They later sold the same maize to millers at Sh2,600. This has been said to be the reason behind the sudden increase in the price of a two kilogramme packet of maize flour from Sh55 to Sh130 in December. The matter is being investigated by the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) and the Criminal Investigations Department (CID). Sources said that Mr Ruto was told to take charge of matters in his ministry and give the true picture of the maize situation so that the Government could tackle current famine from an informed position. The meeting, whose main agenda was implementation of the Waki report on post-election violence, also addressed the ongoing teachers’ strike that has paralysed learning in public primary schools. The Cabinet resolved that the government pays the raised teachers salary in two years. The President is said to have demanded that any troubling issues in the Cabinet should be raised within the correct channels. - Daily Nation.
"Words are the most powerful things in the universe today. They are containers of power." - Harrison House, USA
Barack Obama has been sworn in as the 44th President of the United States of America, at a historic ceremony in Washington DC and on right One-day-old Michelle Obama yawns contentedly in Kisumu, Kenya, a day after her namesake became the first African-American First Lady of the United States.
Hundreds of illegal immigrants have broken out of a detention centre on the Italian island of Lampedusa and are staging a protest, officials have said. Lampedusa mayor Bernardino De Rubeis told the AFP news agency the centre's security fence had been toppled and that about 700 immigrants had escaped. They are said to be complaining about conditions at the camp, which was built for 850 but is currently holding 1,800. On Friday, the UN urged Rome to address the "difficult humanitarian situation". The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) expressed mounting concern about overcrowding. Hundreds have been forced to sleep outdoors in the cold. The UNHCR also criticised a government decision to hold those who survive the perilous sea-crossing on the Mediterranean island until their cases are decided. Previously, they were sent to other centres.
There are days when life for Adwai Malual looks like an endless wheel. Already she has lived through much: growing up in Sudan as war tore apart her homeland, discovering in the midst of it that she was pregnant, coming to this strange land of America. Now, in a small, crowded apartment in Laurel nearly two months after the babies' delivery, Malual's life is dominated by another kind of chaos. It begins every day at 3 a.m., as she wakes up to take over feeding duties from her mother, visiting from Sudan. One by one, she tends to her five babies in 40-minute shifts. By the time she has changed the last one's diaper, the first is crying for food again. And so it goes for 12 hours straight, until she hands them off to her mother so she can sleep for a little while before waking do it all again. Life is now confined to this second-floor apartment and to the most basic of human needs: eating, peeing, pooping, burping and sleeping. "I am grateful for the blessings in my life," the 28-year-old said recently during a rare break from her babies. "And I am tired." All day long, her mind alternates between those two states. She thanks God for the people -- many of them complete strangers -- who donated diapers, time and money to help her through her grueling first few weeks out of the hospital. Then she prays for some way to survive the weeks ahead.
Then, weeks later, she gave birth to quintuplets. - MORE PHOTOS
When Malual, who had been working as a branch inspector of a bank in southern Sudan, first learned that she was pregnant with multiple children -- three or four, her doctors in Sudan guessed -- she thought it would be easy. "It was my first time as mother," she laughed. She traveled to Minnesota when she was 16 weeks pregnant to seek the blessing of her mother-in-law, a family figure who plays a large role in a Sudanese woman's pregnancy. When they met, her mother-in-law placed a hand upon Malual's head and then on her belly, anointing both with water. Later, after she left to visit her sister in Prince George's County, she was rushed to the emergency room with complications. Over the next 11 weeks, a team including more than 30 doctors and nurses was put together to handle her case. And last month, as her successful delivery of four girls and one boy was announced, television crews and newspaper reporters rushed to Anne Arundel Medical Center to cover the first quintuplets in the hospital's 106-year history and the first in Maryland in more than three years. Calls poured in to the hospital from people asking how they could help the children, Deng, the boy, and his sisters, Nyantweny, Nyandeng, Abyei and Athei. In the days that followed, however, many of the offers faded away. The hospital has said it will work with the uninsured family to pay for the costs, but no avalanche of outside support has materialized, nor have companies like diaper manufacturers stepped in to help as sometimes happens in such births. "I think part of it is the economy," said the Rev. Barbara Sands, a hospital chaplain who has been trying to coordinate help for the family. "It's just the times we're in right now."
Three people have died following their rescue in blizzard conditions from an avalanche in the Scottish Highlands. A major rescue operation involving helicopters was launched when nine people in at least two separate parties were on Buachaille Etive Mhor, near Glencoe, south of Fort William, when it occurred. Northern Constabulary said they were alerted to the incident, on the Coire Na Tulaich area of the mountain, at about noon on Saturday. Rescue helicopters from RAF Lossiemouth and a Royal Navy helicopter from Prestwick were scrambled while members of Glencoe Mountain Rescue Team were also sent to the scene. One of the helicopters was later grounded because of the weather.
Prince Harry and his girlfriend Chelsy Davy have ended their relationship. The split, expected to be reported in Sunday's newspapers, is said to have been "amicable" and follows discussions between the two of them in recent days. The pair have known each other for five years and have parted on at least one previous occasion. Clarence House has not made any official comment other than to say this is a private matter. Prince Harry, 24, has sought to keep his relationship private.
A sign reading Official Obama Office hangs outside a school in Kogelo, the Kenyan birth-place of Barack Obama's father. Kenyans are hugely proud of their links to the new US president.
A Kenyan has passed away in the UK. The late Jane Wambui passed away at London Royal Hospital on Tuesday 20th January, 2009 after long illness (brain infection). She is the daughter of Mr. Michael Ndungu Kariuki and Mrs. Ann Wairimu of Burnt Forest, Uasin Gishu District, Rift Valley, Kenya. Sister to Sabina (London), Peter Gitonga of Burnt Forest, Teressiah Wanjiru, Faith Wanjiku and Njambi all of Burnt Forest. Sister in law to Mr. Samuel, Milka and Evans Mwangi (all of London). Family and friends are meeting for prayers and funeral arrangements at 117A Burges Road, East Ham, E6 2BL. You can make your contributions through Barclays Bank, Account no. 30436437, Sort Code 206790, Account name: S. Ndungu. For more information please contact 07950663778 or 02084729975.
The late Jane Wambui
The pounds dropped to its lowest on Friday 23rd January exchanging at 106.84 against the Kenya Shillings in London
Greetings from Washington District of Columbia (DC). We arrived in Washington just after midnight on Sunday 18th January, 2009. With a group of other Kenyans from the UK, we had one mission in mind - to be a part in making history at the inauguration of President Obama of America. We did it and we are back to the UK arriving in UK on Friday 23rd January, 2009. The whole journey was a life time story with everything big and in style - big American people, Big American MacDonald, Big security ever displayed in the American history (about $150 million), Big occasion with over 2 million people within a 2-square mile, Big American technology in display and the biggest event ever held on an American soil. The weather was so bad with temperatures going as far as -13 degrees centigrade. The big water pond outside Capitol Hill was frozen. We made use of our time by visiting the inauguration venue on Monday 19th January, 2009 before coming back for the event on Tuesday. Many people slept at the venue on Monday night waiting for the ceremony even with such freezing temperatures. We visited Capitol Hill which is like the house of parliament in the UK, the famous Pennsylvania Road where President Obama convey marched on Tuesday, the popular Lincoln Memorial and finally the White House now being called Black House by black Americans. Notably was the large number of black American crying all over the area as they shouted "it is our time, it is our moment, we have live to see it happen". Full story and photos coming soon. - More on Capitol Hill
On our way to the ceremony we posed with a statue of President Obama near Lincoln Memorial and on right a photo Mr. Peter Waweru from Northampton joined for a pose a day before the inauguration ceremony outside Capitol Hill. Thanks to the Kenyan team in Washington who hosted us. We shall revenge.
"I am married to a black American lady. We always argue in the house. You know black Americans don't like us, they keep on complaining that we sold them during slave trade. I have always been telling her - the white man was catching everyone in sight, it only happened that your grandfather was lazy, my grandfather run away fast but your grandfather was caught. What are you complaining about.!" - A Nigerian Taxi Driver in Washington while taking us for a evening dinner
Police have beefed up security at Kogelo. Accessing the home where Barack Obama Senior was buried will no longer be easy following the new move to ensure the safety of President Obama’s family. Obama’s relatives from Kenya were given a VIP treatment during his inauguration in Washington DC. His grandmother, Mama Sarah Obama, his step-mother Kezia Obama, uncle Saidi Obama and half-siblings, Auma and Malik, sat metres from him during the ceremony. The Standard on Saturday also learnt that plans are underway to provide Mama Sarah with tighter security when she arrives from the US. Siaya OCPD Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Johnston Ipara yesterday confirmed that security in the village has been tightened. Ipara said police officers trained in VIP protection will be in-charge of Mama Sarah’s security. "We have officers trained in other police operations and capable of handling all situations," said Ipara. - The Standard.
Kimunya back in the cabinet
Written By:PPS , Posted: Fri, Jan 23, 2009
Former Finance minister Amos Kimunya has returned to Cabinet as the minister for Ttrade. The President, in consultations with Prime Minister Raila Odinga, has also named Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta as Finance minister. In the cabinet appointments released from State house on Friday, Hon. Franklin Bett, MP becomes Minister for Roads while Hon. Beatrice Pauline Kones, MP becomes Assistant Minister for Home Affairs. A statement from the Presidential Press Service said the changes take place with immediate effect. Mr. John Michuki, who has been acting at Treasury returned to his Environment and Mineral Resources Ministry, while Chris Obure who has been handling the Roads portfolio retains his Public Works docket. Mr Kimunya stepped aside as Finance minister after the controversial sale of Grand Regency Hotel (now Laico Regency) to a Libyan company. A Commission of Inquiry to probe the sale was established by President Kibaki and was headed by retired judge Majid Cockar. The Cockar Commission presented its findings to President Kibaki at the end of its term, but the report is yet to be made public.
Kimunya stepped aside as Finance minister after the controversial sale of Grand Regency Hotel to a Libyan company.
Meanwhile, both the President and the Prime Minister have agreed to increase the Membership of the Permanent Committee on Management of Grand Coalition Affairs to include Hon. Martha Karua, Minister for Justice & Constitutional Affairs, and Hon. Charity Ngilu, Minister for Water & Irrigation, from both parties to the Coalition. The other members of the Committee are president, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Kenya, Hon. Raila Amolo Odinga, Prime Minister of the Republic of Kenya, Hon. Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka, Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs; Others are Hon. Wycliffe Musalia Mudavadi, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Local Government, Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Hon. George Saitoti, Minister of State for Provincial Administration & Internal Security, Office of the President, Hon. William Samoei arap Ruto, Minister for Agriculture, Hon. Moses Wetangula, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Amason Kingo Jeffah, Minister for East African Community, Hon. Ibrahim Elmi Mohamed, Minister of State for Development of Northern Kenya And other Arid Lands, Office of the Prime Minister,Hon. Chirau Ali Mwakwere, Minister for Transport and Hon. James Orengo, Minister for Lands.
An 11-month-old baby has shopped his marijuana-growing dad to police by accidentally dialling 911. Mounties in Canada have revealed how they took a 911 call but, on hearing no voice, traced the address and turned up to see if they could help. When no one answered, they forced their way into the home in White Rock, British Columbia - and found a 500-plant marijuana growing operation. The 29-year-old father was arrested and the child taken into care, though later restored to his mother. White Rock police constable Janelle Canning said: "The gentleman was quite surprised." When the father denied making the call, officers spotted the baby boy - phone in hand. "We saw him playing with the cordless phone and just pressing all the buttons, so evidently he had called 911," Canning said.
Police in Nigeria are holding a goat on suspicion of the attempted armed robbery of a Mazda 323. Vigilantes took the animal to the police, claiming it was a criminal who had used black magic to transform himself into a goat to escape arrest after trying to steal the car. Police have detained the goat in custody while they ponder what to do next. Kwara state police spokesman Tunde Mohammed said: "The group of vigilante men came to report that while they were on patrol they saw some hoodlums attempting to rob a car. It is something that has to be proved scientifically, that a human being turned into a goat"They pursued them. However, one of them escaped while the other turned into a goat. "We cannot confirm the story, but the goat is in our custody. We cannot base our information on something mystical. "It is something that has to be proved scientifically, that a human being turned into a goat." Belief in witchcraft is widespread in parts of Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation. Curious locals have rushed to the police station to see the goat, photographed in one national newspaper on its knees next to a pile of straw.
The Cockar Commission of Inquiry into the controversial sale of Grand Regency Hotel has recommended that the CBK Governor Prof Njuguna Ndung’u be held responsible for the sale of the five star hotel to the Libyan Government. According to findings in our possession, the CBK chief was not truthful to other public institutions including the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC), the Commissioner for Lands, the Public Procurement Oversight Authority and the Prime Minister about the sale of the hotel. "Even the valuers who were instructed to value the hotel were not told the purpose for which the valuation was being undertaken," says report. The report says the Governor’s conduct was contrary to Section 18 of the Public Officer Ethics Act, which provides that a public officer shall not knowingly give false or misleading information to members of the public or to any other public officer. The commission also recommended an overhaul of the current Public Procurement and Disposal Act to remove gaps and contradictions, which remains ambiguous on how real property procured by a public entity, is to be disposed. "These provisions lead to an undesirable position where a public entity is obliged to follow the Act in procuring real property, but it is free to ignore the Act when disposing of that really property, since real property is clearly not "unserviceable, obsolete or surplus stores and equipment," says report. The report notes that even if the Grand Regency Hotel was ultimately transferred and registered in the name of the Central Bank of Kenya, the Bank could have easily circumvented the Public Procurement and Disposal Act in the disposal of the Hotel on ground that the Hotel is not unserviceable, obsolete or surplus stores and equipment. The commission took issue with the CBK Act saying the Act failed to clearly define the relationship between the Governor and the Board of CBK. "From the evidence, the Board of CBK was given very sketchy information about the disposal of the Hotel. We have noted that at the level of management the sale of the hotel was handled exclusively by the Governor and Mr Abuga. The role of the Board was reduced to that of ratifying decisions of these two officers," says report. "With the current set up and practice, it is very doubtful whether the Board can effectively discharge its statutory responsibilities to review and check any excesses of the Governor, who happens to be its chairman." The Commission says it found the entire transaction tainted with misrepresentation and deception to such an extent as to warrant specialised investigation by the Attorney General and other relevant institutions into the bona fides of the purchaser and other aspects of the transaction. - The Standard.
Every recession tells its own story - in the '90s, it all began with a housing bust; in the '70s, it was the rocketing price of oil. In the 1930s you had a global stock market crash and a lot of runs on banks. This one has shades of all three - you could call it a Recession Greatest Hits. As in the past, the sheer pace of the decline has taken everyone by surprise. In fact, as this chart from Fathom Financial Consulting shows, the decline in the first six months is actually very similar to the average of past recessions. Now that it's hit, there aren't many predicting a speedy end. Growth in the new year is about as optimistic as it gets. It could be two or three years before the economy gets back to where it was - and the 2012 economy could look rather different from the one we had before.
A pill that could mean the end of insulin injections for diabetics is about to be tested in human trials. It will be taken twice a day and releases insulin into the body over several hours. The pill, developed by Indian government scientists at the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Science and Technology in Kerala, has been successfully tested on animals and is awaiting approval for human trials in India. The research could lead to an alternative to painful daily injections for millions of people affected by the disease. There are more than 2.5 million diabetics in the UK and more than half a million people who are unaware they have the condition. Previous attempts to develop insulin pills have suffered from the hormone being released into the body too early, such as in the stomach.
UK in recession as economy slides
The UK is now in recession for the first time since 1991, official government figures have confirmed. Gross domestic product fell by 1.5% in the last three months of 2008 after a 0.6% drop in the previous quarter. That means that the widely accepted definition of a recession - two consecutive quarters of falling economic growth - has been met. It represents the biggest quarter-on-quarter decline since 1980, and a 1.8% fall on the same quarter a year ago. The worse-than-expected contraction sent sterling to a 24-year low against the dollar, with one pound buying $1.355. Meanwhile the FTSE 100 index fell almost 2%, below 4,000 points. The figures, from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), showed that manufacturing made the largest contribution to the slowdown, contracting by 4.6% despite hopes that the weak pound would help exporters. With the exception of agriculture, all elements of the economy shrank from the previous three months, the ONS added.
The fall in GDP was slightly steeper than most analysts had been expecting, said the BBC's economics editor Stephanie Flanders. "These figures suggest that it's not going to be done by Christmas," she said. The downturn was "broad-based" our economics editor added, saying that the bleak manufacturing data ended "any prospect of this being a white-collar recession that would largely escape manufacturers ". Chancellor Alistair Darling said that the figures underlined the scale of the challenges the government faced. "It's going to be a difficult year for families in the UK. We need to go about the problem with a sense of purpose," he said. Countries across the globe were facing recession, he added, saying that the crisis could be solved "better and quicker" if other governments also acted to stimulate their economies. Shadow chancellor George Osborne accused the government of failing to command confidence at home or abroad. "With unemployment rising faster than anywhere else, and businesses closing every day, these figures are deeply worrying," he said. "It's difficult to see how we'll get that confidence with a Prime Minister who blames everyone else for the mess we're in and refuses to acknowledge any mistakes." And Liberal Democrat treasury spokesman Vince Cable said the situation was "very serious". "It's a sad commentary on a decade of Labour government that they have succeeded in producing an almost exact replica of the boom-bust cycle we had under the Conservatives."
What started as a crisis in the financial sector continues to infect the wider economy. Unemployment is accelerating sharply, with 1.92 million people now out of work, the housing market remains severely depressed and retail sales are weak. Even though December's retail figures were better than expected, growing by 1.6%, this was driven by heavy price-discounting and should be treated "with caution" the ONS said. "It is difficult to see why things should improve in the foreseeable future," said Andrew Smith, chief economist at KPMG. Neil Mackinnon, chief economist at ECU Group, said the GDP figures were "grim" and underscored the depth of the recession. "There are no green shoots of recovery, no light at the end of the tunnel," he added. The average recession in the UK since 1955 has lasted for three quarters, but the past two recessions have lasted for five. In fact, many forecasters believe a recession could stretch into 2010 and be as severe as that of the early 1990s. The UK economy was heading for a "long cold winter" which was unlikely to end before spring 2010, said Graeme Leach, chief economist at the Institute of Directors. "The debate on the length and depth of the recession is extremely complex and at this stage one cannot be dogmatic about the outcome," he said. "The latest recession is beginning to look as if it will be more like the 1980s than the 1990s in terms of lost output. We are well into the financial crisis but the economic crisis is only just beginning." GDP is the most commonly used indicator of national income. Four leading economists told the BBC's Robert Peston what signs they will be looking for to signal that the worst is over.
It attempts to measure the sum of incomes received by the various wealth-creating sectors of the economy, from manufacturing and retail to agriculture and service industries. The consensus forecast for 2009 as a whole is now for a 2.1% decline in GDP. As recently as December, the forecast was for a drop of 1.5%. This highlights the rapidly deteriorating economic picture over recent weeks, during which a number of the UK's best known high street retailers, such as Woolworths and Zavvi, have gone into administration. As well as its low against the dollar, the pound has slumped against the euro and many analysts believe that parity is now inevitable. International investors are said to be losing confidence in the UK economy and the government's attempts to kick-start lending from the banks. The official government forecast is for the economy to shrink between 0.75% and 1.25% in 2009, although the Chancellor Alistair Darling has indicated that he will revise this figure in the Budget. Efforts to prevent the recession deepening have been widespread, though critics say they have not gone far enough. The Bank of England has aggressively cut interest rates to 1.5% - aimed at driving down the cost of lending and making it easier for consumers and businesses to access credit. However, banks have been reluctant to lend sufficiently, despite a £37bn injection into major banks, and a scheme to offer insurance to banks against potential losses on risky loans. A temporary cut in value added tax (VAT), from 17.5% to 15%, was an attempt to encourage consumers to spend and boost the retail sector and wider economy.
Barclays' shares tumbled sharply again today as investors ignored chief executive John Varley's attempts to calm the markets. The bank's stock fell for the ninth day running, losing nearly 18%, or 10.4p, at 48.8p. The fall came despite an interview last night with Varley in which he declared his confidence that Monday's government bailout plan would work. However, he said there was nothing he could do to stop the rot in Barclays' shares, which have lost more than two thirds since 12 January amid fears that it would need to tap the government for more cash or possibly even be nationalised. Meanwhile, the Government came under increased pressure over its multi-billion pound schemes to bail out the banking system, as it emerged today that Britain could let the banks off more lightly than the White House did Wall Street firms. Plans said to be under consideration at the Treasury would leave the UK taxpayer to underwrite many hundreds of billions of pounds of potential losses - more than previously thought. Chancellor Alistair Darling plans to use taxpayers' money as insurance against losses from banks' so-called "toxic assets". It is aimed at reassuring potential investors that it is safe to do business with British banks again.
Nairobi, Saturday 24th January, 2009. The politics behind the President Kibaki succession took a more definite shape yesterday when he elevated Mr Uhuru Kenyatta to the plum Ministry of Finance. The much-awaited mini reshuffle, that also saw Bureti MP Franklin Bett land the Roads portfolio, provided a peek into the unease in the dominant ODM, which late last year appeared headed for a split with Rift Valley MPs accusing Prime Minister Raila Odinga of short-changing them in the allocation of Cabinet and Civil Service appointments. Political analysts were quick to discern the President and Prime Minister’s game plan. The appointment of Bett comes at time when Agriculture Minister William Ruto is fending off accusations of complicity in the Sh850 million maize scandal that could put paid to his ambitions for a higher office.
Tired of the Lectures
By Nyaga Karutia, 26
MA, International Relations from the University of Delaware Currently working in Nairobi.
Africa awakes to the realization that we have a world leader who looks like us! The significance of this is not that we have some how found new favor with the US, but rather the affirmation of our positive role in humanity. I awoke with similar fervor wondering what the likes of some of Africa's greatest minds would have had to say. I could visualize Cheikh Anta Diop saying "Since western civilization draws its roots from Africa, it would only be natural that a man with an African father would be tasked to guide that civilization through these dark days." I could visualize the shame on Nkrumah, Kenyatta and Senghor's faces as they mark the day with the realization that they failed to bring real liberty to Africa, but pride that even still from us a true world leader has emerged.
But my dreamy state was shattered with the morning carpool and the discussion that took place while I drove. The discussion began with an old man talking about how inspired he was by Obama's inaugural speech, and therefore young Africans should take note. Its hard to be angry at 6:15 for most men but I found that statement tremendously incendiary.
Why must young people in Kenya and in Africa at large look for a 47 year old American man for an example of hope? Where are our elders? Have we become cultural orphans? Where are those who have been given charge to lead us?
Obama's victory is as much an example to the youth as it is an incrimination of Kenyan elders. Have we no history, no integrity that we must look to a man who gains his from 300 years American history?
I must take a moment to say that I am incredibly proud of Obama and Kenya's role in his making, but it would be foolish to see him as anything more than an American. His heroes are American; his story is the quintessence of America's aspirations. But Africa particularly Kenya will never be the United States of America. Obama is a source of pride and inspires us, but his responsibility is to the American people, our leaders and our elders have paramount responsibility to us. For them to tell us to look to Obama for inspiration and motivation without providing any of their own is wrong. They have failed to lead us and mentor us, and delegating that task to Obama is unfair. It is unfair to us who need examples from people who speak our native tongue.
Unfair to us who need examples from people who do not only know of our history but have lived and experienced it. It is unfair most of all to Obama who has his own nation to lead and inspire. What is he to do when American and Kenyan interests conflict? He must stay true to the American people! Is he then to become a villain in our eyes? But who among our elders is staying true to Kenya? All our elders from our communities, politics, churches and mosques should mark January 20th 2009 as a day of great shame for them even while the world celebrates. They know they should have done better, and they still can do better; and for that there's hope.
Rescuers are battling to save the lives of surviving sperm whales after 50 beached on a bank off Perkins Island on the northwest of Tasmania. Wildlife officials said all but seven had died by the time they were spotted. Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service spokeswoman Liz Wren said: "Staff are heading out there in a dinghy to see what the possibilities are for any rescue attempt - whether there is anything that can be attempted safely." There were young whales among the seven survivors, she said. The reasons for the beaching were unclear, but Wren said rough sea conditions and the narrow channel that the pod had been navigating between the island and the mainland could be part of the explanation. Strandings happen periodically in Tasmania, which whales pass on their migration to and from Antarctic waters. It is not known why the creatures get stranded. Police incorrectly reported Thursday that the whales were minke and numbered up to 30. Last November, 150 long-finned pilot whales died after beaching on a rocky coastline in Tasmania despite frantic efforts to save them. A week earlier, rescuers saved 11 pilot whales among a pod of 60 that had beached on the island state.
New UK Immigration policy means that employers will first need to advertise jobs within the UK before advertising abroad. Employers will need to first advertise jobs for two weeks in the Government's Job Centre Plus network in the UK. These changes will mainly affect applications under the Tier 2 visa scheme the replacement for the previous work permit scheme. Indians form the largest group of foreign professionals working in Britain. Jacqui Smith, the home secretary, has announced plans to force thousands of nursing, primary teaching, hotel management and other 'skilled migrant ' jobs to be advertised in employment agencies such as Jobcentre Plus. Smith said "When it comes to immigration, in difficult economic times, I believe we need a tough system that workers the first crack of the whip for jobs here." However, The Office for National Statistics says that there are currently 562,000 unfilled vacancies in the UK. Companies that break the new rules could have their licence to employ non-European Union migrants revoked.
Police are expected to use the anti-terrorism powers sparingly
Metropolitan Police officers are stopping and searching too many innocent people using powers designed for fighting terrorism, it is claimed. There were more than 157,000 stop and searches in the 12 months to September 2008 - but from these only 1,200 people were arrested, Met figures showed. Barrister Sebastian Gardiner said the force should curb its use of the power. But the force said that it was properly using stop and searches while recognising the sensitivities involved. The Anti-Terrorism Act, or Section 44, gives the police powers in specific areas to stop and search people without the reasonable need to suspect them of being involved in terrorism. Currently it covers the whole of London and guidance to officers is that it should be used sparingly. In 2004, a report from the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) said the power "trampled on the basic human rights of too many Londoners". But barrister Sebastian Gardiner, said little has changed. "If you look at the occasions when it's been used, for example the arms fair protests and the Heathrow runway protests, people were stopped and searched under Section 44 when neither could be said to be likely to involve terrorist activity," he said. However, the police insisted that the powers were being used appropriately. "The feedback, the very limited complaints and the public reaction to the way we go about using this power shows that we're not misusing it overall or in specific cases," said Commander Simon Bray. "We recognise the sensitivities but remember it is a really important method of deterring and preventing terrorism." "The feedback, the very limited complaints and the public reaction to the way we go about using this power shows that we're not misusing it overall or in specific cases," Commander Simon Bray, said.
The late Lorna Wanjiru (Suzy)
A Kenyan woman passed away in the UK on Sunday 18 January 2009 after a short illness. The late Lorna Wanjiru (Suzy) of West London ( formerly of Upton Park) passed away at Royal Free Hospital, London. Family and friends are meeting for daily prayers at 12 Lowden Road, Southall, UB1 1AX. Click Here For Map. We are appealing for funds to transport the body back to Kenya for burial. Contributions can be made into the account of: B. RABALA, ALLIANCE AND LEICESTER, ROLL NO: 204204271398, SORT: 725810. For more information contact Mama Gloria on 07960320532, Effy on 07949427201 or Alex on 0795117516.
President Kibakiof Kenya
“On behalf of the Government, the people of Kenya and on my own behalf, I extend our message of best wishes to you on the auspicious occasion of your inauguration as the 44th President of the United States of America,” the statement from State House Nairobi said. President Kibaki noted that through the remarkable electioneering journey, the new US Head of State inspired many young and old people not only in America, but also around the world, with the word of hope. “As you commence your first term in office, I’m confident that you will succeed in making USA and indeed the world a better place for humanity,” President Kibaki said. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Odinga said Obama was taking over the helm as the USA and the whole planet was in peril. “Every once in a long time, it falls on a generation or an individual to rise and shoulder the challenges of their nation and the whole world; the weight of hope and the burden of expectation that the world has thrust onto Mr Obama’s shoulders as he takes over power is awesome,” said Mr Odinga. The Premier said he hoped Mr Obama would rise to the challenge of unifying a polarised world. “The economy is down everywhere. There are wars between nations, some rising from animosity that began long before Mr Obama was born. There is also an unending unconventional war with an invisible enemy called terrorism,” the Premier said. He said he hoped the Obama administration would support democracy, democratic institutions and democratic transfer of power across the world. “Mr Obama comes in after generations of civil rights activists pushed for fairness and equality among the races. I have no doubt that Mr Obama will prove that the efforts that went into this push were not in vain. I also have no doubt that Mr Obama will be equal to all the other tasks ahead.” Mr Odinga said he was optimistic that the new President would support fair trade among nations and give a chance for diplomacy in areas of conflict. The sentiment was supported by President Mwai Kibaki who said Kenya looked forward to even stronger relations in areas of mutual benefit to the two countries.
Barack Obama made history last night when he was sworn in as the first black president of America. Mr Obama, the son of a Kenyan father and a white mother from Kansas, took the oath of office at 8pm Kenyan time on the steps of the US Capitol, his hand placed on a Bible used by Abraham Lincoln at his inauguration in 1861. In his speech, President Obama said: “On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.” He promised a new start with the Muslim world “based on mutual interest and mutual respect”. Mr Obama promised bold, swift action to meet what he called the crisis of two wars and a badly weakened economy. “Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real, they are serious and they are many,” president Obama said in a prepared text of his inaugural speech. “They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America — they will be met!” Mr Obama, a Democrat taking over the presidency from Republican George W. Bush, said the economic crisis buffeting the country was the result of “greed and irresponsibility on the part of some” and promised to keep a watchful eye to ensure that the market does not spin out of control. “The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act,” he said. He also vowed to responsibly pull US forces out of Iraq and forge peace in Afghanistan, while pledging to find a new way forward in relations with the Muslim world. But he warned those who wage terrorism around the world that America’s resolve remained strong. “We say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken. You cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.” Mr Obama’s inauguration as the 44th president caps hopes and dreams of, among others, generations of African-Americans who suffered slavery and then racial segregation that made them second-class citizens.
The crowds who gathered for the historic inauguration "were not disappointed", the Daily Express reports. Metro puts images of President Obama and Dr Martin Luther King side by side.
The paper says as Mr Obama took on the mantle of US President, he "brought Dr King's vision one step closer".
The Daily Mail also goes for a full-page image of Mr Obama placing his hand on the Lincoln Bible, held by his wife Michelle, as he took the oath of office.
The Kenyan government has rejected a proposal to pay 17.3 billion shillings (about 217 million U.S. dollars) salary increment arrears to over 230,000 striking teachers in one phase as the strike entered its third day on Wednesday. Acting Finance Minister John Michuki ruled out the possibility of yielding to the teachers' demand to pay the entire sum, maintaining the current state of the economy could not sustain the increment within a year. Michuki said there is no money in public coffers. "We have evaluated all the possible scenarios of our economy and it's not possible to meet the demands made by teachers for salary increase of 17.3 billion shillings in one year," the minister said. The remarks came as teachers' umbrella union, the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut), appeared to cede ground in efforts to have the government accept terms for a pay deal but maintained that the nationwide strike will continue.
arack Obama's extended and largely international family is gathering in Washington to celebrate his inauguration. Kezia Obama, a 67-year-old native of Kenyan who was married to Barack Obama Sr., is among them, traveling from her home in Bracknell, England to Washington, DC Thursday 15th January, 2009. According to The Daily Telegraph, she also has business interests in Washington: Mrs Obama has also launched an online bingo game called Mrs Obama's Online Bingo in honour of her step-son Barack's inauguration. She is helping launch the online Gala bingo game to raise £1 million for Sue Ryder Care, which helps people in the UK suffering from Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's and Multiple Sclerosis. She is launching Mrs Obama's Online Bingo as the US President-Elect prepares for his inauguration in Washington, DC, on Tuesday 20. The Daily Mail profiled Kezia last year, and she recounted her first meeting with Barack in 1985 in Kenya, and her relationship with Barack's mother Ann Dunham. "Barack Jr was really happy to meet us. He was really eager to see the family home and to see where his father was buried. He was quiet and was always reading history books. "Now, still, he can be quiet but he has a good sense of humour and is good with people. He treats everybody the same, whether it is the cleaner or the managing director. He has the common touch. "I'm very proud that he wants to include us in his life. As a family, we are very friendly, very close. "The family are still very important to him. That would make Barack Sr very happy. "We have seen each other many times since that first visit, in the US, in Kenya and in England. I was very fond of Barack Jr's mother, Ann. "She came to Kenya after Barack Snr died and she and I became great friends. She was like a sister to me." - The Huffington Post
She was presented with a birthday cake by Virgin Atlantic staff before heading to Washington.
INTERDENOMINATIONAL WORLD REVIVAL MINISTRIES (IWRM)
INVITES YOU TO CHURCH BUILDING PROJECT LUNCHEON
SATURDAY 24TH JANUARY 2009 IN LONDON.
VENUE: 524 HIGH STREET NORTH, E12 6QN
Mr. Seed is travelling for Obama's ceremony in USA this weekend. A friend of Mr. Seed has given him a ticket and accommodation. He is going to be in the US for one week. A friend of Mr. Seed from UK is travelling with him and he does not have a ticket. If there is any good Samaritan in US who will not use his or her ticket to the venue can contact 001-2405936206. Mr. Seed will be leaving London on Saturday evening 17th January, 2009. Meanwhile those in the USA can contact Mr. Seed though that above number or through email email@example.com
Harare, Friday 16th January, 2009. Zimbabwe is introducing a Z$100 trillion note, currently worth about US$30 (£20), state media reports. Other notes in trillion-dollar denominations of 10, 20 and 50 are also being released to help Zimbabweans cope with hyperinflation. However, the dollarisation of the economy means that few products are available in the local currency. On Thursday, the opposition leader said he was still committed to power-sharing intended to rescue the failing economy. Since September, when the deal was signed, talks have stalled over who should control key ministries. Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai said he was due to hold talks with President Robert Mugabe "within this coming week" to try to resolve the political crisis. He described Mr Mugabe as "part of the problem but also part of the solution". The latest annual figure for inflation, estimated in July last year, was 231m% - the world's highest. "In a move meant to ensure that the public has access to their money from banks, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has introduced a new family of banknotes which will gradually come into circulation, starting with the Z$10 trillion," Zimbabwe's state-run Herald newspaper quotes a bank statement as saying. But previous issues of new banknotes - and the dropping of several zeros from the currency - have done little to help Zimbabweans cope with inflation.
A 50bn Zimbabwean dollar note was issued on Tuesday and on right a shopper purchases tomatoes in Harare. Zimbabwe will introduce a 100 trillion dollar note, in its latest …
On Tuesday, a 50bn Zimbabwean dollar note was issued, less than a month after a Z$500m bill was released. Correspondents say prices can double every day, and food and fuel - for those without US dollars - are in short supply. Some shops are licensed to sells goods in foreign currency but everyone from vegetable sellers to mobile phone service providers peg their prices to the US dollar. Most groceries are brought in by Zimbabweans from neighbouring South Africa, Botswana or Zambia, further driving up prices. There is more than 80% unemployment in the country and those with jobs find their salary is worthless unless they are paid in foreign currency. Mr Tsvangirai is expected to return to Zimbabwe on Sunday after two months abroad. Under September's power-sharing agreement, Mr Tsvangirai is to become prime minister while Mr Mugabe remains as president. But the deal faltered after the MDC accused Zanu-PF of keeping the most powerful ministries - including the one that controls the police - to itself. As the political wrangling continued, Zimbabwe has been hit by a cholera epidemic that has claimed more than 2,000 lives, made worse by the collapse of the water, health and sanitation systems. Mr Tsvangirai, and Western nations, accuse Mr Mugabe of not being sincere about power-sharing. Mr Mugabe insists he welcomes the power-sharing deal, and has resisted growing international pressure to resign.
Two former MPs in Kenya have been appointed ambassadors in new diplomatic postings announced on Thursday 15th January, 2009. Former MPs Kembi Gitura (Kiharu) and Mutinda Mutiso (Kilome) were appointed envoys to Belgium and Tanzania. Former Nairobi PC Francis Sigei was appointed ambassador to Nigeria, while Mr Elkanah Odembo was appointed the new envoy for France. Professional diplomats were promoted in the new appointments that largely locked out hopefuls, mostly individuals who lost in the last General Election. Mr Mohamed Gello, a career civil servant based at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has been posted to the United Arab Emirates. The President posted Mr Simeon Nabukwesi, a former Kamusinga High School principal, to Canada while Mr Macharia Kamau, who was formerly at the African Policy Institute in Pretoria, to the UN headquarters in New York. Mr Patrick Wamoto has been promoted to the rank of ambassador in charge of political affairs and will be stationed at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Others promoted to the same level are Mr Anthony Andanje, who will be an ambassador and Director, International Organisation Divisions, while Mr Josephine Gaita will be an ambassador and director, Office of the International Conference on Great Lakes. Two months ago, the Government appointed former Internal Security Minister Julius Sunkuli the Kenyan envoy in China. But Foreign Assistant Minister Richard Onyonka cried foul, saying the appointments did not reflect "portfolio balance" between the two partners in the coalition Government — PNU and ODM. Mr Onyonka is a member of the NLP party that is affiliated to ODM. He said: "There is no balance in the appointments. It is necessary to bring legislative amendments to allow professional diplomatic appointments." - The Standard.
Is it true that the property prices in Nairobi and Mombasa has been exaggerated?
Mr. David Kuria the Managing Director of Pinnacle Projects Ltd. arrived in London on Thursday 15th January, for a one week visit to the UK. The Pinnacle boss whose company involves itself with all the phases of construction in Kenya was interviewed by Mr. Seed in connection with the high prices coming around in Nairobi.
MR. SEED: Many Kenyan abroad especially in the UK and USA have been asking me about the exaggerated high prices of properties in Kenya and especially in Nairobi. Is it true that the prices has been exaggerated in Nairobi?
MR. KURIA: Yes, it is true that the prices of properties are highly exaggerated in Nairobi and Mombasa. As you are aware in every business environment, the prices are dictated by the demand. In this case the demand of property in Kenya is far much higher than the supply. The housing sector is suppose to build 150,000 houses a year and we are only able to deliver 30,000 which far much below the target. Because of this the prices have have rocketed to the sky as it is being dictated by the developers.
MR. SEED: How are the prices of land in Nairobi today?
MR. KURIA: Riverside (Shiromo area) in Nairobi tops the list with an acre going for KShs. 120-140 million. The price of one acre in Karen and Langata is now between KShs. 15-20 million depending on the location, Runda KShs. 10-12 million, Ridgeways goes for KShs. 15-20 million, Lavington KShs. 40-50 million, Westlands KShs. 100 million, South C and Belle Vue area one acre is going for 25-30 million, Kilimani and Ngong Road one acre is going between 60-80 million, Jogoo Road front area is going between KShs. 10-14 million, Embakasi area an acre is going for KShs. 5-7 million, Kitasuru an acre is going between 15-20 million, Ongata Rongai has also gone up and one acre is going between KShs. 3-5 million and Thome and Garden Estate area an acre is going between 5-7 million.
MR. SEED: Which is the top spot in Nairobi?
MR. KURIA: The area around Uhuru High near Grand Regent Hotel - the price is going for KShs. 200 million an acre. You remember two months ago NSSF sold their 4-acre land next to the hotel for KShs. 200 million per acre and that is what has made the NSSF board of trustees to be sacked.
MR. SEED: What is happening in Nairobi of late because houses are disappearing very fast in the prime areas. The flats has become the fashion?
MR. KURIA: Because of lack of land the developers are turning the areas into flats in order to make more money. All the prime areas round the city is now turning into flats and the price of the flats has also appreciated. Previously you would find a big house in half an acre in Harlingham, Kilimani and Kileleshwa area but all these houses has been brought down to pave way for flats. Mind you that the flats are being issued with a title deeds registered in the land registry and the banks are accepting it as a security.
MR. SEED: How are the prices of flats?
MR. KURIA: The price for flats has also gone up. Let us talk about a three-bedroom flat along Kilimani and Ngong Road is going for KShs. 12 million, Riverside is going for KShs. 18-20 million, Kileleshwa is going for KShs. 8 million, Embakasi area a 3-bedroom flat is going between KShs. 4-5 million. A house in South C area is now going between KShs. 8-10 million, a house in a half-acre in Karen is going for KShs. 35 million.
MR. SEED: What are the effects of credit crunch in Kenya?
MR. KURIA: To be honest, there is no much effect of credit crunch in Kenya as of today. Sooner or later it will hit but not on the lower end I think it will on the upper end. To my opinion houses below KShs. 7 million will be affected, KShs. 7-15 properties would be affected within the range of 20 per cent but I think properties over KShs. 15 million will feel the effect. All the same most people in Kenya don't understand the word credit crunch at moment.
MR. SEED: Is it wise for us abroad to invest in Kenya?
MR. KURIA: Oh, yes. With the trend of the world economy it always advisable to balance your investments. People might say that the properties in Nairobi has been exaggerated but have a look at this example. I came to the UK in 2006 to market the Bandari Villas in South C (135 unites) which were going for KShs. 6.5. Now these houses are sold out and they are valued between KShs. 8-9 million. Phase one is complete and phase II and II are almost complete. It is either you buy or leave it but the fact is that property value in Nairobi is going high every day. If you don't buy it, others will buy.
MR. SEED: Do you have any other properties coming up?
MR. KURIA: Yes, we have just been awarded a huge contract by Kenya Ports Authority. 408 flats at Belle Vue along Mombasa Road. The flats are 3-bedroom with a master ensuite with an extra self-contained guest room making it a total of four-bedrooms. We anticipate the starting price will be KShs. 6 million going to KShs. 8 million by the time of finish. The project is scheduled to start in May this year and I should be coming to market the property here in the UK and USA by the end of the year. We have 5 penthouse remaining at Ngong Road going for KShs. 16 million which are 4-bedrooms. We have several houses on the high end at Karen in a half-acre going for KShs. 35 million.
Mr. Kuria will be in London until next week. Those wishing to contact him while in the UK can do so through 0798825094. You can also contact Mr. Kuria to book a house or for more information through firstname.lastname@example.org
MR. SEED: Is there anything else you would like to tell us Mr. Kuria?
MR. KURIA: Yes, people talk of exaggerated house prices in Nairobi and forgetting that houses in the UK are far much exaggerated. I have a house in the UK and the price of my house in the UK is three times the same size in Kenya. Take for example a beautiful modern house in a half-acre land in Karen is currently going for £300,000 (KShs. 36 million) the same house in the UK in a quarter-acre land or less is going for £600,000 to £1 million (KShs. 70 million to KShs. 117 million) depending with the location. Is there any comparison? Properties in Africa a far much cheaper than UK.
PROPOSED BANDARI APARTMENTS, BELLEVUE, NAIROBI
K.P.A. PENSION SCHEME
The developer is KPA Pension Scheme who is also the developer of Bandari villas in South C which is currently under construction.
Bandari apartments are approximately 408 No. 3 bedroom apartments which are located in Bellevue next to the existing KPA flats.
Each block has 30 No. units each on five levels with each floor having 6 units. The units are planned in a 3 star manner around a void that gives privacy to each unit and a common staircase shared by three units.
The flats are separated by shared parking spaces on one side and green courts on the other thereby reducing view across the apartments and maximizing privacy.
The courtyards are beautifully landscaped to enhance interaction and community living. The development will comprise of a shopping centre will include some convenient shops.
Each flat is approximately 132 sq.m. and accommodates:
· 3 efficiently planned bedrooms where the master bedroom is en-suite while two others share the toilet and bathroom.
· The bedrooms are spacious with large wardrobes, adequate natural lighting and ventilation
· Spacious Lounge and Dining. The lounge has a balcony.
· A large kitchen with a store & drying yard and
· A domestic servant quarter with its own toilet and shower has been provided.
We propose good quality finishes that are easy to maintain as well as affordable to the target market.
The ground breaking ceremony and the commencement of construction will be in May 2009.
The introductory price for the first buyers is Kshs.6.8 million after which we shall sell the houses at the market rate i.e. 7 million.
The payment terms are 30% deposit payable as follows:
· 10% payable on or before signing the offer letter
· 10% within 3 months of signing the offer letter
· 10% 3 months after second deposit
The balance 70% to be paid on completion
The bank account details will be forwarded to you in due course.
Expected rental value
The expected rental value is Kshs.25, 000 – 30,000 per month.
Available on qualification through Saving & Loan (K) Ltd
Pinnacle Projects Ltd
11th & 3rd floors, Loita House
P.o. Box. 61562 –00200, Nairobi
Tel: 254 20 318757/8
Emails: Info@pinnacleprojectsltd.com, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
A US airliner on a domestic flight with 155 people aboard ditches in the Hudson River in New York but with no loss of life.
Just 17 days left for parents to claim little-known £1,000 tax windfall
Tens of thousands of parents have only days left to claim a tax allowance which could be worth more than £1,000.
The last chance of a slice of the little-known Children's Tax Credit Relief will disappear for good on January 31.
Parents could be forgiven for not knowing about the payment as it lasted for only two years before being replaced by the Child Tax Credit
It is available to households which included children under 16 between April 6, 2001, and April 5, 2003.
For taxpayers entitled to the full relief, it is worth £529. If a child was born during that period - more than a million were - there is another allowance worth £520.
Unusually, the Children's Tax Credit Relief was not means-tested so every family could apply for it, regardless of income.
But it was limited to one payment per family per tax year, regardless of the number of children..
The January 31 deadline comes in because HM Revenue & Customs has strict rules on claiming allowances, which can be backdated for only five years.
That means the 2007/08 tax year is the last in which CTCR could figure, and January 31 is the deadline for filing returns.
The Revenue says the majority of people who were entitled to the relief have already claimed it, but claims-handling firms say they are receiving thousands of inquiries.
Adam Thomsett, director at claims-handler challengeyour.com, said: 'There are going to be an awful lot of people who aren't aware of this relief and you can't really blame them.
'It was buried in the mire of all the countless reliefs, credits and allowances the Government has introduced and then withdrawn over the years. But it's money that's rightfully theirs.'
Mark Wallace, campaign director of the Taxpayers' Alliance, said: 'People have been put off claiming these allowances because the Government gets it wrong and comes back to them years later saying they've underpaid their tax. So take-up is never great. But these can be valuable allowances that should be taken up by all families..'
A spokesman for the Revenue said: 'Although we haven't advertised it since it was replaced it was well publicised at the time.'
Few claimants will be given actual cash, however. Most will receive an extra allowance to reduce the income tax they have to pay.
• The Inland Revenue says the quickest way to claim is to download a copy of the claim form from www.hmrc.gov.uk/forms/11ctc.pdf
You can also visit your local tax office or inquiry centre where staff will download the form for you to fill in immediately.
You can find the nearest centre in the phonebook.
The self- employed can make a claim on their tax return. Those who have filed this already may be entitled to a rebate. Employees need to fill in form 11CTC.
VIDEO CLIPS FOR FAMINE IN KENYA
(a) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4xD6Qi7Ii8&feature=channel_page UKAMBANI pt 1
(b) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMLkP5ecFlw&feature=channel_page UKAMBANI pt 2
(c) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5oT9q807cA&feature=channel_page EASTERN
(d) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4I2vQYatPos&feature=channel_page KITUI
(e) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=020Z_IEDFoU&feature=channel_page MAKUENI pt 1
(f) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bla_mFfiiGY&feature=channel_page MAKUENI pt 2
(g) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qmx-qipuB4Y&feature=channel_page MAKUENI pt 3
Presidential Ancestral Home Draws Americans to Kenya
By Howard Lesser
15 January 2009
American tourists are lining up in noticeable numbers to take the Kenya Presidential Heritage Safari -- an ambitious travel agencys tour of President-Elect Barack Obamas ancestral homeland. The idea of supplementing a popular 11-day Kenyan game park excursion with a vicarious day-trip jaunt to the Lake Victoria village of Nyangoma Kogelo, where Mr. Obamas father was raised, is the brainchild of South African-born travel agent Kenneth Hieber. Hieber founded the New York bureau 2 Afrika 14 years ago. He says that Kogelo, near the western city of Kisumu, is no longer a sleepy fishing village, and the popular side-trip could open up a new dimension in Kenyan US relations.
People who have come back, that Ive already sent across to Kogelo, have been met with such warmth and such grace and such charm that its almost been more of an impact than the actual safari and that is saying a lot because taking American travelers and putting them into the African bush-veldt in the middle of nowhere, with the enormity of the animal kingdom, giving them something else to hold onto now, which is the heritage of the president-elect, is just such an added highlight that it really is touching people in a very positive way, he said.
The tourism climate is improving slowly since a year ago, when Kenyas hotly contested presidential election deteriorated into widespread ethnic violence that was not resolved until last March. After followers of Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) challenger Raila Odinga accepted a unity government under incumbent President Mwai Kibaki with Odinga in place as Prime Minister, an economic recovery effort has been underway. During the year, Kenyans have watched with great pride and enthusiasm as the American-born son of Kogelos Barack Obama, Sr. defeated a field of US presidential candidates and ascended to the White House. Kenneth Hieber says pride in Mr. Obama, Jr.s political success has kindled a desire by American tourists bound for Africa, who want to experience the homestead that gave rise to their new president.
It was very vulnerable a year ago, and people shied away and tended to steer more toward Tanzania. Now, of course, that matters have settled dramatically in Kenya, and since there is an ancestry of the president-elect of the United States that stretches back to Kogelo, Kenya is suddenly full face on the map, and everybody is clamoring to get onto those programs, he says.
He says that the Obama celebrity has changed the small-scale nature of tourism in Western Kenya dramatically.
The local people of Kogelo are anticipating flocks of people coming into the area. I dont for a moment think that people will go just to Kisumu and Kogelo based on the ancestry of the president-elect. But I certainly think people will add this as a tag-on to any particular safari that they may be doing in Kenya already. Its easily accessible. Its in expensiveat the moment. And I do believe that people would feel the need to go to the ancestral homeland up on the banks of Lake Victoria before returning back from a safari, he pointed out.
So far, says Hieber, the booming business has not spoiled local residents, who he says are kind and hospitable. Souvenirs are everywhere, however, and the Obama homestead, still occupied by the president-elects step grandmother, Sarah Obama (known as Mama Sarah), is the central attraction. One has got to get prior permission, for personal reasons, to enter the homestead. And I would think that she (Mama Sarah) would permit people coming in until she just got tired of it, or until the cash cow dried up, Hieber counseled.
So far, Kenyan government has not kept up with demands for broadening regional infrastructure in the face of the tourist onslaught. Roads have not been widened to accommodate the increasing traffic, and Hieber says the Nairobi government is essentially taking a wait-and-see approach to the Obama phenomenon. Everything came as such a surprise to the Kenyans themselves, delighted as they are. But the government really hasn't stepped up to the plate inasmuch as going ahead and creating a new infrastructure for much tourism coming in. I think they see it as a bit of a dare I say it, 'pie-in-the-sky' movement. It will have a huge impact, and in time will just die off. So I think their focus is on other areas of the country as opposed to Kogelo right now, he said.
For tourists hoping to interact with members of the extended Obama family that lives in Nyangoma Kogelo, Hieber has some words of advice. Im not sure. This would be hearsay if people said that theyve actually met any of the relatives because everyone in the area is claiming now to be a relative of sort by marriage, by whatever. So everybody is jumping onto their claim of fame for the moment. I think that the residents of Kogelo are beyond themselves with excitement, he notes.
Kenneth Hiebers 2 Afrika tourist agencys web site (http://www.2afrika.com) lists more than a dozen safari tours to Kenya and Tanzania. His Presidential Heritage Safari was conceived as an add-on to one of the many alternatives, and as long as the new US president remains popular, he is hopeful the add-on will play a useful role in promoting close ties between the Kenyan and American peoples. Feedback
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A five star hotel with conference facilities is to be built at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. Concession agreement documents were signed on Thursday with the Afro-Asian Investment Corporation that will undertake the project. During the signing at KAA headquarters in Nairobi, board chairman, Eng Erastus Mwongera said the investor is expected to plough $350 million (Sh28 billion) into the project that is due for completion in three years. The hotel, to be located 100 metres from the airport and covering an area of 90 acres, will include a five star hotel of 450 rooms, another four star hotel of 300 rooms, a hospital with 200 rooms and a trade expo centre for the business community operating in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Europe and America.
Team named to handle coalition affairs
Written By:PPS , Posted: Thu, Jan 15, 2009
President Mwai Kibaki and the Prime Minister Raila Odinga have Thursday appointed a top level Permanent Committee to handle the management of the affairs of the Grand Coalition. The committee comprises twelve members, six from each side of the grand coalition and include:
- H.E. the President Hon. Mwai Kibaki
- The Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga
- H.E. the Vice President Hon. Kalonzo Musyoka
- Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta
- Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Musalia Mudavadi
- Hon. George Saitoti
- Hon. William Ruto
- Hon. Moses Wetangula
- Hon. Mohammed Elmi
- Hon. Chirau Ali Mwakwere
- Hon. Hon. Jaffa Kingi
- Hon. James Orengo
Meanwhile President Mwai Kibaki has appointed Mr. Jimnah Mbaru Chairman of the National cereals and Produce Board. President Kibaki has also made the following changes and appointments in Kenya's diplomatic service; He has also named ten new ambassadors. Mr Mohammed Gello is the ambassador designate to the United Arab Emirates. Formerly the head, China Affairs in the ministry of Foreign Affairs. Mr Elkanah Odembo, a former consultant with the FORD Foundation and the Executive Director of Ufadhili Trust is the new ambassador designate to France. Mr Mutinda Mutiso, a former Member of Parliamnet, becomes the High Commissioner designate to Tanzania. The ambassador designate to Nigeria is Mr Francis Sigei, a former Provincial Commissioner, Nairobi. Mr Kembi Gitura is ambassador designate to the Kingdom of Belgium and the European Union. He is a former Assistant minister for Foreign Affairs. Mr Simon Nabukwesi becomes Kenya's High Commissioner designate to Canada. He is a Former Principal of Kamusinga High School. Mr Macharia Kamau joins the Permanent Mission of Kenya office to the UN in Nairobi. He was a Senior Associate Africa Policy Institute in Pretoria, South Africa. The President has also promoted the following to the rank of Ambassador: Mr Patrick Wamoto, Ambassador and Director of Political Affairs; Mr Anthony Andanje, Ambassador and Director, International Organisation Division and Mrs Josephine Gaita, Ambassador and Director, Office of the International Conference on Great Lakes.
George Muhoho (left) Managing Director Kenya Airport Authority and Haj Mohamed Yassin Director Afro Asia Investment Corporation at a press conference on Thursday. They signed a memorandum of agreement to build a hotel at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. The Government on Thursday denied that the Kenya Airports Authority managing director had been sent on compulsory leave even as it emerged that the parastatal’s financial dealings had been questioned by a State audit team. The Government’s own Efficiency Monitoring Unit has raised questions over Sh1.7 billion worth of contracts given by the parastatal headed by Mr George Muhoho. Among the projects that have been questioned is expansion work at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, the Kisumu Airport, the Moi International Airport in Mombasa and the old airport at Embakasi, Nairobi.
Six people have been slaughtered in one of the bloodiest Mafia hits in Italy for years.More than 100 shots were fired as Mob hitmen gunned down rivals in a shop. One victim was killed in his car. Officials say it was one of the largest and bloodiest group massacres in clan wars in recent years. The shooters were being hunted by police last night. Two people who were also wounded in the shootout were under armed guard in hospital yesterday. They were said to be in a serious condition. The killings happened in a busy street in the southern Italian town of Castelvolturno, near Naples. The area is prime territory for the Camorra, the local Mafia. Passers-by dived for cover as at least three men arrived outside the shop, which sells ethnic products, and opened fire on the group of Africans inside. TV footage showed bodies sprawled on the ground in pools of blood. Police are linking the shootings to drug-trafficking and the earlier murder of Antonio Celiento, 53. Celiento, who had convictions for theft and robbery and was linked to the Camorra, was killed a few miles away a short while before the shop massacre. In recent months, Nigerian gangs have tried to break in to the lucrative drugs trade. But the Camorra are refusing to give up the trade, which brings in millions a year. The investigation into the murders is being lead by local anti-Mafia prosecutor Franco Roberti. He said the killings had the "signature of the Camorra". The area is home to the fearsome Caselesi clan. Alessandro Cirillo, Giuseppe Setola and Giuseppe Letizia - three mobsters who are on the run - have been named as likely suspects in the ordering of the killings.
Do you ever come to London working on project assignments? Are you often wondering where to stay? You may find that a solution can be found by renting a centrally located serviced apartment. Serviced apartments are usually located just a short distance away from the underground, as well as the many restaurants, bars and nightlife of the city. Serviced accommodation offers the best of both worlds - most serviced apartments are larger than the average hotel room and they all have a separate kitchen and bathroom. In your apartment, you will have space to work and entertain friends or clients. Most serviced apartments offer broadband internet access for occupants. You will be able to enjoy hotel services such as cleaning whilst enjoying the privacy and freedom of your own apartment, your own base in London. Most serviced apartments are available from one night upwards. Just off London's famous Trafalgar Square you can enjoy staying at Citadines which has a large breakfast area where you can enjoy coffee and croissants in the morning. Embankment and Charing Cross stations are close by. You will be near the West End of London with Regent Street and Piccadilly just 15 minutes walk away. You will be able to enjoy walking down the busy bustling streets and browsing in the shops. You will be able to take in a West End theatre show, being just steps away from theatreland where you can enjoy London's vibrant nightlife. The contemporary accommodation available is superb, much of which nestles behind the magnificent traditional facades of old Victorian buildings in areas such as Knightsbridge, South Kensington and Clerkenwell. For the corporate traveller, London has a lot to offer.
A Kenyan man has passed away in the US. The late John Kariuki Kiarie met his death on 10th January, 2009 at around 4:15 pm in Frankford Hospital Pennsylvania after a short illness. Family and friends are meeting daily at his Residence beginning 6:00pm at 329 WOOD STREET, Bristol PA 19007, Pennsylvania, USA. You can send your monetary support to:- Bank of America Account, No: 383004954798, Account holders - Carol Njeri W. and Margaret Njeri K. For more information please contact Kimani Gitau NO: - 215-4319658, Wilson Njiru 267-6906920, Wambiu 267-9399848, Muchiri Njoroge 267-9343361, Margaret Njeri 267-9803061. We will keep you informed (updated) on any progress on developments. NB: Friends from out of state making contributions should please request an out of state deposit slip. Which they will circle (39). Google is here with technology. You can view the house where they are meeting from sky. You can even see a car parked outside the house and even the whole street - CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE HOUSE FROM THE SKY
The late John Kariuki Kiarie
London, Thursday 15th January, 2009. Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon has told MPs the government has approved controversial plans to build a third runway at Heathrow Airport. The confirmation of the expansion comes despite opposition from residents, environmentalists and MPs. Leading business and union figures back the project, saying it will create jobs and boost the UK's competitiveness. The Tories called it a "bleak day for the environment" and said they would "fight it every step of the way". And the debate was halted when local Labour MP John McDonnell shouted "disgrace" as the transport secretary said MPs would not get a vote on the decision. After refusing requests to end his protest he was ordered out of the Commons and suspended for a week. The government has long argued, in principle, that it is in favour of the scheme, subject to noise and air pollution limits, and undertakings about access and traffic congestion. There has been deep unease within Labour ranks about the decision, with several cabinet members reported to be unconvinced about the project and more than 50 MPs openly opposed. Alongside the commitment to a new runway, Mr Hoon also announced increased investment in public transport, including the possibility of new high-speed rail links from the airport. In an effort to appease its critics he also outlined a series of measures to limit noise and emissions, with airlines using the new runway required to use the newest, least polluting aircraft. He told MPs the government was satisfied environmental targets could be met, as it would put an initial cap on additional flights from the new runway of 125,000, would ensure new slots were "green slots" used by only the "cleanest planes" and would set a new target on aircraft emissions - that they would be lower in 2050 than in 2005. "Taken together this gives us the toughest climate change regime for aviation of any country in the world," he told MPs.
Gikomba Market traders watch from a distance as a fierce fire razes their stalls. The inferno started at around 1.00 am. A fire broke out at Nairobi’s Gikomba Market in the early hours of Thursday destroying property worth thousands of shillings. The 1.00 am fire at Nairobi’s Gikomba Market reduced to ashes stalls, which the owners store their goods. It was not clear what started the fire. Witnesses said the fire began in the stalls that were near the Gikomba brigde, bringing down electric poles that helped to fuel the flames. The light industry area houses over 200 shops that include workshops, hardware stores, furniture and clothes shops. At least 50,000 people drew their source of income from the shops.
London, Wednesday 14th January, 2009. Fears that Britain's banks remain in crisis led to a day of heavy losses on the stock market today. The FTSE-100 sank 230 points to 4160 in a frantic and nervy afternoon's trading, wiping £55 billion from the value of the top shares. Barclays was one of the biggest losers as speculation swept the City that the bank will need fresh injections of capital just to stay solvent. HSBC sank on similar concerns. Until this week both were seen as a source of strength. Neither has resorted to government bail-outs to bolster finances. Barclays fell 24.4p to 141.5p, while HSBC lost 69p to 571p. Barclays is axing another 2,100 jobs in its high-street operations, taking the total in the last few days to 4,600. At the same time a senior minister claimed she could see “green shoots” of recovery. Asked on the ITN lunchtime news when she expected to see the first signs of recovery, Business minister Baroness Vadera said: “I'm seeing a few green shoots but it's a little too early to say exactly how they will grow.” Her remark echoed former chancellor Lord Lamont's much-derided gaffe at the Tory party conference in 1991 that the “green shoots” of recovery were evident. The FTSE has now fallen for six days on the trot, as any hopes that the recession might be short-lived were wiped away. It is down 478 points since 6 January — a 10 per cent drop that has wiped £113 billion off the value of Britain's top companies in the last week. Some of those companies have been slashing jobs to stay afloat. Following 4,000 job cuts announced yesterday by a number of companies, catalogue group Freemans Gratton said this afternoon that it may be forced to let up to 3,800 employees go. Hundreds at Citigroup in Canary Wharf were facing redundancy as the giant bank moved towards breaking itself up. Citi employs 10,000 in London at the moment. Other job losses came at Jaguar Land Rover, which said it would axe 450 jobs, including 300 managers. Administrators for music, DVD and games retailer Zavvi closed another 18 UK stores with the loss of 353 jobs. Liberal Democrat shadow chancellor Vince Cable said of Baroness Vadera's comments: “She is clearly living in a parallel universe if she think the economy is beginning to recover. With thousands of jobs being lost every day and many families at risk of repossession, recovery is sadly a long way off.”
Happy New Year Kenyans
REFERENCE TO IDP CHILDREN IN KENYA
By Joyce Kerr, Newcastle, UK
I posted a message on this website last November saying I was going to Kenya and would visit the IDPs. I visited the poor families and the candidates just before they sat for their KCPE. When I talked to their teacher Mr. Wanyoike and asked him to point out a few very poor kids who wouldn’t afford school fees, he just laughed and said “everyone here is poor , otherwise they wouldn’t be here”. I am looking for any willing persons to help these children as they will not afford to go to Secondary school. I took a few photos of the kids both in their tented classroom and outside their tents. I also took about twelve names and their individual photos refusing to take more though the kids were begging me to, I didn’t want to disappoint them, in case I don’t get enough sponsors . I also took their index numbers in case anyone would like to confirm this from the Official Kenyan KCPE results website (link below). Just type their index numbers and their names and results will show just to confirm these are the real names and scores I have given. - CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY AND PHOTOS
The number of people using London's airports has dropped over the year as a whole for the first time since 2001. Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted all saw falls in passengers last year as the economic downturn deepened. Heathrow was down 1.4 per cent, Gatwick 2.8 per cent and Stansted six per cent compared with 2007. The last time passenger numbers were down for a whole year was eight years ago when the 9/11 attacks scared millions off air travel. The previous big dip was in 1991 during the first Gulf war. The figures show the fall in passenger numbers accelerated towards the end of the year at Gatwick and Stansted. Last month, compared with December 2007, Gatwick was down 13.8 per cent and Stansted 13 per cent.
A cabinet minister in UK refused to rule out bringing Britain into the euro 'if the right economic conditions were met'. Europe minister Caroline Flint opposed a promise made by David Cameron yesterday to keep the pound regardless of the circumstances. She told Metro: 'We will make a decision based on economic conditions. We have identified five tests that have to be met: convergence with other European economies, flexibility, impact on investment, the impact on the financial services industry and growth stability and employment. 'At the moment, those economic tests have not been met.' Britain has maintained the same position on the euro since 1997 when Mr Brown as chancellor devised the tests to assess whether the country was ready to switch to the euro. However, the last Treasury assessment of those tests was in 2003. Many economists suggest joining the euro is the only way to rescue the pound from its current slump. With the country on the brink of recession, they argue that reassessment of the tests today could give in a very different result. Despite keeping the door open, Ms Flint pointed out that it was not a magic bullet even though sterling has fallen so sharply a pound is worth little more than a euro. She said: 'Countries that have the Euro are suffering as well as Britain.' But her comments will add to growing speculation that ministers may be willing to ditch the pound. Last month, president of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso embarrassed Gordon Brown when he claimed: 'Some British politicians have already told me: “If we had the euro, we would have been better off.”' In November, business secretary Lord Mandelson said the government's 'aim is to join the single currency'. Shadow foreign secretary William Hague told Metro: 'It's because we have kept our currency that we have interest rates that work best for Britain to get us out of the recession while many countries with the euro are saddled with rates that aren't right for them.' Last night, a No.10 aide tried to pour cold water on the idea that Mr Brown was considering adopting the single currency. 'This is categorically not on the agenda,' he said.
Half of teenagers left school unable to read, write and add up to the standard expected by employers last year, GCSE results showed on Wednesday 14th January, 2009. Ministers hailed improvements in London, claiming that 15,400 more young people in the capital were achieving five or more good GCSEs including English and maths than in 1997. But the figures showed boys in inner city schools still lagged far behind pupils elsewhere. Across England, only 47.6 per cent of teenagers scored five crucial A*-C grades including in maths and English. One in seven pupils failed to achieve a single C grade in any GCSE subject. Critics warned too many teenagers were being left without the qualifications they need for work and further study.
Growing numbers of young people are risking their health by taking dance drug ketamine. Many users are resorting to injecting so-called special K instead of snorting or swallowing it in order to maintain their high, according to charity DrugScope. The increase in use is fuelled by cheaper prices, which have fallen a third in the past three years – a single gram of ketamine now costs £20, half the price of a gram of cocaine. 'These trends are concerning,' said DrugScope boss Martin Barnes. 'Ketamine's harms increase considerably at high doses and injecting users risk exposure to blood-borne viruses such as Hepatitis C or HIV.' Drugscope found the use of ketamine – also called raver's smack – was on the rise in nine out of 20 areas it surveyed around the country. Areas reporting an increase were Portsmouth, London, Bristol, Ipswich, Birmingham, Nottingham, Sheffield, Blackpool and Newcastle. In low doses, ketamine is used as a tranquilliser for horses. But in recreational doses of up to 200 times the medical dose it can cause heart or lung failure. Deaths from ketamine are most often linked to accidents which happen while users lose control. There were 23 ketamine-related deaths between 1993 and 2006. The British Crime Survey last year revealed that use of the drug was up ten per cent on the previous year. Ketamine was ranked more harmful than ecstasy and cannabis in a survey of harm carried out by the government's drug advisory panel. It was made illegal three years ago and is ranked in class C, alongside anabolic steroids.
THE LAND OF HAKUNA MATATA HAS TURNED OUT TO BE THE LAND OF SCANDALS
The oil and maize scandals are just the latest in a string of dubious deals, which have dogged the Grand Coalition Government since it came to power nearly a year ago. This is despite an assurance by President Kibaki that corruption would be a thing of the past during his term at the helm. During the start of his second term in December 2007, President Kibaki pledged to ensure that any of his Cabinet ministers implicated in corruption would be suspended until cleared of such accusations. Despite this, the Government has hopped from one crisis to another, with senior officials including Cabinet ministers, being implicated in corruption. Among the latest scandals were the irregular transactions involving the Kenya Pipeline Company and Triton Limited in which financiers risk losing up to Sh7.6 billion. - Daily Nation.
A major sponsor of the London Olympics is fighting off bankruptcy. Nortel has pledged a reported £40million to the 2012 Games. But the Canadian-based telecoms equipment giant has filed for bankruptcy protection. Its British arm is one of seven 'tier one' sponsors of the Games. A spokesman for the London Olympic organising committee said: 'We are aware of the situation and will work through it with Nortel.' A Locog source said it was optimistic the sponsorship would remain in place. Nortel said it was expecting the bankruptcy protection would help it 'emerge from this process as a more focused, financially sound and competitive company'.
As the Kenya Pipeline Company scandal continues to unfold, it has emerged that President Kibaki may have been duped into commissioning an Sh8.5 billion white elephant two months ago. The commissioning of the project in Makindu was marked with pomp and colour and attended by Prime Minister Raila Odinga among other dignitaries. The project was considered a milestone in boosting the capacity of Makindu, Konza, Manyani and Samburu pump stations. The (KPC) Line One Capacity Enhancement projects — whose cost ballooned from Sh2.5 to Sh8.5 billion — only achieved a fraction of its projected capacity, raising doubts over its viability. When President Kibaki arrived at Makindu on the Nairobi-Mombasa highway on November 26 last year for the launch of the projects, only one pump station was operational. "It was embarrassing. The Chinese contractor used outdated technology in constructing the pump station," said an engineer familiar with its design but who sought anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter. - The Standard.
A daily caffeine fix may help you through the afternoon slump - but it may also cause you to see ghosts. Research suggests people who drink more than seven cups of instant coffee a day have an increased tendency to hallucinate. High caffeine users may even think they sense non-existent people, according to researchers from the University of Durham. They studied 200 students who were asked about their typical intake of caffeine products. Those who had a high caffeine intake were three times more likely to have the heard voice of someone non-existent than "low" users who consumed less than one cup of instant coffee or its equivalent. Seeing things that were not there, hearing voices and sensing the presence of dead people were among the experiences reported. Besides coffee, caffeine can be obtained from sources such as tea, chocolate, "pep" pills and energy drinks. However, the hallucinations are not necessarily a sign of mental illness. Around 3% of people regularly hear voices, the research said. The ability of caffeine to exacerbate the effects of stress may be behind the study's findings, scientists believe. When under stress the body releases the hormone cortisol which is produced in greater quantities after consuming caffeine, possibly leading to hallucinations. Dr Charles Fernyhough, the co-author of the study, pointed out that the research only showed an association between caffeine intake and hallucination proneness, not a causal link. "One interpretation may be that those students who were more prone to hallucinations used caffeine to help cope with their experiences," he said.
Coffee may cause hallucinations, research by the University of Durham suggests
Expensive coffee machines for top EU officials in Brussels have been withdrawn after tests showed unsafe levels of nickel and lead. The case has sparked rumours that the commissioners were slowly being poisoned by the coffee-makers which cost around £5,000 each. Complaints that the coffee tasted metallic led to an Austrian official sending back samples to his native country for testing. They showed in every cup there were levels of nickel 175 times above the recommended intake and 16% too much lead. Over-exposure to nickel can affect people with allergies by prompting skin problems or gastrointestinal disorders. The metal can take as long as 40 days to work its way through the body. The entire collection of Cimbali coffee machines, worth a total of £80,000, have now been removed from the private offices of the 27 commissioners, including the President, José Manuel Barroso. And the Italian company which makes them is to carry out its own tests. They were installed in January so European commissioners and their senior aides could enjoy their espressos and cappuccinos in comfort without having to mix with thousands of less important bureaucrats in the cafeteria. Now the top officials, who are often criticised for their grand lifestyles and generous allowances, are getting a taste of what it is like to queue up in the cafeteria for coffee - or even to drink tea. There has been no evidence of anyone falling ill, but the problem is bound to give ammunition to EU critics who complain about excessive spending. A commission spokesman defended the decision to buy the machines. The spokesman told The Times: "How many ministers do you know who queue in the main cafeteria and is that a good use of their time? "The commissioner is not sitting there all day drinking coffee. It is served to visitors. "The machines are obviously more expensive than the sort of machines you or I have, but they are designed for greater use. "I would suggest it is a sensible use of public money because we do not want to have commissioners wasting time in queues." He added: "The company (Cimbali) is saying that the tests were not carried out in the right conditions so they want to carry out their own tests."
Hollywood star Will Smith today said he would be an 'eyewitness to history' when he attends the impending inauguration of US President-elect Barack Obama. Smith braved freezing temperatures to mingle with fans this evening as he attended the opening of his latest film in London's West End. The actor, appearing at the Gala premiere of Seven Pounds, said he was excited about Obama's inauguration next week. But the world famous movie star acknowledged that being an actor was far easier than the role that Mr Obama is about to step into. I'm hoping that people can take this journey with me, I'm trying to expand as an actor. Smith is due to attend Mr Obama's inauguration on January 20 and told the waiting press that he would not perform a rap at the ceremony. He explained: "You know I thought about that, but I think I'm going to keep it a little more subdued than that. I'm just going to stand there and be an eyewitness to history."
London, Wednesday 14th January, 2009. Tens of thousands of public sector jobs will be lost across Britain this year as councils struggle to cope with the impact of the recession. Forty councils approached by The Times yesterday were planning a total of 7,000 redundancies, and unions fear that few of the 442 local authorities across England, Scotland and Wales will escape the cutbacks. Although most of the job losses will be among backroom staff, there is concern that services will be affected. The scale of the proposed redundancies is the first indication that Britain’s six million public sector workers will not be protected from the slowdown. Health and education professionals fear that they may be next. Unions said that the cutbacks contradicted Gordon Brown’s plans to create jobs. “Already local councils are reporting huge increases in the number of people seeking help for debt counselling, housing advice, employment services,” said Dave Prentis, the general secretary of Unison. “It is the council workers who deliver that, so it would be madness to chuck them on the dole.” Council officials admit that the scale of the cuts is much higher than any measures taken over the past decade. They blame a series of factors, in particular the collapse of the housing market. Fees from property developers have fallen dramatically. Fees from land searches and domestic planning applications have also dried up. In addition, local authorities had been told to make efficiency savings of more than £1.5 billion, and most are under pressure to keep council tax rises below 5 per cent to avoid being capped next year.
Cash locked in frozen Icelandic banks has also thrown budgets out by millions of pounds. Nottingham City Council and Buckinghamshire propose to cut more than 400 posts each. Oldham plans to cut 544 jobs; Northumberland is considering up to 800 losses but hopes to get the figure down. Newcastle plans to cut 500 jobs, including 200 senior and middle management posts; Bristol plans to cut 400 and Westminster 200 permanent and temporary jobs. Jon Collins, leader of Nottingham City Council, said that the combination of global recession and the need to invest in child protection services and keep council taxes down meant the budget could not be balanced without staff losses. “This year is exceptional,” he said. “Every effort will be made to reorganise teams while minimising impact on frontline services.” Most councils have instigated recruitment freezes and hope that many jobs can go through natural wastage with few compulsory redundancies. The Local Government Association said on Monday that one in seven of the 388 councils in England planned to make redundancies. Those in Scotland and Wales are in similar trouble. Margaret Eaton, the association’s chairman, said: “The credit crunch and the recession are causing a decline in income and an ever greater demand for essential services such as help for the homeless and increased support for local businesses. It is a highly unpleasant decision for any council to cut jobs, but they also understand that local people are suffering.” A report by the consultancy Deloitte said that the effects of recession and rising demand over the next five years would either transform the business of government or leave critical shortfalls in the quality of services.
Presidential frontiersmen "Rough-rider" Teddy Roosevelt began writing his soon to be published book in 1890. Titled The Wilderness Hunter, the author writes of a grizzled, weather beaten trapper by the name of Bauman, whose figure of a man reminded me of actor Robert Redford's portrayal of the legendary woodsman-tracker Jeremiah Johnson. Bauman however was German born, lived all of his life out on the early frontier. Roosevelt must have had some degree of belief in Bauman's tale to include his thoughts in his book. - MORE
WORLD RECORD WITH £280,000 A WEEK (KSHS. 33 MILLION)
Kaka looks set to reject a world-record move to Manchester City after claiming he doesn't want to leave AC Milan. The Brazil forward's representatives have confirmed City have made a massive £100 million approach to the Italian club for their client. City are also reportedly prepared to pay Kaka anywhere between £280,000 to £500,000-a-week after tax. However, hours after his spokesman, Diogo Kotscho, warned it would take more than money to tempt Kaka to Eastlands, the 26-year-old played down the prospects of a deal. 'I want to grow old at AC Milan,' the Brazilian said. 'My aim is to become, at some point in the future, the captain of this team. 'I know there is a pecking order, with (Paolo) Maldini at the front at then (Massimo) Ambrosini, but after that... 'I have already turned down some major offers.' If Kaka sticks to this stance, it will be a blow to City's Abu Dhabi-based owners, who have put the South American at the top of their list of 'galacticos'. It also shows City might not find it quite so easy to get the star names they want to Eastlands this month.
Barclays says it will cut 2,100 jobs from its UK banking business, in addition to the same number of jobs it cut on Tuesday. The latest jobs will go in retail and commercial banking. The company said it hoped to avoid compulsory redundancies. Like many banks worldwide, Barclays has been hit hard by the credit crunch. According to the Centre For Economic and Business Research, 34,000 financial sector jobs could be lost this year after 28,000 were cut in 2007. In total, Barclays currently employs 69,900 people in the UK and 156,400 globally.
Mr. David Kuria the Managing Director of Pinnacle Projects Nairobi, Kenya arrives in London on Thursday 15th January, 2009 for a week visit to London. Those wishing to contact him while in the UK can do so through 07988250945 or 07951220695. Pinnacle Projects has won the tender to build 350 flats in an 15 acre land in Belle Vue, along Mombasa Road, Nairobi. The projects belongs to Kenya Ports Authority Pension Scheme. The South C project of Bandari Villas which he was marketing last year went very well for those who bought it. The project is now over. We were buying it for KShs. 6.5 by then and now the houses are going for Kshs. 9 million even before completion. Phase I is now complete and Phase II and III are now under construction. The flats are four-bedroom. They are located in a very ideal place - 10 minutes to airport and 10 minutes to Nairobi town. There some shops for sale in the project.
Mr. David Kuria (centre) the managing director of Pinnacle Project Management and Project Finance Management company explaining to Mr. Manji Wairia (right) about some new project coming up in Nairobi as Mr. Charles Karanja (left) looks on - in one of his visits to London last year
Citi break-up puts hundreds more bank jobs at risk
London, Wednesday 14th January, 2009. Hundreds more bankers in London are at risk of losing their jobs as Citigroup moves to break itself up in a drastic bid to secure its future. Citi, the world's largest bank with some 10,000 staff at its offices at Canary Wharf, is preparing to split into “good” and “bad” banks to isolate toxic and unwanted assets from the healthy parts of the business. This would shrink the once-mighty banking giant by a third and could also involve the sale of various “non-core” units, leading to yet more job losses. In November, Citi announced plans to axe 52,000 jobs worldwide on top of 23,000 cuts in 2008. Some 2000 staff in London were in the firing line, but that number looks set to rise. Analysts warn 150,000 jobs could go in London this year as the capital, and particularly the City and Canary Wharf, bear the brunt of the recession. Barclays is cutting at least 2100 jobs globally across its investment banking and wealth management businesses, with 1300 jobs going at investment arm Barclays Capital, 500 at Barclays Wealth and 370 at Barclays Global Investors. Some 500 job losses are due in the UK. A report by financial recruitment firm Morgan McKinley today said it is taking out-of-work bankers an average of 11 weeks to find a new job — nearly a month more than a year ago — as banks stop hiring. Former Citi banker Peter Hahn, now an expert in corporate finance and banking at the Cass Business School in London, said job cuts at Citi and other banks were “an ongoing process”. Citi chief executive Vikram Pandit has been under pressure to raise new capital and streamline the business after the US Government provided $45 billion (£30.6 billion) in emergency cash and a $300 billion guarantee for its most toxic loans. Citi last night sold a majority stake in wealth management business Smith Barney to Morgan Stanley for $2.7 billion. Details of the next phase of restructuring are due this month. Last November, Pandit said he wanted to keep the bank together, describing it as “a truly global universal bank”. Hints from the US Treasury and Federal Reserve of no further aid appear to have changed his mind. He looks set to place unwanted assets worth $600 billion, a third of the balance sheet, into the bad bank and keep global commercial retail bank separate.
Under pressure: Citigroup chief executive Vikram Pandit needs fresh capital
BNP links to immigration service staff
After nearly 300 allegations of brutality and racist abuse, official inquiry is launched. An official investigation has been launched after two immigration service staff working with asylum-seekers were found to have links to the British National Party, The Independent has learnt. One guard employed to look after asylum-seekers at a detention centre has been forced to resign after his name was found on a membership list of the BNP. Another man has been suspended while his employer investigates alleged links to the same far-right organisation. Both cases raise serious concerns about racism within the immigration system, where membership of extreme political groups has long been suspected. Over the past two years The Independent has helped reveal nearly 300 allegations of brutality, including 38 claims of racism, made by asylum-seekers about private security and immigration staff. Some of the allegations included abusive and racist language, in which refugees fleeing persecution were referred to as "monkeys" or told to "go back to their own countries". The only two services where membership of the BNP can be grounds for dismissal are the police force and the Prison Service. In the case of the immigration service, everyone working in immigration removal centres or in the guarding or removal of asylum-seekers must sign a declaration making clear that they are not members of the BNP, Combat 18 or the National Front. Those who are found to belong to any group that promotes racism will lose their accreditation to work in the immigration system. Last night, the UK Border Agency said it "will not tolerate racist behaviour by individuals working in immigration removal centres. All allegations are investigated and the UKBA can revoke an individual's accreditation to work for the agency or have any contact with detainees." It is understood that a security guard resigned after a list of BNP members was leaked to the media last year. In the case of the suspended guard, the investigation is being conducted by the private contractor.
During his suspension, the man will not be able to work with refugees or enter any immigration building. BNP policy on immigration stipulates: "We will also clamp down on the flood of 'asylum-seekers', all of whom are either bogus or can find refuge much nearer their home countries." Last month the Home Office received another report, this time from its own complaints watchdog, that raised serious concerns about the treatment of complaints of racism made by asylum-seekers, many of which had been miscategorised as "poor service" complaints. The report, written by the Home Office's Complaints Audit Committee (CAC), and seen by The Independent, said senior officials had "joined us in voicing concern that serious complaints such as allegations of assault aggravated by racism have been handled as service delivery complaints and as a consequence have not been properly managed". The Labour MP Diane Abbott said last night: "If it is true that staff employed to work with asylum-seekers and immigrants are members of the BNP then it is yet another sign that the Home Office are allowing for the mistreatment of immigrants in this country. For years, campaign groups and my colleagues and I have been pointing out that hiring private contractors to work as immigration guards is a bad idea. It seems we will now have more proof of this. People who come to this country deserve to be treated with the same dignity and respect that is afforded to citizens." A spokesperson for Medical Justice, which helped compile a dossier of nearly 300 complaints of alleged abuse, said: "We hear detainees complain about racism on an almost daily basis and it's virtually unheard of for a complaint to be upheld. The sheer volume of detainees complaining suggests among certain immigration guards there seems to be a canteen culture of racism which can flourish if left unchecked. Detainees feel dehumanised."
In its report, the CAC further warned: "Complaints of racism have caused us concern, as failures to report and investigate them fully may leave the UK Border Agency liable to prosecution under the Race Relations Act and to other anti-discrimination legislation... We have learnt of special problems in the detention estate, where complaints forms have a tick-box marked 'racism' and where officials believe that racism has been widely used as an inappropriate add-on to service delivery complaints, such as a detainee claiming that he had been served cold food because of his ethnic origin. "We have reservations about the accuracy of this view in light of Sir William MacPherson's definition of a racist incident as 'any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person'. As we do not routinely audit service delivery complaints, we cannot calculate the extent of alleged misuse of the term 'racist'." The CAC said the Home Office should have supplied all misconduct complaints alleging racism. "We received only four complaints of racism from Colnbrook [detention centre, near Heathrow Airport] in 2007. This would appear to be a low number of potential complaints according to evidence collected by the HMIP [prison inspectorate] team, whose survey yielded the information that 18 per cent of detainees said they had been victimised by staff on the basis of their nationality and 15 per cent said they had been victimised on the basis of their ethnic or cultural origin."
LEFT: Britons' confidence in the economy has been shattered by the financial crisis, according to a new poll, says The Guardian. CENTRE: The Independent says an official investigation has been launched after two immigration staff working with asylum-seekers were found to have links to the British National Party. RIGHT: Tens of thousands of public sector jobs will be lost across the UK this year as a result of the recession, says The Times.
A record 5,000 foreign lawbreakers removed from the United Kingdom
05 January 2009
More foreign criminals than ever before have been kicked out of the country by the United Kingdom Border Agency in the past 12 months. The UK Border Agency's figures, announced today show it met the tough target set by the government for 2008, exceeding last year's total of 4,200 foreign criminals removed. Those removed by the Agency include 50 killers and attempted killers, over 200 sex offenders and more than 1,500 drug offenders. This underlines the government's continued commitment to remove the most harmful people first. The UK Border Agency now has immigration teams working alongside the Prison Service in prisons to ensure that those that come here and break the rules are removed as quickly as possible. Approximately one in five foreign prisoners are removed directly from prison 180 days before their release date. In order to maintain its high level of removals, the UK Border Agency committed earlier this year to put in place new crime partnerships with police across the United Kingdom. Eighty five per cent of these partnerships are already in place, with immigration officers and the police teaming up to target the 'Mr Bigs' and the facilitators of illegal immigration. Statement from the Border and Immigration Minister Phil Woolas said, 'Britain will not tolerate those that come here and break our rules, which is why we set the UK Border Agency the tough target of removing 5,000 foreign lawbreakers this year. 'By exceeding this target we're showing once again that there's no place in Britain for those that continue to abuse our trust. 'We now consider for deportation all non-EEA foreign nationals who go to prison for serious drug and gun offences no matter how long their sentence.' Among the 5,000 foreign prisoners removed this year were:
a Portuguese man convicted and sentenced to five years in prison for possession with intent to supply cocaine, heroin and cannabis
a Pakistani man convicted of sexual assault on underage girls and sentenced to three, nine month sentences to run concurrently
a Kosovan man convicted of trafficking for sexual exploitation and sentenced to three and half years in prison
an Indian man sentenced to five years for the attempted kidnap and sexual assault of an underage girl
a Malawian man given a four year sentence for rape.
The statistics on removal/deportation of foreign national prisoners are based on provisional management information collected by the UK Border Agency. They may be subject to revision and are not part of national statistics. National statistics on total removals and voluntary departures in 2008 will be released on 24 February 2009.
David Cameron has accused Gordon Brown of "running around like a headless chicken" in response to the recession.
London's airports hit by passenger fall. The number of people using London's airports has dropped over the year as a whole for the first time since 2001. Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted all saw falls in passengers last year as the economic downturn deepened. Heathrow was down 1.4 per cent, Gatwick 2.8 per cent and Stansted six per cent compared with 2007. The last time passenger numbers were down for a whole year was eight years ago when the 9/11 attacks scared millions off air travel. The previous big dip was in 1991 during the first Gulf war. Today's figures show the fall in passenger numbers accelerated towards the end of the year at Gatwick and Stansted. Last month, compared with December 2007, Gatwick was down 13.8 per cent and Stansted 13 per cent. Environmental campaigners seized on the figures, claiming they undermined the case for a third runway at Heathrow.
Car giant Jaguar Land Rover is to axe 450 jobs, including 300 managers, as part of a cost-cutting exercise, the company has announced. The cuts, including 150 agency staff, follow the "severe reduction" in demand for new cars, said the company. Jaguar Land Rover also announced that managers will not receive any bonuses this year, while pay rises have been deferred to October.
On 19 December 2008 the UKBA in UK made a further announcement regarding the Student Tier 4 of the points system to be introduced in March 2009. Under the new points based system educational institutions will have to be licensed to sponsor students. UKBA in their announcement said that they have already begun issuing licences for sponsors under tier 4 and would encourage all potential sponsors who have not yet applied for their licence to do so as soon as possible. The sponsorship management system for tier 4 sponsors from Autumn 2009 will allow institutions to manage their migrants and issue confirmation of acceptance of studies online.
A 54-year-old Japanese man has been caught impersonating his 20-year-old son to take an exam, even getting a perm to make himself look younger, according to an official. The father, who runs a medication distribution company, sat a test for a license to handle over-the-counter drugs so that his son could work with him, said an official in Nara prefecture in western Japan. An examiner noticed that the man looked unusually old, said local government official Masaaki Nakamori. "A 20-year-old and a 54-year-old are aged differently. But he looked like the photo on the exam admission card," Nakamori said. The father, whose name was not released, earned his own license last year, taking the exam with a photo showing him with straight hair and glasses. "This time, he curled his hair and did not wear his glasses," Nakamori said. The man put his face down intently near the desk as he took the exam, he said. "When the test monitor approached him, he admitted it and apologised. He said, from the application process to actual testing, he did it all himself without telling his son," Nakamori said.
Nairobi, Tuesday 13th January, 2009. The Kenya Government says it is taking very seriously the allegations of illegal maize trade that has been reported by the media that imported grain is being shipped to South Sudan. . In a press release posted on the Office of Public Communications website Government spokesman, Dr Alfred Mutua, said the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission and other government agencies have been asked to establish the truth regarding the illegal maize trade. Mutua said the findings will be made public and appropriate action taken once the investigations are complete. On Monday, the maize importation saga intensified with the Parliamentary committee on Agriculture accusing the ministry of agriculture and the office of the prime minister of engaging in dubious dealings in the importation of cereals. In a press conference, the committee led by Kaloleni MP Kambi Kazungu alleged that millions of maize bags imported by the government have disappeared in unclear circumstances. It is alleged that millions of maize bags imported by the government have disappeared in unclear circumstances. Also close to 100,000 bags of maize have been reported unaccounted for in a transaction involving the National cereals and produce board and millers contracted by the government to process subsidized maize flour. The press conference attended by three committee members and three other MPs, accused the Prime Minister of blocking the introduction of a second container terminal at the Port of Mombasa to allegedly enable his acquaintance to enjoy monopoly. This they claim has provided an avenue to lose over 70 % of imported grain. The committee is now calling on president Kibaki to appoint an independent body to undertake importation of grain. With 10 million Kenyans are currently facing starvation there has been an outcry that maize imported by the government to remedy the situation is insufficient to alleviate looming hunger.
Close to 10 million Kenyans are currently facing starvation
Nairobi, Tuesday 13th January, 2009. Police Tuesday Morning foiled an attempted bank robbery at the Moi Avenue Standard Chartered bank in Nairobi. The bank siege drama at the bank ended without major incidence. Police had secured the building since 8.30 am this morning after receiving reports that a robbery involving six heavily armed gangsters was in progress. Nairobi residents were caught unawares when the suspected robbers tried to rob the bank. Police reacted swiftly and surrounded the building with the said robbers still inside. The evacuation of bank employees went on well and subsequently heavily armed police officers stormed the premises to flush out the six robbers. After several hours of intensive search, Central police deputy OCPD Richard Muguai declared the building safe saying the police had combed all the floors but didn't find the robbers Police are however holding a security guard from the bank to assist in the investigations. The incident had attracted a huge crowd of curious onlookers who milled around the scene to witness the early morning drama.
Sent to Mr. Seed to fix it on the website on Saturday 10th January, 2009
Greetings to you all and your family, in the name of the Lord.
Am seeking help in 2 areas;
1. SCHOOL FEES.
We have many kids around here who have qualified to join High School, but they will NOT join, unless there is DIVINE INTERVENTION. They come to me every day, every hour----my answer always NO. They go away crying-----this makes me sad. I belief those tears have reached Heaven, the Throne of God.
Can someone help, for God's sake?
If these kids join Day Schools which is almost free, funds required will be £100 per year. This money will cover SCHOOL MEALS and UNIFORM.
Any person wishing to help may get in touch with me, and send money by WESTERN UNION or MONEY GRAM. I will connect him/her with the kid so that they can be communicating. This money can be paid in instalments.
2. HUNGER RELIEF.
We have many families here who have absolutely nothing to eat, and are on the way to Starvation. They come to New Hope, but I have no food to give them. Some kids fail to attend school because they did not eat anything last night!!!! I have witnessed some mothers who lock their homes around lunch time, when kids come from school, house locked----- mum must have gone to look for food. Can somebody help, for God's sake? About £20 will feed 1 family for 1 month-----just with basics. I will let you know the family I have supported.
Mr Seed, please put this information in your website. I believe God will touch his own - even one person.
This will be better than if I kept quiet. We at New Hope cannot do much, as our burden is heavy.
Anne Chege – New Orphans Children’s Home, Kenya
Tel: 0720240585 or 0738454341 – email - firstname.lastname@example.org
You can deposit your help in our UK account and we can be able to withdraw it from Kenya. Barclays Bank, Account No. 20984698, Sort Code 209260, Account name: Ann G. Chege then notified us through email or telephone.
UPDATES OF NEW HOPE ORPHAN CHILDREN’S HOME
We have a total of 160 children: 120 who are resident at the Home, and another 40 whom we cater for externally by way of we paying school fees and sometimes clothing.
30 children are in High School, 4 in Nursery, while the rest in Primary school.
3 children have completed University education, courtesy of Calvary Charismatic Baptist Church . 7 are currently studying at the University, while 3 others will enroll in January 2009 – also courtesy Calvary Charismatic Baptist Church .
Recently we were blessed to have running Water and Electricity at New Hope . These have improved out lives a great deal !!!
We have 30 impoverished grandmothers who come to New Hope for foodstuffs every Sunday. They live in makeshift huts along the railway line and by the roadsides.
Fortunately last June, some employees of Barclays Bank UK purchased 1 acre of land for these grandmas, not too far from New Hope . We have subdivided this land and have begun putting up houses for 12 grandmothers. The project is planned to be completed end of February 2009.
The high cost of food has been challenging, and continues to be a defying factor in our operation. We appeal for support of any kind from well-wishers.
We may be reached thus:
Tel. (254) 720 240 585 or (254) 738 454 341
I wish to sincerely thank all of you who give us monthly support; may the Lord richly bless you. It is these tiny drops that have filled the ocean. You are surely planting on fertile ground.
Policy change on certain judicial reviews
09 January 2009
New policy on judicial reviews that challenge removals
A new policy on handling legal challenges to us removing people from the United Kingdom (judicial review challenges) will come into effect on 30 January. This will help us establish a swift end-to-end process for concluding asylum cases and deporting foreign national prisoners. This will affect the cases of people who make another application for judicial review (JR) within three months of a judge refusing permission on a previous JR application, particularly where the first claim has been found to be clearly without merit or where a case has been withdrawn or otherwise concluded. Under our current policy, we automatically stop work on removing that person from the United Kingdom while the new application is going through the courts. From 30 January we will no longer automatically suspend removal, particularly where the first claim has been found to be clearly without merit. It will only affect cases where the claimant has raised:
the same or virtually identical grounds; or
grounds that could reasonably have been raised previously at the judicial review.
In these circumstances we are unlikely to suspend removal on receipt of a judicial review challenge. People affected by this policy will need to obtain an injunction to prevent removal taking place, and we will ensure they are told they need to do this. The revised policy aims to deter claims that are designed simply to disrupt the removal process and to ensure that claimants do not benefit in any way by lodging a weak claim.
Mr Yagnesh Devani (second right) with from left Prime Minister Raila Odinga, former Vice-President Moody Awori and Deputy PM Uhuru Kenyatta when Triton company launched its operations in Kenya in 2006. The man whose extradition is being sought by the Government in connection with the Sh7.6 billion oil scandal is a 43-year-old businessman whose ambition was to join the elite club of the richest people in the world. Mr Yagnesh Devani (left) told friends that he aspired to emulate the achievements of the Reliance brothers, an Indian family with interest in petrochemical industries under the trading name Reliance Industries, with a fortune estimated to be $49 billion (about Sh3.7 trillion). But on Tuesday, Energy minister Kiraitu Murungi said the Government had sought Interpol’s help to have Mr Devani, together with other directors of Triton Petroleum Company arrested over the scandal.
US tightens entry rules for travellers from Europe, Japan
04 June 2008, 09:53 CET
(WASHINGTON) - Travelers from Japan and Western Europe will face tighter restrictions on coming to the United States beginning in January, according to new rules unveiled Tuesday by the US government. Tourists and business travelers from the 27 countries currently listed under the visa waiver program will have to register with the US government three days in advance, the Department of Homeland Security said. The new rules aim to make it more difficult for potential terrorists to enter the United States from places such as France, Germany, Switzerland, Britain, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, Singapore, New Zealand, Japan and Australia, the government said. However, critics have raised concerns about the possibility of reduced tourism and difficulties with last-minute business travel.
"Getting this information in advance enables our frontline personnel to determine whether a visa-free traveler presents a threat, before boarding an aircraft or arriving on our shores," said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. "It is a relatively simple and effective way to strengthen our security, and that of international travelers, while helping to preserve an important program for key allies." The government will ask for the same information that travelers currently fill out on the I-94 card which is handed out on the plane and turned in to customs on arrival in the United States, a DHS official told AFP. That includes such information as passport number, country of residence, disclosure of communicable diseases or involvement in terror activities.
Travelers may register with the US government beginning in August, and the information will remain valid for a maximum of two years so it is not necessary to repeat the same process in that time period. Once the regulations become mandatory in January 2009, all US-bound travelers from the countries affected "will need to receive an electronic travel authorization prior to boarding a US-bound airplane or cruise ship," it said. Under the new program, known as the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), travelers will have to apply for authorization on the Internet at a US government website, or through their travel agent.
EU Justice Commissioner Jacques Barrot wants to establish whether the system would amount to a de-facto visa, and has asked Chertoff by phone for "more information in detail and for documents so they could be studied," a spokesman said in Brussels. "We have to see what data the Americans are going to ask for, how they plan to manage and use them." The website, https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/, will accept applications beginning August 1 and "will employ technology to prevent unauthorized access to the information entered and viewed." "Access to such information is limited to those with a professional need to know," the DHS said on its website.
If a traveler is denied ESTA authorization, the alternative is to apply for a nonimmigrant visa at a US embassy or consulate, and accommodations will be made for last-minute and emergency travel, DHS said. ESTA was called for under the "implementing recommendations" of the 9/11 Commission Act in 2007, DHS said, which resulted from an internal probe of the circumstances surrounding the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.
The ESTA rules do not affect US travelers heading overseas. Asked if the United States would oppose a reciprocal policy imposed on American citizens traveling to Europe, State Department Sean McCormack said Washington would have no objections. "The European Commission has discussed publicly creating its own electronic travel authorization system and we would not oppose the creation of such a system," he said.
The visa waiver program was created in 1986 "with the objective of eliminating unnecessary barriers to travel, stimulating the tourism industry," according to the State Department website. The Travel Industry Association told AFP that the new program "is good for travelers," but noted "the travel community believes a significant and expansive communications effort is needed to fully explain this new system to our friends" in affected countries.
From Monday, January 12, millions of visitors travelling to the United States need to provide personal details online before departure. The new Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) applies to people travelling to the United States for leisure or business trips of less than 90 days on the Visa Waiver Program. Travellers are urged to apply online on the US Department of Homeland Security website as soon as they start planning their journey and 72 hours before their flight at the latest. Visitors need to supply details such as biological data, their flight number, destination address and the answers to a list of security related questions. The new online system replaces the old green forms that passengers used to complete during their flights. More than 15 million travellers from Great Britain and Western Europe enter the US on the Visa Waiver scheme every year. An ESTA is valid for multiple entries for up to two years or until the applicant’s passport expires, whichever comes first. If approval is denied, the passenger will need to apply for a visa. There is currently no charge for an ESTA application via the US government website.
New US entry rules for travellers starts
January 12, 2009
Starting today, travellers from 35 countries, including Australia, must request authorisation online to enter the United States, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said on Friday. The Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) has been applicable since August last year, but will become compulsory from January 12 for applicable European countries, Japan, South Korea, Brunei, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.
These countries are currently exempt from visa requirements to enter the United States for short visits under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). The new program will keep travel to the United States "visa free" for travellers from VWP countries, the DHS said. Instead of travellers filling out paper I-94 visa waiver cards en route to the United States, the new measure requires online registration.
It is a "free service, the approval comes back very quickly ... it is almost immediate," said DHS spokeswoman Kathleen Kraninger. Once approved, the waiver is valid for years, she added. Travellers who fail to fill out the online form "might be delayed at the border", Kraninger said. The new measure is among the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, which sought to promote laws tightening border security in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
The DHS recommends that applications be submitted as soon as an applicant begins making travel plans. Upon authorisation, travellers can enter the United States for 90 days for business or pleasure. Instructions on how to obtain travel authorisation are available on the website in 22 languages, including English, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Portuguese, Slovene, Spanish and Swedish.
Land earmarked for the construction of Heathrow's third runway has been bought by anti-expansion protesters. Land the size of a football pitch near Sipson village - which would lose hundreds of homes in the expansion - was bought by a Greenpeace coalition. They have pledged not to sell the land to the government or BAA if the airport expansion gets the go-ahead. Greenpeace director John Sauven said: "We've thrown a massive spanner in the engine driving Heathrow expansion." The campaigners - including actress Emma Thompson, Tory front bench spokeswoman Justine Greening, Lib Dem MP Susan Kramer and impressionist Alistair McGowan - bought the land for an undisclosed fee. They say plans to increase flights at the airport from 480,000 to 720,000 would create unacceptable noise and pollution. But the airport industry, business and union leaders say Heathrow's expansion is vital for the British economy's long-term competiveness. Supporters also say work on the runway could create up to 65,000 jobs. The government is due to rule on the plans this week. Ms Thompson said: "I don't understand how any government remotely serious about committing to reversing climate change can even consider these ridiculous plans. "It's laughably hypocritical. That's why we've bought a plot on the runway. "We'll stop this from happening even if we have to move in and plant vegetables." Protesters have written the words "our climate - our land" on the plot. Mr Sauven said: "The legal owners of the site will block the runway at every stage through the planning process and in the courts."
YES, I AM FROM KENYA
Dear Mr. Seed, I have 3 Barrack Obama inauguration tickets and actually selling two of them. If you traveling to the inauguration or intends to and you need a ticket email me. These tickets are going for USD15000 (yes, over Kshs 1 million) on ebay.com but I’m willing to negotiate. Good for those Kenyan Minister who are coming to DC without an invitation. These are the hottest tickets in town and everyone is looking for one. - 13th January, 2009.
China to Build hospital in Nairobi
Written By:PPS , Posted: Tue, Jan 13, 2009
President Mwai Kibaki has hailed the government of the People's Republic of China for the willingness to build a hospital in the Eastland's part of Nairobi. The President noted that the hospital would go a long way in de-congesting Kenyatta National Hospital . The Head of State said the hospital would serve as a modern anti-malarial center and effectively serve the densely populated eastern parts of the city. The President made the remarks when he met the Chinese Minister for Commerce Hon Chen Deming at his Harambee House office. The President also thanked the government of China for providing Kshs 380 million shillings for the upgrading of Kakamega, Nyamira, Nyeri and Malindi Hospitals. During the discussions President Kibaki briefed the Minister on the achievements of the grand coalition government and appreciated the support accorded to his government by China . President Kibaki expressed the commitment of his government to rehabilitating and expanding the existing infrastructure particularly the construction of new roads network. The President especially thanked the Government of the People's Republic of China for providing funds for the construction of several by-passes to the tune of 145 million dollars. The by-passes are: Nairobi Southern by-pass- cost $ US -56 million, Nairobi Northern by-pass- cost $ US- 35 million, Nairobi Eastern by-pass- cost $ US 42 million and Nairobi link roads- cost $US 15.4 million This is aimed at decongesting Nairobi City while at the same time promoting development of the peri-urban areas.
The government of China is also rehabilitating the JKIA-Uhuru Highway-UNEP road. Through the Chinese Minister of Commerce President Kibaki invited Chinese companies to invest in Kenya 's Export processing Zones, noting that Kenya was the gateway to the wider East and central African region. President Kibaki also encouraged the government of China to establish the regional offices of the China-Africa Fund (CadFund) in Nairobi. The purpose of the fund is to encourage Chinese entrepreneurs to invest in Africa. On his part Hon Deming hailed the consolidation and expansion of the existing cordial relations between the two countries. He particularly hailed the exchange of high level visits and growing interaction of people between the two nations as evidenced by the introduction of direct flights by Kenya Airways between two major Chinese cities, Guangshou and Hong Kong and Nairobi. The talks were attended by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister Trade Uhuru Kenyatta, acting Finance Minister John Michuki, Internal Security Minister Prof George Saitoti, Energy Minister Kiraitu Murungi, Information and Communications Minister Samuel Poghisio and assistant minister for Foreign Affairs Richard Onyonka. Also in attendance were Head of Civil Service and Secretary to the Cabinet Amb Francis Muthaura and several other permanent secretaries. On his part the minister was accompanied by Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Mr Zhang Ming, Mr Shou Yabin, Director-General Department of Western Asia and African Affairs among other senior officials from the Ministry of Commerce.
A little girl was talking to her teacher about whales. The teacher said it was physically impossible for a whale to swallow a human because even though a whale is a very large mammal, its throat is very small. The little girl stated that Jonah was swallowed by a whale. The teacher reiterated that a whale could not swallow a human, it was impossible. The little girl said, "When I get to heaven I will ask Jonah".
The teacher asked, "What if Jonah went to hell?"
The little girl replied, "Then you ask him!"
Sent by Mrs. Mary Munyambu – Basingdon, UK
Kenyan Nurse admits raping disabled boy
A male nurse will serve at least 10 years in a state prison after admitting in Bucks County court in Doylestown Tuesday that he raped a severely disabled 14-year-old boy. Fred Magondu, 36, a Kenyan national who lives in Philadelphia, pleaded guilty before county Judge Jeffrey Finley to charges of rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and related counts. Groans erupted in the courtroom audience as prosecutor Monica Furber outlined the graphic details of the crime. Magondu was arrested in June following an investigation into an April 30 incident that began when police where summoned to Council Rock Middle School by a nurse who was caring for the victim, who has cerebral palsy and other ailments and is unable to speak. The boy was taken to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia where doctors found injuries consistent with him being raped. Investigators turned their attention to Magondu, the home care nurse who had been alone with the boy on the morning of the rape. Magondu, who worked for Harleysville Pediatrics, was in charge of dressing the boy and putting him on the school bus.
Police say Magondu initially denied sexually assaulting the boy, claiming he had noticed the child was bleeding but thought it was because of an ongoing physical problem. Tests later showed Magondu’s DNA on the child and his bed sheets and the suspect confessed, prosecutors said. In court Tuesday, Magondu hung his head as he stood before the judge. He did not testify. The hearing was delayed for nearly an hour because Magondu at first refused to admit to all the charges. After meeting outside the courtroom with his attorney, John Fioravanti, Magondu entered the plea. The boy’s father was in the courtroom but did not make a statement. The victim’s parents will get a chance to address the judge in about 90 days, when Magondu is sentenced. As a convicted sex offender, Magondu will be registered under Megan’s Law for at least 10 years. If he is determined to be a sexually violent predator, he’ll be subject to lifetime supervision and community notification. Magondu is a married father of three who has been a nurse since 2006. Before moving to Philadelphia in January 2008 he lived in Falls Township. He has no prior record. The charges Magondu pleaded guilty to carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years behind bars, although a judge could sentence him to as much as 45 years. Finley revoked Magondu’s bail after the hearing and sent him to the county prison to await sentencing. - Source- phillyburbs
Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has received the United States' highest civil award - the Medal of Freedom. A week before he leaves office, President George W Bush bestowed the honour on Mr Blair for his work to "improve the lives of citizens". The president praised Mr Blair and thanked him for his "staunch" support for the US after the attacks of 9/11.
Business leaders have painted a bleak picture of the UK economy, with a survey suggesting a "frightening deterioration" towards the end of 2008. The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC)said its survey results were "awful" and the worst since it began in 1989. Elsewhere, a separate report suggested it had been the worst December for UK retail sales in at least 14 years. On 23 January, official figures are set to confirm the UK is in recession with six months of negative growth. The British Retail Consortium figures on sales from the High Street and online said that like-for-like sales in December were down 3.3% on a year ago while total sales shrank 1.4%. This made for the worst December since the survey began in 1995. Some High Street retailers, including Sainsbury's and Greggs, have been reporting strong Christmas trading - suggesting that the economic picture is not yet entirely bleak. But food retailers were almost the only sector to show growth, the BRC said, amid what it described as "truly awful numbers". "Non-food retailers had a torrid December despite a blizzard of promotions and deals, which would have hit margins," the BRC's director general Stephen Robertson said. "Many hard-pressed customers couldn't be seduced into spending." The BCC report, based on a survey of almost 6,000 firms which employ 680,000 people, pointed to plunging domestic demand, falling exports and plummeting confidence in the last three months of 2008. "It is clear that the UK economy is facing a very serious recession, and the downturn is deepening at an alarming pace," said the BCC report based on a survey of almost 6,000 firms which employ 680,000 people. "The results highlight a frightening deterioration in the UK economic situation."
Its latest survey - which covered the last three months of 2008 - showed "no positive features" it added, with both the manufacturing and service sectors worsening. Manufacturing, home sales and orders, employment expectations, investment, confidence and cash-flow have all hit record lows. In the service sector, every key area was at a new low. BCC director general David Frost called for a national recovery plan to be "rolled out as soon as possible". "These are truly awful results with the scale and speed of the economic decline happening at an unprecedented rate. "Quite frankly the last time I saw anything of this magnitude of decline was when I worked in the west Midlands in the early 1980s," he said. "The sheer scale of this comes as a surprise to many of us." The BCC's chief economist David Kern said that he now expected the UK economy to shrink by up to 2.4% in 2009, rather than the 2.2% he had earlier forecast. "One must say that unfortunately in terms of GDP this recession is worse than in the 1990s," he said. But he added it was not worse than the 1980s so it was still possible "to avoid a prolonged depression." Last week the Bank of England cut the cost of borrowing from 2% to 1.5% - the lowest since the Bank was founded in 1694. Mr Kern said more rate cuts were likely, but that the authorities would have to go further to avoid a prolonged depression, including printing more money. "The MPC is running out of conventional bullets," he added. The suggestion that investment in factories and machinery was at record lows was particularly worrying, said Ross Walker, chief UK economist at Royal Bank of Scotland. This indicated that private sector firms would see their capacity for recovery hindered when the UK came out of economic crisis he said.
London, Monday 12th January, 2009. The body of a Somali pirate who reportedly drowned soon after receiving a huge ransom has washed ashore with $153,000 in cash, his uncle says. The man was one of a group of pirates who seized the Saudi supertanker Sirius Star in November. They reportedly received $3m (£1.95m) for freeing the tanker but five were said to have drowned after fleeing. A relative of the drowned pirate told the BBC the family was now trying to dry out the recovered money. The pirates' boat capsized when they were hit by rough seas as they were heading back to their homes in central Somalia, the leader of the pirates told AFP. The pirates disembarked the Sirius Star on Friday, after a small plane was seen apparently dropping the ransom by parachute on to the tanker. A negotiator for the pirates told the BBC's reporter in Mogadishu by telephone that a $3m ransom had been paid shortly after the ship was released. The ship's owner has refused to comment. The tanker had been held for nearly two months off the coast of Somalia, near the town of Harardhere. Eyewitnesses in the coastal town said five of the pirates had drowned while trying to make off with the loot. "One of them was discovered and they are still looking for the other ones," resident Omar Abdi Hassan told the BBC. The uncle of the pirate who washed ashore, Abukar Sheikh Hassan, told the BBC that the family had found $153,000 in a plastic bag in his pocket. He said some of the money was wet and the family was now trying to dry it out. Three pirates managed to survive, but lost their share of the ransom when swimming to shore, reports said. The drowned pirate was apparently the only one who managed to hold on to his share of the ransom. The Sirius Star was carrying $100m-worth of oil - a quarter of Saudi Arabia's daily output - when it was seized more than 450 nautical miles south-east of Kenya. There were more than 100 reported pirate attacks in the busy shipping lanes off eastern and northern Somalia in 2008. An international force headed by the US is due to be established by the end of the month to tackle the problem. On Friday, Kenya's port authorities said a fishing vessel had been attacked and three Indian crew kidnapped, Reuters reported. Pirates are still holding a Ukrainian cargo ship, the MV Faina, which was seized in late September carrying 33 tanks and other weaponry.
A parachute apparently carrying a ransom floats down to the MV Sirius Star after being dropped by a small aircraft. Photo: David B. Hudson /U.S. Navy via Getty Images
WORST OF THE WEEK: "Mr. Seed, how come you never informed me that my dad passed away in Kenya?" - A Kenyan living in the UK - and its is true - through telephone conversation on 11th January, 2009
Six MPs who will travel to Washington, DC, will not witness the installation of US President-elect Barack Obama. The team, to be led by Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula, will be restricted only to side events, as they have no official invitation. Addressing the Press at his office on Monday, Wetangula said the MPs would only attend the African bash, organised by African diplomats in Washington. "At the official installation, the US State Department has invited the Kenyan envoy to Washington, Peter Rateng’ Ogego and his wife, that is the tradition, and we appreciate it," he said. Medical Service Minister Anyang’ Nyong’o, Sports Minister Helen Sambili and Tourism Minister Najib Balala are part of the Kenyan delegation. Others are Deputy Speaker Farah Maalim, and MPs Hassan Joho (Kisauni) and Eugene Wamalwa (Saboti). Wetangula, however, said ministers trip would be funded by their ministries, while MPs would be funded by Parliament. Prof Nyong’o and Wetangula were due to leave the country on Sunday night 11th January, 2009 for another official trip in Cuba, before crossing to the US.
As the saying goes, "kuingia ni rahisi, kutoka ni matanga" lakini Bibi na Bwana Mbegu waliingia na wakatoka - walikuwa wameadamana na cousin wao Bwana George Kamau na Bibi yake Esther Mwirigi kutoka Kangari, Kigumo, Muranga, Kenya. Ilikua mara yao ya kwanza kwenda pwani - kwa hivyo walikua wanauliza Bwana Mbegu njia. The Seeds also visited their cousin in Kilifi - Dr. Njiiri and family (right) who owns a hospital in Kilifi. Our appreciation goes to Dr. Njiiri and his family for their hospitality during out visit to the coast last December.
In 1666, the British physicist Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727) discovered gravity. He was quietly thinking when he witnessed an apple fall from a tree and consequently worked out three laws explaining the force of gravity on objects. These laws became the foundation of classical mechanics.
Maize imports: Raila and Ruto accused of shady deals
Written By:Kendagor Obadiah , Posted: Mon, Jan 12, 2009
The maize importation saga intensified Monday 12th January, 2009 with the Parliamentary committee on Agriculture accusing the Ministry of agriculture and the office of the Prime Minister for engaging in dubious dealings in the importation of cereals. They say this has led to loss of millions of bags of maize hence insufficient food in the country. In a press conference, the committee led by Kaloleni MP Kambi Kazungu now wants the president to appoint an independent body to oversee the importation of maize. It is alleged that millions of maize bags imported by the government have disappeared in unclear circumstances. Also close to 100,000 bags of maize have been reported unaccounted for in a transaction involving the National cereals and produce board and millers contracted by the government to process subsidized maize flour. The press conference attended by three committee members and three other MPs, accused the Prime Minister of blocking the introduction of a second container terminal at the Port of Mombasa to allegedly enable his acquaintance to enjoy monopoly. This they claim has provided an avenue to lose over 70 % of imported grain. The committee is now calling on president Kibaki to appoint an independent body to undertake importation of grain. With 10 million Kenyans are currently facing starvation there has been an outcry that maize imported by the government to remedy the situation is insufficient to alleviate looming hunger.
A Kenyan man passed away at at Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, UK - More details later
250,000 tickets have already been printed for the January inauguration of Barack Obama. And getting a glimpse of the historic event has some people digging deep in their pockets. It's the hottest ticket in town - the 2009 Presidential Inauguration. The tickets are supposed to be free, but huge demand has turned what's traditionally a giveaway into big online business. Site after site on the internet promises a view of Barack Obama being sworn in as the next president, for up to $20,000. The problem is, the brokers who are selling them, don't even have the tickets. "There are no tickets available now," said Howard Gantman, the senate staffer in charge of organizing the big event. "The tickets will be distributed less than a week before the event." - VIDEO
Kenyans achievers in the UK to be awarded
Ask any Kenyan their thoughts about the United Kingdom and the first thing they will talk about is the chilly weather. But being the tough cookies and driven by resilience and determination, they withstand the cold and achieve a lot in very difficult circumstances.
When they come out victorious in these conditions and fly the Kenyan flag high and in weather conditions only found at the peak of Mt. Kenya, they find that perhaps not many people from their own community are present to sing, dance and ululate with them. Not many either from kith and kin come to witness the tears of joy run down their cold chicks.
Why celebrate almost alone in a victory that lifts the name of Kenya high? Nothing personal, but in most cases brothers and sisters do not have a clue what’s happening and where. However, this will change because for the first time in our history in the land of cold, London2gether Ltd in conjunction with Kenya High Commission in London are presenting to you, UK-KENYAN ACHIEVERS AWARDS 2008/2009.
This will take place on 18th April 2009 at Holiday Inn Bloomsbury, Coram Street, London WC1N 1HT. London2gether and the Kenya High Commission is calling on Kenyans to nominate and vote for the Kenyans in the UK who have done so much for the community or who have excelled in their chosen careers. This means people whose activities make you and me say, “Najivunia kua Mkenya”. To nominate or vote for individuals in different profession, charities, businessmen or women, visit www.london2gether.com and click UK Kenyan achievers’ awards. Given that the dinner dance venue will hold 220 guests, just hurry up and get your ticket before they are all gone. Winners will be announced on 18th April 2009 during the event that will take place between 6pm –2 am.
There will be huge Kenyan style three course buffet, half a bottle of wine pp, live music by Kenyan artist, Kenyan comedian, fashion show by Kenyan designer and much more. You really don’t want to miss this event!!!!! Tickets cost £48 pp or £90 per couple.
Also present will be prominent people from both UK and Kenya. It will be a knight of entertainment, fun, networking and above all, A KNIGHT TO REMEMBER!!! Just be there. You can also nominate your candidate in the UK through email@example.com
KENYANS IN THE US – HERE WE COME!
Similar event to take place for Kenyans in the USA to be held on 17th of October, 2009 in Dallas. You can start nominating your candidates in USA through firstname.lastname@example.org
A magazine covering the event and the winners will be on sale on that day. To book for an advertisement please contact 07949142013 or email@example.com
Death announcement of the late Mwalimu Karanja (well known as Mwaga Shama) of Mununga Village, Kinyona, Murang'a, Kenya. He is son of William Mituki and Brother to Crest Kirigwi Mituki of USA. Mwalimi Karanja passed away after a long illness and he was buried on Saturday 3rd January, 2009 at Mununga, Kinyona, Muranga. Mwalimu Karanja was a teacher of Mr. Seed from 1967 to 1970.
Somewea is DC---Maryland, USA
Thousands of redundancies announced
London, Monday 12th January, 2009. Thousands of fresh redundancies have been announced as the Prime Minister hosted a jobs summit aimed at helping the growing army of unemployed. Gordon Brown pledged that people thrown out of work would not be "abandoned" by the Government. He announced a series of measures, including a so-called "golden hello" of £2,500 for firms recruiting people unemployed for more than six months, extra apprenticeships and "intensive" support aimed at helping up to 500,000 people over the next two years. But the relentless toll of redundancies, which is cutting deeper into British industry by the day, continued with almost 700 job cuts at heavy machinery giant JCB, almost 1,000 at logistics firm Wincanton and almost 400 at troubled china and crystal maker Waterford Wedgwood. A further 420 jobs were under threat at Findus frozen food firm Newcastle Productions after the firm went into administration, while there were fears for the future of 1,000 jobs at furniture retailer Land of Leather after the company suspended its shares. Hull-based Honda dealership deVries, which employs 130 workers, said it had appointed receivers after being hit by a fall in sales. Meanwhile, leading auction house Christie's, which employs 2,100 staff around the world, announced a reorganisation expected to lead to job cuts. However, supermarket Morrisons gave a boost to Gordon Brown's jobs summit by flagging up plans to create 5,000 jobs this year. Rival Sainsbury's also said at its Christmas trading update last week that the group would create 4,000 jobs this year. And Iceland bought 51 stores from the administrators of collapsed retailer Woolworths last Friday with plans to create 2,500 jobs. The Prime Minister told an audience of 150 business, union and voluntary sector leaders at the jobs summit that the Government aimed to help 500,000 people into work or work-focused training over the next two years. "We will do everything we can to prevent the global recession turning into a global depression, prevent short-term unemployment turning into long-term unemployment, and to prevent losing your job meaning losing your home. My message is simple - we won't give up on you, but in turn you must not give up on work, on skills and on training."
Bishop John Gichiri of Victory Revival Christian Centre, UK has lost his brother back in Kenya the late beloved Brother in Christ Peter Gichimu, which occurred due to Road Accident at Nairobi, Kasarani in Kenya on Saturday 10th January, 2009. Peter Gichimu is the Son of the late Samuel Gichiri Nganag and Mary Waithira of Huriangu, Gatiiguru, Kibichoi, Githunguri Division. Husband to Tabitha Mukami, Father to Ruth, Mary , Rebeca and Rachel. Brother to Bishop John Gichiri, the General Overseer of Victory Revival Christian Centre (UK); Brother in law to Margaret Kingaru. Funeral/burial at home Huriangu Gatiiguru Village, Kibichoi on Tuesday 20th January 2009 at 11:00 am Family and Friends are meeting daily for prayers at Apollo Hotel from Monday to Wednesday. 243-247 Hagley Road, Edgbaston - Birmingham at 5:45 p.m. to 8:00 pm. Contact: Pastor Margaret 07737076552 or Rev Francis Maina 07979911434 and on Heston Community Centre in our place of worship from Tuesday 6:30 to 9:00p.m. Daily. Vicarage Farm Road, Heston, Hounslow, London TW5 0EE. Contact: Pastor Francis Mwangi – 07782168074 or Daniel Wachira 07930314547. Contribution to assist with the funeral arrangements can be made through Nationwide Bank, Account number 74285426 Sort cod 07-00-30.
MR NELSON NJOROGE’S TREATMENT PROGRESS.
The Chairman and the Organising Committee of Mr Nelson Njoroge’s Medical Fund and the family of Mr & Mrs Nelson Njoroge, would like, once again, to thank all their friends and the well wishers who, in one way or another, have supported them so far towards their fund raising to facilitate Nelson’s treatment.
Mr Njoroge was scheduled to travel to Pune, India for private treatment and all the relevant arrangements had been done. However, the trip was abruptly cancelled due to the violence that erupted in India following the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India. During this time he was still undergoing pain management treatment.
Alternative treatment arrangements were later made for Mr Njoroge to travel to Nairobi, Kenya and is scheduled to leave today, Monday, 12th January 2009.
The Committee and the family requests for prayers as they travel, and as Nelson start his treatment in Nairobi, Kenya.
For any follow up on treatment progress, please contact the Committee’s Chairman, Mr Joe Mwai on 07949920187 or Pastor Isaac on 07903160101. Nelson’s
God bless you all.
Nelson’s Medical Fund Organising Committee – 12th January, 2009.
Two watersports enthusiasts have seen off shark attacks by punching the mighty fish in their jaws, while a third escaped to shore with a deep gash in his leg. Steven Foggarty boxed clever after being attacked in a lake near Sydney, Australia, on Monday. 'I turned and started swinging. I think I got one on him,' he said. The 24-year-old suffered 40 wounds to his leg. Bleeding heavily, he flagged down a boat and was taken to hospital. On Sunday, a surfer hit a 5m-long (16ft) shark in the head to rescue his surfer cousin, who had been bitten on the leg and dragged under water off Tasmania. Syb Mundy, 20, put Hannah Mighall, 13, on his own board and paddled to shore. He said hitting the shark was like 'hitting a brick wall'. He added: 'It was the length of a car – a monster.' On the same day in the north, surfer Jono Beard, 31, survived a shark bite, paddling to shore with a 40cm (16in) gash on his leg. He had been watching dolphins. There have been just 60 fatal attacks in Australia in the past 50 years.
An ice-skating star's baby has been born two days after she collapsed and died from a brain haemorrhage, a hospital has confirmed. Doctors at Oxford's John Radcliffe hospital kept Jayne Soliman's heart beating until they had delivered her baby daughter Aya Jayne on Friday. Baby Aya was born prematurely at 25 weeks by Caesarean section. She is now being cared for by doctors at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading. Although exceedingly rare, this is not the first time a baby has been kept alive in the womb of a dead mother. In 1999, a boy was born at Cabuenes hospital in Gijon, northern Spain, on New Year's Eve to a mother who had been clinically dead since mid-November. Ms Soliman, 41 and a former member of the Ice Dance and Figure Skating Club in Southampton, Hants, competed in numerous international galas before taking up free skating professionally. In 1989 she was both British champion and number seven in the world for professional free skating. The National Ice Skating Association website pays tribute to Jayne saying she was a long standing a very popular member of the Southampton Ice Dance & Figure Skating Club.
A leading British businessman today warned that the bank lending famine risks "irreparable damage" to the economy. In the bleakest assessment of prospects yet from a senior figure in industry, JCB boss Matthew Taylor said he was having to lay off almost 700 workers. This was as a direct result of the high street banks' failure to provide credit to his customers, he said. The head of one of Britain's biggest exporters warned that the Government's bank bail-out had made no difference to the "unprecedented situation". On a grim day for the economy when almost 4,000 workers learned their jobs face the axe, Mr Taylor said there was no sign of the recession bottoming out. Mr Taylor said that he had hoped for an upturn in orders because of Mr Brown's £37billion bank recapitalisation and increased public spending.
Washington, Monday 12th January, 2009. (Reuters) - The incoming Obama administration sought from Congress the remaining $350 billion of the $700 billion financial industry bailout, promising more Americans would benefit directly and stricter limits would be imposed on companies getting government help. The pledges sought to address reservations by President-elect Barack Obama's fellow Democrats, who control both houses in Congress and have been critical of the Bush administration's handling of the funds so far. They have been reluctant to release the second half of the bailout package without those conditions. Earlier on Monday, Obama asked President George W. Bush to seek access to the remaining half of the financial bailout and Bush, who leaves office in eight days, agreed to do so, the White House said. Obama will direct his team to ensure that aid gets to smaller banks, businesses and municipalities as well as helping Americans buy a car or get a college loan, Lawrence Summers, Obama's incoming director of the White House National Economic Council, said in a letter to congressional leaders. "Those are changes the American people are demanding and those are the changes that President-elect Obama is committed to making happen," he told House and Senate Democratic and Republican leaders in the letter. Summers said Obama would also commit to a fuller accounting of the $700 billion program and place stricter limits on dividends issued by companies getting the aid, and compensation paid to chief executives. The massive bailout was approved last October to bolster the financial industry as it reeled under the stress of toxic mortgage-related assets and credit dried up, delivering a huge punch to the overall economy. The request for the release of the funds was made now because Obama wants to "hit the ground running on day one," an Obama official said. To get access to the remaining $350 billion, the president must tell lawmakers he intends to tap the funds and Congress would have 15 days to consider the disbursement. "We will continue our consultations with the president-elect's transition team, and with Congress, on how best to proceed in accordance with the requirements of the statute," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said.
Get ready for the in-law in chief. President-elect Barack Obama's mother-in-law, Marian Robinson, is moving into the White House at least temporarily to join Michelle Obama and the two children, transition officials said Friday. That's good news not just for late-night comics, but for 10-year-old Malia and 7-year-old Sasha. During the campaign, Robinson retired from her job as a bank executive secretary to help care for her granddaughters. - VIDEO
It has been a Dark December 2008 for Kenyan Couple in Sheffield, UK. Looking frail but still managing to smile, Sophie George and James Munio are grieving parents, who three weeks on, are still waiting to bury their beloved son Ricardo Albert Munio (two and half year-old) who died under mysterious circumstances on the 11th of December 2008. The body of Ricardo Munio is lying at the Sheffield children’s hospital in Yorkshire where Police took it for a post-mortem to verify the exact circumstances of his death. The grieving family who sat through Christmas and New Year festivities not knowing when the body will be released to them for burial told KLN that it has been a very trying time. A tearful Sophie, mother to the deceased narrated her ordeal from the time she found her baby boy struggling to breathe following an apparent seizure, “My mind went blank, I grabbed the phone and called Emergency services and I was literally screaming down the line asking them to come and save my baby.” At the time the father James Munio (popularly known by his mates as Crucial) was at work when it happened. He rushed to the Hospital only to find his son had been pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. What followed sounds like an extract from a movie as the couple were consequently arrested and their home sealed-off as Police forensics combed the place to establish whether there had been any foul play in the death of boy. They were later released but the body was transferred to the Sheffield Children’s hospital where it still lies under the charge of the Area Coroner.
Ricardo Albert Munio (two and half years) died on the 11th December 2008. Burial date still unknown on left and on right Sophie George and James Munio , Dad, (popularly known as Krucial), devastated beyond words.
James told KLN; “We are not sure what is being done, or why it has taken so long to establish the circumstance s of our son’s death. It is difficult for us, just sitting here and waiting not knowing when we shall be able to lay him to rest. It is agony.” Apparently the body will only be released when the Police have concluded their investigations into the circumstance surrounding the boy’s death. Several people have been interviewed in connection with the death including Sophie’s elder son Shaquille George who is currently being taken care of by Social Services. The Police interest in the case comes in the wake of headline cases involving parental abuse of children like that of Baby P in Hackney, London, and the stage managed abduction of Sharon Mathews in Yorkshire. Meanwhile James Munio and Sophie George have announced the untimely death of their beloved son Ricardo Albert Munto on the 11th December 2008. He was brother to Shaquille George, grandson to Albert and Nancy Njoki Munto Kirutho of Limuru, Kenya. He was also grandson to Miriam Kwamboka of Kisii Kenya. Nephew to Caroline Mweru, Elizabeth Njoki, Pamela, Samuel Gitau, Peter Wokabi, Kepta Nyarangi and Julius Mayaka. The Kenyan community in Leeds has rallied around the family and have called on the authorities to speed up their investigations so the family can be allowed to grieve. The residents have been meeting at James and Sophie’s house for prayers and moral support. The couple told KLN they will announce the burial date and place as soon as they get clearance from the authorities. - By topi lyambila
The Principal Counsel at the Kenya High Commission in London, recently retired from his position as Deputy High Commissioner was on Friday night put on a plane back to Nairobi after arriving back from a Christmas break at home. Knowledgeable Government sources revealed to KLN that Dr. Abel Kenyoru, who had officially retired at the end of October last year was still holding Office at Portland Place before visiting Kenya after Christmas. He was returning to the UK to sort out his matters before taking up his new role outside the Diplomatic Sector. The source told KLN that Dr. Kenyoru's Diplomatic status had been revoked on the advice of the Kenya Government. His successor, a Mr. Addison Chebukaka who has been in the UK since October but had yet to take up office, assumed duties on Monday 5th January 2009. Meanwhile Dr. Kenyoru arrived in Nairobi on Saturday morning breathing fire. He told our source that he feels the treatment he has received is not justified and intends to make an official complaint. There is a likelihood he may call a press conference to air his views. It is still unclear why the former Deputy High Commissioner was treated that way, as it was expected he would be allowed a grace period to sort out his stuff. Dr. Kenyoru has family with children in school here in the UK. - KLN News
A man who donated his kidney to his wife eight years ago now wants it back after she cheated on him and filed for divorce. Richard Batista from Long Island in New York, US, says he wants the organ back or £2.1mIllion ($1.5m).The surgeon gave his wife Dawnell the kidney in 2001 after two previous failed transplants. Dr Batista told the New York Daily News there is "no value you can put on an organ when it saves someone's life. There is no greater feeling on this planet. "He says he is only suing Dawnell to get her to act reasonably in the divorce case, claiming she is restricting access to their children, aged eight,11 and 14. Their relationship had been suffering due to the strain of his wife's medical issues, said Dr Batista. "My first priority was to save her life," he said. "The second bonus was to turn the marriage around. "But it did not work and four years later she filed for divorce. Arthur Caplan from the University of Pennsylvania's Centre for Bioethics said the likelihood of Dr Batista getting either his kidney or the money was completely impossible. Medical ethicist Robert Veatch from Georgetown University said it was illegal for an organ to be exchanged for anything of value. Organ donation is a gift which means you cannot legally get it back, he explained. "It's her kidney now and taking the kidney out would mean she would have to go on dialysis or it would kill her, "Mr Veatch said. He insisted no reputable surgeon would perform such a procedure and no court could compel someone to undergo an operation. - VIDEO
Dr. Richard Batista donated his kidney to his wife, Dawnell, in 2001.
Richard Batista can live with his broken heart. He just can't bear his cheating wife living with his healthy kidney.The Long Island doctor wants the one-time love of his life to pay $1.5 million for the organ he bestowed on her eight years ago in a gift meant to save her life and their foundering marriage. "There's no deeper pain you can ever express than to be betrayed by the person you devoted your life to," Batista told reporters in Garden City Wednesday. "I saved her life. But the pain is unbearable." Batista charged his wife, Dawnell, repaid his gesture by first sleeping with her physical therapist - and then denying him access to their three kids in an increasingly bitter divorce. Adding to his anguish, Batista insists his decision to donate his kidney in 2001 was in part a failed effort to rescue their troubled relationship. "My first priority was to save her life," the 49-year-old doctor said. "The second bonus was to turn our marriage around." Dawnell Batista survived. Their marriage lasted just another four years, with the wife filing for divorce in July 2005. The once-happy pair met two decades ago when he was a resident and she a training nurse at North Shore Hospital. They were married in August 1990, celebrating with a lavish Long Island reception, and were soon living in a $1 million Massapequa home. The couple shared the joy of three daughters, but Dawnell was battling kidney failure and the couple's relationship turned shaky. Her husband - a surgeon at Nassau University Medical Center - injected her three times a week with medication as part of her health care regime. Dawnell's health continued to deteriorate.
After two transplants failed, her husband volunteered to donate one of his kidneys - and discovered he was a match, a 1-in-700,000 shot. I was the first and only one to step to the plate," the doctor recalled. Without his donation, Dawnell faced a long wait: There are 6,748 people awaiting kidneys in New York State, the New York Organ Donor Network says. Successful surgery followed at a Minnesota hospital on June 28, 2001. Batista said he was looking forward to happier times with his now-healthy bride - but his hopes proved futile. "Nothing changed," he said. Dawnell Batista viewed the kidney as a new lease on life, too. She returned to school to earn a master's degree in nursing, and took up karate, her husband said. After an injury suffered while trying to earn her black belt, she began physical therapy - which evolved into an affair with her therapist, Batista said. "It put a hole in my heart that still exists," Batista said of his wife's disloyalty. "To this day, I'm a man of pride. To be betrayed that way, humiliated - I can't even began to say." Dawnell Batista was not at her home Wednesday. Her lawyer did not return a call for comment. Batista said the ongoing ugliness began on day one of their divorce. "She slapped me with divorce papers when I was in surgery trying to save another person's life," he fumed. The case was apparently the first of its kind in New York State. Julia Rivera of the New York Organ Donor Network said she never heard of anything similar. "This is extraordinary," the spokeswoman said. Batista insisted his cash-for-kidney claim was a direct result of his wife's behavior. He said he hasn't seen his three daughters - ages 14, 11 and 8 - in months. "This is my last resort," Batista said. "I didn't want to be in the public eye." Despite the animosity, Batista insisted he would donate the kidney all over again to his hopefully soon-to-be-ex. He fondly recalls a visit to her room on the day after surgery. "There was no greater feeling on this planet," he said. "As God is my witness, I felt as if I could put my arm around Jesus Christ. I was walking on a cloud."
Demonstrations were held across Europe in protest against Israel's action in Gaza. Thousands gathered for Britain's biggest pro-Palestine protest in London and on right protests also continued in the Middle East, as well as parts of Africa and Asia.
London, Saturday 10th January, 2009. A 51-year-old man has been charged with murder after a burning body was found by the side of a motorway, police said. Irshad Wali, of Crofton Road, Plaistow, east London, was due to appear at Stratford Magistrates' Court. The Metropolitan Police took over the investigation from Warwickshire Police following the grisly discovery of the corpse on an embankment beside the M45 near Dunchurch, Rugby, Warwickshire, on December 30. The victim's identity will not be released until all next of kin have been informed, police said. Detectives believe the victim was from east London and he was murdered there, before his body was taken to Warwickshire by car. The body was then dumped on the eastbound embankment of the M45 and set on fire, the Met said. A post-mortem examination found he died of head and neck injuries. Five other men were arrested in connection with the murder at a number of addresses in east London on Thursday. Police said a 46-year-old man has been bailed to return to an east London police station on Tuesday. The remaining four were released without charge.
The UK economy shrank by 1.5% in the last three months of 2008, its worst performance in 28 years, a think tank has concluded. The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) also warned the economic downturn was worsening. Its estimation comes two weeks ahead of the release of official statistics that will show if the UK is in recession. The think tank also said the government's estimates for growth this year and next were too optimistic. Official data showed the economy shrank 0.6% between July and September. The UK will formally be in recession if the figures released by the Office of National Statistics show this contraction continuing in the fourth quarter.
More than 80,000 bags of maize valued at Sh150 million have been allocated to briefcase millers and a defunct company in Nakuru at a time when the country is facing a serious shortage of maize, the Sunday Nation has established. Industry sources say that some of the maize, which was meant to cushion Kenyans against rising maize flour prices and a looming famine, may be on its way to Southern Sudan where it is being sold for US$80 (Sh6,000) for a 90 kg bag. The allocation operation is running parallel to government efforts to avert a looming famine facing some 10 million Kenyans. Last Friday President Kibaki chaired a Cabinet committee on food security which approved the importation of maize to head off a famine. A list of 10-day maize allocations to 46 millers that was signed on December 22, 2008 by the trustees of the Strategic Grain Reserve (SGR) includes Milling Corporation, a Nakuru business that closed down last August. - Sunday Nation.
Pirate Daud Nure said a boat with eight people on board overturned in a storm after dozens of hijackers left the Sirius Star. The super tanker, and its $100m cargo, had been held for two-months in the Gulf of Eden before a ransom - thought to be worth £1.98m - was paid. Mr Nure said only three people from the capsized boat reached the shore after swimming for several hours. Haradhere resident Jamal Abdulle confirmed that the boat sank. Haradhere is a Somali coastal town close to where the ship was anchored. Mr Abdulle said the eight's portion of the ransom money was lost. The cash had been shared between dozens of pirates. Reports of the deaths came as more pirates released an Iranian-chartered vessel which was seized off the coast of Yemen in November, Iranian media said. The Delight was hijacked on its way to Iran from Germany carrying 36,000 tonnes of wheat. The Iranian reports did not say whether any ransom had been paid but declared the 25-strong crew were all safe.
A surge in piracy off Somalia worsened dramatically in 2008, as an Islamist insurgency fuelled chaos onshore.
Piracy in the busy Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean shipping lanes has sent insurance prices soaring. The attacks have also made some owners choose to go round South Africa instead of through the Suez Canal and brought an unprecedented deployment of warships to the region.
The outgoing Kenya Deputy High Commissioner in the UK Mr. Abel Kinyoru has been deported back to Kenya. Mr. Kinyoru went back home in the new year to attend a family matter. He planed to return to the UK to wind up after three years in the UK. Sources say that immediately he left Nairobi a fax was faxed to the UK immigration not to allow him into the UK. He arrived at Heathrow Airport on Thursday morning 8th January, 2009 with Kenya Airways and he was informed the high authorities from the ministry of foreign affairs from Kenya has cancelled his documents and he cannot be allowed in. He spent the whole day night at their airport insisting that he need to pick up his belongings, wife and children. There was panic for the last two days at the high commission by staff trying to help their colleague in vain. Two days at the airport and at last he was deported. How can a fellow Kenyan treat the other Kenyan like this. What next?
Former Principle Counsellor and Deputy High Commissioner Mr. Abel Kinyoro on left and on right he seen with his wife welcoming a guests during Jamhuri Days celebrations in UK
Unconfirmed reports says that the UK and USA immigration data has been merged. That means if you had been deported from US or UK the systems reflects as Kenyans awaits to follow suit
US job losses hit record in 2008
More US workers lost jobs last year than in any year since World War II, with employers axing 2.6 million posts and 524,000 in December alone. The US jobless rate rose to 7.2% in December, the highest in 16 years. The official data came as plane-maker Boeing said it would cut 4,500 jobs this year at its commercial airline arm due to the global economic slowdown. US President-elect Barack Obama said that the economic situation is dire and action is urgently needed. "Clearly the situation is dire. It is deteriorating and it demands urgent and immediate action," he told a news conference. He added that he was making good progress on in talks with Congress on a new stimulus package - estimated to cost $800bn (£526bn). Shares fell on the news of the job losses, with the main Dow Jones index ending Friday trading down 143 points or 1.6% to 8,599. Oil prices slipped more than $1 a barrel to below $41 a barrel. The rise in unemployment raised fears of slackening demand for oil. The annual jobless total was higher than expected, partly because jobless figures in November and October were revised upwards. November's job losses were revised to 584,000 from 533,000 while October's losses were revised to 423,000 from 320,000. More than half of the job losses last year were in the last four months of the year. Analysts had forecast that 550,000 jobs would go in December. Most December job losses were in the service sector, which shed 273,000 jobs. Manufacturing jobs fell by 149,000 in December, while employment in construction fell by 101,000, with retailers cutting staff by 67,000. Some of those lucky enough not to lose their jobs, had their hours reduced.
The number of aggregate hours worked in December fell 0.2 hours to 33.3 hours, the lowest level since records began in 1964. "The drop in average hours worked in this employment report suggests that the first quarter is going to be very, very weak," said Cary Leahey, economist at Decision Economics. The number of people who worked part time - because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to get full-time work - increased by 3.4 million to 8 million in the last 12 months. Boeing said its job cuts would affect staff at its factories in the Seattle area. It added that many of the reductions will be in roles not directly associated with aircraft manufacturing. The cuts are due to occur between April and June. Boeing says those affected will receive 60-day notices starting in late February. Its announcement comes after AT&T, the telecoms giant, said last month that it was reducing its workforce by 4% and cutting 12,000 positions. Anthony Conroy, head trader at Bny Convergex, said: "Well, the numbers look better than I think many were anticipating. I had heard anywhere from 500,000 to about a million, so it's definitely better than anticipated." Other analysts found little consolation in the figures. "No matter how you look at it, these are dismal numbers," said Matt Esteve, foreign exchange trader at Tempus Consulting. Added Richard Yamarone, chief economist of Argus Research: "The job situation is ugly and is going to get uglier. There's no reason to expect hiring anytime in the next three to six months. We are not going to see any hiring until the government steps in and acts."
Thousands of Muslims on Friday thronged the streets of Nairobi to protest against Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip. The procession started outside Jamia Mosque and headed to Muindi Mbingu Street then Valley Road, where it caused a heavy traffic jam. Men, women and children carried placards, shoes and Palestinian and Israeli flags and chanted slogans. They later reconvened at Jamia for prayers. Their attempts to march to the Israeli Embassy were thwarted when they were dispersed by anti-riot police using water and tear gas. Two people were reportedly injured, with a middle-aged woman being hit by a flying tear gas canister. “We feel for our brothers and sisters who are dying as the world is watching” said Mr Hassan Omar Hassan, the vice chairman of the Kenya National Human Rights Commission. “The world is keeping quiet as Israel continues to oppress innocent people in Gaza.” Mr Hassan called on President Kibaki to condemn the killings. He said that Kenya, as a country that values human rights, must condemn the killings.
Muslims demonstrating in Nairobi against the invasion of the Gaza strip by Israel's army - Daily Nation.
Frozen food retailer Iceland has bought 51 former Woolworths stores, and said it plans to create 2,500 new jobs. The announcement comes just three days after the final 200 Woolworths stores closed their doors for the last time. "We are confident we can help to support the local community in these towns who have lost a major High Street retailer in Woolworths," said Iceland. Woolworths went into administration in November, but was unable to find a buyer to take on the company.
Kenyans can now track their application of identification cards and passports through electronic service. The “e-service delivery” project allows one to query the issuance of IDs and passports by sending a text message (SMS) to tracking numbers 2031 and 2032 respectively. From the reply, the applicant will know what is needed to apply and also track the processing of the documents. Prime Minister Raila Odinga said while launching the project that the Government was embracing technology in governance as a way of improving service delivery to Kenyans. The PM noted that it was uneconomical and unhelpful for the public to keep travelling from all corners of the country to track progress of essential documents in Nairobi. “This service is therefore particularly beneficial to Kenyans living upcountry or far from central service points,” said Mr Odinga. To mark the launch, one million mobile phone users were sent text messages notifying them of the service. Mr Odinga said the e-Government initiative would in the near future be extended to cover other critical services such as pensions and land title deeds. The service, coordinated by the Public Sector Reforms and Performance Contracting at the Prime Minister’s Office and spearheaded by the Ministry of Information and Communications, is in line with the Vision 2030 to improve service delivery. Other ongoing projects through the e-Government office include the upgrade of the court registry and library management system that creates national repository of cases. But one obstacle to the implementation of such services is the norm by government departments of treating information it generates with secrecy.
Prime minister Raila Odinga (left) and Head of Public Service Muthaura chat during the official launch of the E-Service Delivery at the KICC on Friday. The new electronic service is expected to track the application of identification cards and passports within a shorter period of time.
Central Kenya families wait for relief after crops fail
Thousands of families from the endowed central Kenya region and its environs will have to rely on relief supplies for survival. Continued crop failure due to poor rains has left many residents at the risk of starvation. Severely affected areas are parts of Nyeri, North Murang’a, the larger Laikipia in Rift Valley and Mbeere and Tharaka Districts of Eastern Province. In Murang’a, residents have resorted to eating unripe fruits. Even Nyeri South District, which hardly experiences drought, has been affected after the short rains failed. Residents are seeking relief supplies for sustenance. Rivers from the Mt Kenya towers –– the source of many rivers that flow within the region –– are drying up and this has affected vegetable and fruit farming. Government officials could not give an exact figure but it is believed millions risk starvation. Central Provincial Crop Officer Alfred Mureithi said more than a million bags of maize were harvested in the province last season. This, he said, was a by 65 per cent drop. Murang’a South DC Christopher Musumbu said 109,000 people in the district require relief food.
The worst hit areas in the district are Kambiti and Maranjau, where hundreds have been going to bed on empty stomachs. From last year, enrolment in many primary schools in Makuyu division went down as many of the pupils moved out of school due to hunger. The situation is likely to worsen this year. In Kandara constituency, DO Alfred Manduku said Gaichanjiru, Kagunduini and Muruka are affected due to crop failure In Murang’a North District, 56,152 people require relief food. District Commissioner George Natembeya says the district requires 16,846 bags of maize and another 2,246 bags of beans to feed the needy in the next three months. Kiharu division has been listed as the worst hit with 18,680 persons being termed extremely needy. In Laikipia, County Council Chairman Joseph Ndiang’ui said more than 50,000 people are faced with starvation, most of them from Laikipia North, Lamuria division and Segera. The pastoralist areas of the trouble-torn Ol’Moran and Rumuruti divisions in Laikipia West District are also in need as their animals have started dying due to drought. Councillor Epuke Lobun said pastoralists have started moving their emaciated stock in search of greener pastures. Lobun said at least 20,000 residents of Muramati, Kimagandura, Kariunga, Mukima and Endana areas are faced with starvation.
The incoming Obama administration is prepared to abandon George Bush's doctrine of isolating Hamas by establishing a channel to the Islamist organisation, sources close to the transition team say. The move to open contacts with Hamas, which could be initiated through the US intelligence services, would represent a definitive break with the Bush presidency's ostracising of the group. The state department has designated Hamas a terrorist organisation, and in 2006 Congress passed a law banning US financial aid to the group.
Two Kenyan terror suspects die in Pakistan
Two Kenyans linked to the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania have been killed in an American missile strike in Pakistan. Usama al-Kini, alias Fahid Mohammed Ally Msalam, described as al Qaeda’s chief of operations in Pakistan, and his Kenyan lieutenant, identified as Sheik Ahmed Salim Swedan were killed on January 1. Kini was 32 and had been a clothes vendor in Nairobi while Swedan was 40. Swedan managed a trucking business in Kenya and is accused of having bought the trucks that were used in the bombings. They fled Kenya immediately after the Nairobi bombing and a Sh350 million bounty was offered for their capture. Hellfire missiles fired from a remotely piloted Predator aircraft operated by the CIA killed the two. Both militants have been linked to suicide attacks in Pakistan in recent months, and were also on FBI’s most-wanted list for ties to the 1998 bombings of the United States embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in which more than 200 people were killed. Kini, who had obtained Yemeni nationality, was at least the eighth senior al Qaeda leader killed in an increasingly aggressive CIA air campaign. Kenya’s counterterrorism officials confirmed that the air strikes in South Waziristan killed the two. Kini was active in training terrorists in Africa in the 1990s, and was indicted by a federal grand jury for his role as a central planner in the attacks on the embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Kini is among the 10 highest-ranking terrorists the CIA has ever killed or captured, officials said. After the September 11 attacks, Kini became head of al Qaeda’s operations in Zabul Province, Afghanistan, anti-terrorism police said on Friday. Investigation showed he was behind the failed attempt to assassinate Benazir Bhutto, a former Pakistani prime minister, in Karachi in October 2007. - The Standard.
One in every three Kenyans is in danger of starvation due to crop failure and the Government plans to declare the food shortage a national emergency. The 10 million Kenyans who are suffering food shortages include 1.5 million children under the school feeding programme, 2.5 million people suffering from various diseases including HIV and Aids and orphans, and further 2.5 million poor people in towns. President Kibaki chaired a Cabinet committee meeting on food security at his Harambee House office on Friday, where it was decided that importation of five million bags of maize should start. The food shortage were partly caused by the post-election violence, which affected the country’s bread basket districts in Western, Nyanza and Rift Valley provinces, but is also due to drought in Eastern, parts of Central, Coast and North Eastern provinces. Maize harvested in Rift Valley, Western and Nyanza should be entering the national food chain from this month, but because of the disruption of ploughing, the burning of food in stores and the fact that people were prevented from planting during the violence early last year, has contributed to the shortage. Added to this, the crucial long rains were inadequate in most places and the short rains failed altogether in some districts. At Friday’s meeting, an inter-ministerial committee was set up to immediately start working out ways of executing the national emergency.
Many people find that coffee is a good source of fuel in the morning, but now that could literally become the case - as bio-diesel sourced from coffee beans could soon run our cars. And, some will be most pleased to note, the fuel maintains that pleasant coffee aroma. Researchers at the University of Nevada have found that ground coffee is 10-15 percent oil, which is easily extractable and turned into bio-diesel. What's more, it could be offered for as little as 60p per US gallon - that's around 16p per litre! Coffee is in abundant enough supply to provide hundreds of millions of gallons of fuel every year, and the oil can be extracted from leftover grounds - so we shouldn't find ourselves missing out on our morning coffee for the sake of fuel. And the find was stumbled across by accident, according to chief researcher Mano Misra, who said: "I had left my coffee out one night, and the next morning, I noticed that there was a kind of oil around the edge of the cup." Misra then collected used ground coffee from Starbucks and found extracting the oil was easy. There are over 7.2 million tonnes of coffee produced worldwide each year from which to extract fuel and it's also more stable than traditional bio-fuel because of coffee's high antioxidant content. A larger scale pilot scheme is now underway to see how viable coffee could be as a genuine fuel source.
The first British baby genetically-selected to be born without the gene which causes breast cancer is "doing very well" in hospital. Female relatives on the baby's paternal side have for many generations been blighted with breast cancer. It was this legacy that prompted her parents to decide that they did not want their child to be born with the breast cancer gene, which would have given the little girl a 50-85 per cent chance of developing the disease. In June the mother, then 27, told how she decided to undergo the screening process to select an embryo without the breast cancer gene. She said at the time: "We felt that, if there was a possibility of eliminating this for our children, then that was a route we had to go down."
Kenya Govt to declare current famine a national emergency
Written By:PPS , Nairobi, Posted: Fri, Jan 09, 2009
The Government is to declare a National Emergency in regard to the prevailing drought and famine situation in the country that has rendered nearly ten million Kenyans food insecure. The ten million include 1.5 million children under the school feeding program, 2.5 million vulnerable Kenyans suffering from various diseases including HIV/AIDS and orphans and another 2.5 million persons under the category of urban poor. At a Food Security Committee meeting chaired by President Mwai Kibaki at Harambee House today, it was resolved that the country should begin the process of importing an additional 5 million bags of maize to cater for an expected national shortfall. An inter-ministerial committee has also been set up to immediately start working out the modalities of executing the National Emergency that will entail taking extra-ordinary measures to get food to the people. This will involve availing famine relief packages that will include foodstuffs including maize and beans. The Government through the Ministry of Livestock will avail an emergency loan of Kshs 500 million to the Kenya Meat Commission to enable the purchase of livestock from areas that have been hit hard by the drought. Quantities of hay are also to be availed to livestock herders in the most severely affected areas. Measures are also to be taken to avail water in areas that are suffering an acute shortage. President Kibaki told the food security committee that the entire Government must focus on the urgency of providing food to all Kenyans after the failed rains in the last two seasons and reduced production due to last year's post-election challenges. Among the strategies adopted by the Government to ensure sufficient food in the country include importation of maize duty free up to the next major harvest. In this regard, the Cabinet has already authorized importation of five million bags of maize duty free to bridge the maize deficit in the country. In addition, the Government through the Ministry of Agriculture intends to boost maize production this year by increasing extension services and availability of fertilizers. The Ministry of Agriculture has already procured 15,000 metric tons of fertilizer which is being sold to farmers at a subsidized price.
The Ministry of Agriculture, through the National Cereals and Produce Board, has further ordered 40,000 metric tons of assorted fertilizers which will be available to farmers for the long rains. The ministry is also in the process of procuring another 73,000 metric tons of fertilizers for the long and short rains this year. In addition, the ministry will distribute about 6000 metric tons of fertilizer to poor farmers free of charge. On ensuring provision of low cost seed, the Ministry of Agriculture through the Kenya Seed Company has reduced the price of seed by Ksh 5 per 5 kg. In addition, the ministry will distribute about 25,000 metric tons of seed of orphan crop to farmers free of charge in arid and semi-arid areas. On land preparation, the Ministry of Agriculture has reviewed all its agricultural machinery services and procured a total of 90 new tractors with a view to providing mechanization services at affordable cost. These tractors, in addition to another 85 from the Agricultural Development Corporation, will be used to plough for farmers at affordable cost. More details on what the National Emergency will entail will be availed next week. Present were Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Cabinet Ministers William Ruto, Dr. Naomi Shaban, Charity Ngilu, Prof. George Saitoti and Dr. Mohammed Kuti, Assistant Minister Dr. Oburu Odinga who represented Acting Finance Minister John Michuki, and Head of Civil Service and Secretary to the Cabinet Amb. Francis Muthaura among others.
UK manufacturing output fell at its fastest pace since 1981 in November, official figures showed, underlining the fragile state of the economy. Output fell 7.4% from a year earlier - the biggest drop since June 1981. On a monthly basis, the fall was 2.9%, the Office for National Statistics said. The news is likely to reinforce expectations that policymakers need to do more to stave off a deep recession. The Bank of England cut interest rates to 1.5% on Thursday, a 315-year low. James Knightley, an economist at ING said that the UK economy could shrink by around 3% this year. "Industrial output has now fallen for nine straight months, which is the worst run of data since 1980, so the pressure for further stimulus will continue," he said.
A Kenya Airways crew member has been charged with attempting to smuggle cocaine into the UK through Heathrow Airport. Mr Jack Onyango Gradus, 29, was arrested by officers from the UK Border Agency when he arrived on a flight from Kenya last Saturday 3rd January, 2009. He was accused of carrying seven and a half kilogrammes of cocaine worth £300,000 (Sh35.1 million) in his luggage. Mr Onyango appeared at Uxbridge Magistrates court on Wednesday and was remanded in custody. He is due to appear in court again on January 20. Kenyan police and Foreign Affairs ministry officials said they were not aware of the matter. In Kenya, a Nigerian held by police for being involved with drugs will not be deported. This follows a decision by High Court Judge Justice Benjamin Kubo to extend orders stopping the decision by the minister for Immigration and Registration, Mr Otieno Kajwang’ to deport Mr Ken Obina Amadu. The temporary orders were extended until January 14 to allow the man to respond to an affidavit filed by Immigration in reply to his case. - Daily Nation. - VIDEO
Which products originally came from Asia?
Many things that we today take for granted originally came from Asia: rice, tea, apricots, silk and many spices. In earlier times such goods were brought to Europe over the Silk Road by caravans
East African Community Welfare Association in conjunction with The Adult College in Barking is offering exciting free cookery classes every Monday from 18:00hrs-21:00hrs. The next course will be starting on Monday 12th January, 2009. Limited spaces available on a first come first served basis. Call now to book your space. Benefits are plenty including: Advice on Nutrition, Regular BMI monitoring, Losing and maintaining weight the healthy way, Improve your cooking skills, Good place to make friends and networking, Learn to make African and International cuisine, Food Budgeting, A certificate on completion of the course. Above photos on left is is Mr. Amos Ngugi who is catching up with the latest cookery and on right a group photo displaying their certificates after completing their course. Food and Hygiene course comes up 10th February, 2009. Contacts: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com Tel: 02032882275, Teresia: Mobile 07506695851, Joe: Mobile 07508018091 - Website: www.safarifoods.org
London, Thursday 8th January, 2009. The Bank of England has cut interest rates to 1.5%, the lowest level in its 315-year history, as it continues efforts to aid an economic recovery. The half percentage point reduction brings interest rates below 2% for the first time since the Bank of England was founded in 1694. Manufacturers' association EEF said the move was "too timid", and that the Bank should have cut rates further. The Bank has now reduced rates four times from October's 5% level. Explaining its decision, the Bank said the level of contraction in business activity had "increased during the fourth quarter of 2008, and that output is likely to continue to fall sharply during the first part of this year". It added: "Surveys of retailers and reports from the Bank's regional agents imply that consumer spending has weakened."
1.5 per cent - lowest interest rate in history
Interest rates were cut to the lowest level in history today. The Bank of England ordered a further 0.5 per cent reduction from its base rate to an unprecedented 1.5 per cent. It has never previously been below two per cent since the Bank was founded in 1694. But only half of borrowers will benefit and millions of savers will be hit by a further cut in the return on their investments. The Bank's rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee said in a statement it was making the move because "the world economy appears to be undergoing an unusually sharp and sychronised downturn". The pound strengthened against the euro after the noon announcement as some City traders had expected a one per cent cut. Rates have now fallen by two thirds in two months since the severity of the economic storm became apparent in the autumn. There was immediate scepticism about the effectiveness of the move in boosting the economy. Many experts said it would do little or nothing to stop the collapse in property values and would not encourage consumers to spend. Analysts said between 40 and 50 per cent of borrowers would benefit. The vast majority with tracker mortgages will get the full half point passed on. Many on standard variable rates will also benefit as major lenders Cheltenham & Gloucester, LloydsTSB, HSBC and Nationwide said they would pass it on in full. Business leaders warned that the bigger problem threatening the economy was the lack of lending from banks rather than the cost of borrowing. Justin King, chief executive of Sainsbury's, told the Standard: "It is up to the Bank of England to do what they think is right, but what our suppliers are saying is that what they have to pay to borrow is not the issue, it is that there is no money being lent in the first place."
Death has occurred of the late Leah Njeri Rukungu (left) of Subukia Valley, Kabazi, Nakuru, Kenya. She is the wife of Fredrick Rukungu Mwarangu of Subukia Valley, Nakuru (Uncle to Mr. Seed). She passed away on Thursday 8th January, 2009 after a short illness. On Thursday morning while in their home she called her husband to explain that her journey has come to an end. She continued to say that she want to say good bye and requesting the husband to pray for the final journey. After the prayer she rested in peace. The couple attended Bishop Muya's consecration on 6th December, 2008 (right photo) together the Seeds. Bishop Muya has sent his condolences the the Seeds family and to Mzee Fredrick Rukungu's family in Kenya.
The family of the late ANNE W. MUNGAI formerly of Ashton -Under -Lyne ,Manchester , UK who was promoted to glory on Monday 29th December,2009, wishes to notify relatives, friends and all Kenyan well wishers that a memorial service will be held on Tuesday, 13th January,2009 at St Anne's Social Centre, Burlington Street, Ashton-Under-Lyne, Manchester, 0L6 7DG from 6pm-8pm.
The body was repatriated back to Kenya on Thursday, 8th January, 2009 and burial will take place on Tuesday, 13th January 2009 at her family home in Rugiri, Kikuyu.
BRAVELY BORN, REST IN PEACE, MAMA TONY, AMEN.
Kibaki Boads KQ flight to Newyork - VIDEO
London, Thursday 8th January, 2009. Car manufacturer Nissan has announced it is to axe about a quarter of the workforce at its Sunderland plant. The company, which sent workers at the site home early before Christmas to cope with the economic downturn, said it will cut 1,200 jobs. The plant opened in 1986 and is a major employer in the North East with about 4,900 workers. The Unite union described the announcement as "devastating news for workers and their families". Those to lose their jobs include 400 staff on temporary contracts. Derek Simpson, joint general secretary of Unite, said: "Today's announcement shows just how serious Britain's economic difficulties are. "Unite will be doing everything possible to minimise compulsory redundancies and it is absolutely crucial that these workers' skills are not lost." Nissan sold 66,336 new cars in the UK in 2008 - only 0.14% fewer than in 2007. However, its sales for December 2008 fell 26.68% compared with the same month in 2007. This compared with an average decline across the industry of 21.2%. A spokesman for the company said: "Nissan has notified the Local Works Council and the Unite union of its intention to reduce overall production headcount by around 1,200. "The statutory consultation period will determine how best to adjust permanent headcount, but it is hoped that this can be managed on a voluntary basis."
Close to three million people are facing starvation as the country grapples with the dim forecasts of severe food shortages by mid-year. The shortage could get worse because of the poor harvests recorded last season, Special programmes permanent secretary Mohammed Ali warned. This could also push up the cost of basic food items. Among the hardest hit are Coast, arid and semi-arid areas as well as some parts of Eastern Province. Turkana, Mandera, Samburu, Baringo, Marsabit, Wajir, Moyale and Garissa districts are among those to be severely affected as will Isiolo, Laikipia, Ijara, Taita Taveta, Kitui, Mwingi, Makueni, Mbeere, Malindi, Kilifi, Kwale and Tana River districts. According to Mr Ali, the food security situation in these districts has reached “acute food and livelihood crisis level” and can reach emergency levels if the rains do not fall on time. - Daily Nation
Proteins are the primary component of numerous body tissues. They are the main component of muscle tissue. Protein helps muscle development, increases strength, and improves athletic performance. Proteins also make up the outer layers of hair, nails and skin. - MORE
Over 200,000 students to miss form one places
A total of 249,856 students who sat last year's Kenya Certificate of Primary Examinations (KCPE) will miss places in form one enrolment, the minister for education Prof. Sam Ongeri has said. Only 445,872 out of the slightly 695,728 pupils will be placed in both public and private secondary schools country wide. While launching the form one selection exercise Thursday, Education Minister Sam Ongeri said the government is concerned with the transition from primary to secondary following the large number of KCPE candidates occasioned by the free primary education programme. He said the government in partnership with stakeholders will expand secondary institutions to accommodate the additional number of students. He said the government has invested heavily on education to cater for poor students. Despite considerable increase in the transitional rate from primary to secondary education from 47% in 2002 to 70% in 2008, the high number of students missing places in secondary schools is still a major concern.
National schools have selected 3,331 students; Provincial schools 122, 365 students and district schools selected the highest number of students having taken 277,693 pupils. 42, 483 students will get placement in Private schools. As part of the reforms to increase transitional rate, the Minister stated that his ministry has digitized form one curriculum, provided laboratory facilities and introduced ICT Information Communication facilities, adding that a total amount of Sh13 billion has been released to address the affordability of secondary education aimed at benefiting over 1.34 student. The minister laid emphasis on the development of ICT in secondary schools as a facilitator of realization of vision 2030 in the education sector. Prof. Ongeri expressed concerns at the large numbers of candidates who are unable to proceed to secondary education, saying it was an impeding factor in achieving education for all children. "On this part the government continues to encourage establishment of more secondary schools while at the same time encouraging schools with extra facilities to ensure they increased their number of streams" said Prof. Ongeri. He warned heads of schools against increasing fees or impose levies, saying that any increase must be discussed by the board of governors (BOG) and approved for presentation at the parents' Annual General Meeting (AGM) for deliberation. On the impending teachers strike, Prof. Ongeri said the increase offered by the government is the best that the economy could afford. The selected students are expected to report to their respective schools between 2nd and 6th February this year.
|| 1, 856
|| 64, 915
| Private Schools
| National Total
The Kenya Tourism Board managing director Dr Achieng Ong’ong’a has resigned. Dr Achieng Ong’ong’a submitted his resignation letter to the minister for Tourism Najib Balala. At the same time, the minister announced the appointment of Mrs Marianne Ndegwa Jordan as the interim managing director with immediate effect. She was previously a treasurer at Kenya Tourism Development Corporation, a parastatal in the ministry. Mrs Jordan will hold the position in an acting capacity until the ministry of Tourism carries out a recruitment exercise. - Daily Nation.
The UK Bank Rate cut and you
The Bank of England has cut its official Bank Rate for the fourth month in a row. It now stands at 1.5% as the Bank strives to soften the impact of the world-wide economic recession. We look at how the latest cut will affect borrowers, savers and others.
Will my mortgage be cut quickly?
The government and lots of mortgage borrowers hope so, but all the recent evidence suggests that many lenders will take their time making up their minds, and any cuts may not match the latest 0.5% reduction.
Banks and building societies have been arguing strongly that any more cuts will be particularly bad for savers.
And they want to rebuild their profits and reserves - which means, in part, keeping a wide margin between the official Bank Rate and the rates they charge the public for their home loans.
Fixed-rate mortgages will, by definition, stay the same.
Existing tracker rates directly linked to Bank Rate should come down, though cuts may be limited for those deals which specify a floor below which they cannot fall.
Lenders will be reluctant to pass on the full 0.5% cut to people on standard variable rates.
"I won't expect too many announcements by lenders about what their mortgage or savers' rates will be," said Michael Coogan of the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).
"Some may wish to wait to see if there is a further 0.5% cut, others are going to see if they can keep their savers' rates up as high as possible and maybe not move at all, or by only a modest amount."
What is the problem?
There are several.
Banks and building societies would really like to charge much more for their mortgages, to help restore their finances.
In their view, that means hogging most or all the benefit of the Bank Rate cut for themselves and enjoying a fatter profit margin on their lending.
That has already happened for borrowers taking out new mortgage deals, for many businesses with variable rate overdrafts, and for credit card borrowers.
The banks would also like to charge current mortgage customers a wider margin on their deals, too, where they can.
What about savers?
There are a lot of them, many more than the UK's mortgage borrowers, and they are increasingly perceived to be getting a raw deal.
Typically, individual savers have much less tucked away in their accounts than the average home buyer has borrowed, but collectively, they have more than £1 trillion in savings, deposit, and cash ISA accounts.
In November, the average bank or building society instant access account rate was just 1.68% and will already have fallen further since then.
About 40% of accounts now pay 1% or less on deposits of £5,000, while about 7.5% of accounts now offer interest of just 0.1%.
Banks and building societies want to make sure there is still some sort of incentive to save and are worried customers may stop saving if interest rates on their accounts fall further.
For that reason, some institutions may chose not to cut rates at all this time around, for either borrowers or savers.
Will my business loan or overdraft be cheaper?
Possibly not, for the same reasons as above.
I am dead keen to buy a flat or house. This is all good news, surely?
The monthly repayments on your prospective home loan have been slashed dramatically in the past few months.
But whether or not you will benefit will depend on whether you have managed to get a loan at all - and that now means saving to put down a very large deposit.
In fact, 60% of all deals now require a deposit of at least 25%.
And 25% of all deals, those with the most attractive interest rates, now require a massive 40% down payment.
If you do not have that sort of cash to hand, you will simply not be given a loan, as lenders ration their scarce funds and protect themselves against potential losses due to the continued slump in house prices.
Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo has written off his Ferrari in a crash near Manchester Airport. The 23-year-old winger was driving the sports car through a tunnel beneath the runway when he smashed into a barrier. It is worth £120,000. (KShs. 14 million). - CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO
Parliament will reconvene on Tuesday, January 20 to continue with the business of the Second Session of the Tenth Parliament. House Speaker Kenneth Marende has set the date in accordance with the Standing Order 7(1) of the National Assembly on the request of the Government. According to parliamentary officials, Members of Parliament had urged President Kibaki to recall the august House, so that they can pass legislation on issues of national importance, among them the constitution review process, the amendment of the contentious clauses in the Kenya communications act 2008. The appointment of a new ECK team will also be top on the agenda.
Nairobi, Wednesday 7th January, 2009. An attempt by the Government to bury people killed in the Kiambaa Kenya Assembles of God church inferno aborted. A team led by Chief Government Pathologist Moses Njue and Eldoret Criminal Investigation Officer Munga Nyale arrived at Kiplombe Cemetery at 10.30am with 37 bodies ready for the burial. Under the direction of Dr Njue, 17 bodies had already been lowered into the mass grave before the process was stopped following a call from Rift Valley PC Hassan Noor Hassan. Relatives and friends who had gotten wind of the ongoing burial arrived at the cemetery in hired vehicles. They sobbed on seeing their relatives’ last journey and police officers had to restrain them from accessing the grave. "Kwa nini serikali inatufanya hivi? Sijashindwa kuzika mtoto wangu. Wanazika mtoto wangu ndani ya karatasi kwani siwezi kununua jeneza?" (Why is the Government mistreating us? I am not unable to bury my child. Why should they bury my child in a polythene bag? Does it mean I can not afford a coffin?" lamented Ms Alice Mumbi. Uasin Gishu DC Leonard Ngaluma arrived after the burial process was stopped. Njue, Munga, the DC and the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital deputy director Omar Ali consulted before agreeing to stop the burial. Speaking later, Njue explained that the Government was not burying the victims but preserving their bodies. "The bodies have accrued a bill of over Sh8 million where they are being preserved. We are preserving them until DNA results are out," explained Njue. He added that the bodies had two tags each and had been treated with chemicals. The bodies can stay in the polythene bags for a period exceeding 20 years while in the same state. "The amount required for the DNA is over Sh22 million and we do not know how long it will take to identify the bodies that is why we resorted to this method," said Njue. Mr Ngaluma explained that the burial had been called off to facilitate a decent burial in future. The bodies were ferried back to the mortuary. - The Standard.
Alice Wamboi, whose daughter died when the Kenya Assemblies of God Church in Eldoret was set ablaze last year, is led away by policemen. On Wednesday, medical authorities attempted to bury bodies believed to be of those who died at the church. Relatives later stormed the venue to stop the exercise. Uasin Gishu District Commissioner Leonard Ngaluma intervened and the bodies were returned to the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital Mortuary. Why would the government now want to bury the dead in a mass grave? These bodies have relatives, names and can be identified. Relatives are entitled to be given a chance to honour their loved ones with proper burial rites. What's up with these Medical people? - Daily Nation.
THE KAMAU MWANGI MEETINGS IN UK
Following the death of the late Peter Kamau Mwangi (Kamau wa Ndenderu) in Atlanta, USA on Thursday 1st January, 2009 those family and friends in the UK are meeting in Reading at Reobuck Pub, 37 Aukland Road, Reading, RG6 1NY - CLICK HERE FOR THE MAP
There will be a meeting on Saturday17th January, 2009 at the same venue as from 5.00 p.m.
Those who would like to give out their contribution can do so through Nationwide Bank, Account No. 21070271, Sort Code 074456 and Account name: Peter Munene. For more information please contact 07926099325.
Meetings are going on in USA at his residence at 2021 Gren House Patio, Kennesaw GA, 30144 from 7p.m. Contacts: Maina-404-319-4328 / Mwas-678-698-0314. - CLICK HERE FOR THE MAP
Nairobi, Wednesday 7th January, 2009. There is confusion in Kenya over how to deal with bodies piled in the town of Eldoret's morgue for more than a year. The deceased died in a church burnt down by a mob during ethnic violence after elections in December 2007. Thirty-seven bodies were to have been buried on Wednesday but after the first 10 were interred they had to be dug up amid furious protests from relatives. Families want their loved ones laid to rest on ancestral lands but some bodies remain unidentified a year on. Eldoret, in the Rift Valley, was hardest hit by the clashes following the disputed presidential election, which left 1,500 people dead and hundreds of thousands homeless. The BBC's Wanyama Chebusiri in Eldoret says furious families, some wailing with grief, demonstrated at Kiplombe cemetery on the outskirts of the town on Wednesday. After a tense hour-long stand-off with armed police, the authorities agreed to disinter the bodies and take them back to the morgue. Our correspondent says some relatives are still awaiting DNA test results to positively identify their loves ones. Families have said the victims should be buried in a mass grave beside the church if they cannot be identified. Local community groups have objected and said the victims should be laid to rest on their own ancestral lands. But up to 10,000 internally displaced people remain in Eldoret, a year on from the post-election bloodshed, and many fear being attacked if they go home.
One of the grieving protesters at the graveyard told the BBC no official had made contact to inform them of the planned burials. "We got the shock of our lives this morning when we came to discover that bodies have been removed from the hospital mortuary," he said. The victims were among people from President Mwai Kibaki's Kikuyu ethnic group who were seeking shelter in Kiambaa Pentecostal church when the building was torched by a mob. Local district commissioner Leonard Ngaluma said they would consult with the families to ensure any decisions made "should confirm with our African traditions as Kenyans and also accord them the best burial agreed by all". Dr Moses Njue, at Eldoret's Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, said the hospital mortuary could hardly cope with the bodies. "The equipments are breaking down because our refrigerators can only keep a certain kind of load," he told the BBC. "Some of the bodies are burned and some of them are skeletonised... and once a body starts rotting it continues rotting no matter what you can do." Meanwhile, Kenya's coalition government - set up in the peace deal that brought an end to last year's disorder - is showing signs of strain. Prime Minister Raila Odinga has been holding crisis talks this week with members of his party amid complaints they are being sidelined by the president. President Kibaki has been accused of failing to consult the premier about decisions on electoral reform, a controversial media law and new ambassadors.
Relatives want the victims buried on their ancestral lands
A Kenya lady has passed away in the UK. The late Mary well known as Mama Lillian passed away on Tuesday 6th January, 2009 at Wexham Park Hospital, Slough. She has been in the hospital for a long time battling with cancer. Friends are currently meeting
at 104 Canterbury Avenue, Slough, Berks, SL2 1EA
to raise funds to transport the body back home. You can support them through: A/C. NO:85249668, SORT: 77-49-17, LLOYDS T.SB, A/C HOLDER: MR. JAMAAL FARAH. For more information please contact: : 07901961071 or 07949720125.
The late Mary well known as Mama Lillian
Fissures in the Grand coalition appeared to widen as ODM tabled fresh demands over the powers of the Prime minister, Vice-President and Head of Civil Service. The Orange party is now demanding that its leader Raila Odinga assumes the role of Leader of Government Business in Parliament. A meeting jointly chaired by deputy party leaders, Musalia Mudavadi and William Ruto at Orange House, also demanded the immediate retirement of public servants who have attained retirement age. "We are going to table proposals for the amendments of the new Parliamentary Standing Orders, to have the office of the PM assuming the roles of the Leader of Government Business," ODM Secretary General Anyang’ Nyong’o told The Standard after the meeting. In the meeting, Ruto spoke of frustrations the PM was facing in Government, which he said was making his role as co-ordinator and supervisor of Government a nightmare. According to sources, Ruto said the role of the Vice-President, as Leader of Government Business in Parliament was a hindrance to the duties of the PM who is in charge of supervision and co-ordination of Government Business. Nyong’o said the party would seek the amendments once Parliament is reconvened. - The Standard.
MINUS 12C IN UK
The sea froze as Britain's shivering start to the year got even colder. Southern England, normally immune to the worst of the weather, was gripped by conditions colder than parts of Iceland and Greenland as temperatures fell close to minus 12C (10.4F). In Dorset, the sub-zero temperatures froze a half-mile stretch along the shoreline of Sandbanks, home to Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp. Local people said it was the first time in decades the sea had partially frozen since 1991. Across the country families ignored safety warnings and took to frozen flooded fields and lakes on ice skates. Police in Ebbw Vale, south Wales, warned teenagers they are risking their lives by cycling across the frozen Festival Park lake, which is more than 20ft deep in some parts. - MORE
"It does not matter what you know, what matters is who you Know". - George Mwaniki, Dubai
President Kibaki on Wednesday bowed to pressure and changed his stand on the anti-media law, which he signed last week. After consulting some members of the Cabinet, he directed Attorney General Amos Wako and Information minister Samuel Poghisio to prepare amendments that will restore press freedom. The President’s decision came after a series of meetings with senior members of his Cabinet who were concerned about the negative reputation the Government was getting because of the anti-media law. The main concern was that the President and his supporters, some of who hope to succeed him when he retires in 2012, were losing public support to their ODM rivals.
The water supply to around 6,000 homes and businesses in south Wales continues to be hit after freezing weather damaged pipes to a treatment works. But Welsh Water hopes supplies in the Rhondda Fach will return to normal by late Wednesday evening. Water bowsers have been sent to streets with water tankers refilling supplies since problems started on Tuesday. The firm said water treatment works in the area was now operating normally after a frozen pipe was repaired. In a statement, it said: "Water supplies to all customers will now begin to return to normal however some may notice temporary disruptions during this evening's peak demand period. "We anticipate however that all supplies will have returned by late this evening. - VIEW THE VIDEO
As soon as the chair of Ghana's Electoral Commission, Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, had announced the final result a few parties began. People danced outside the EC office with party flags, sounded car horns, pulled wheelies on mopeds and one man charged up and down the road on horseback. It was third time lucky for Professor John Atta Mills who had stood against John Kufuor in 2000 and 2004. After eight years of the New Patriotic Party in power, a wind of change has blown across Ghana just strong enough to push the opposition candidate over the line. From around nine million valid ballots cast the governing party's candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo, lost by just 40,000 votes. After he was sworn in, Mr Atta Mills raised up the State Sword - representing government authority - to cheers from the crowd.
Eurostar has confirmed it will resume daily direct services between Ashford International in Kent, and Brussels. The high-speed passenger train operator said it would reinstate the route from 12 March. The service was due to have been reintroduced in December, but problems caused a fire in the Channel Tunnel on 11 September postponing the change.
The pound has risen to its highest level against the euro for three weeks
The pound has risen to its highest level against the euro for three weeks, ahead of the Bank of England's interest rates announcement on Thursday. The euro fell 0.5% against the pound to close at 90.1 pence, well below its recent high of 98.04 pence. "There's been a change in sentiment for sterling," said Neil Jones, at Mizuho Corporate Bank in London. UK rates are expected to be cut by 0.5 percentage points to 1.5%, their lowest in the Bank of England's history. The pound has weakened steadily against the euro ever since last October. This was because as the Bank of England cut UK interest rates to counter the effects of the economic slowdown, the pound - and sterling-denominated investments - became less attractive to foreign investors. Just after Christmas the pound almost fell to parity the euro, but since then it has been gaining back some of its lost ground.
Police in Nigeria have arrested scores of motorcycle taxi riders with dried fruit shells, paint pots or pieces of rubber tyre tied to their heads with string to avoid a new law requiring them to wear helmets. The regulations have caused chaos around Africa's most populous nation, with motorcyclists complaining helmets are too expensive and some passengers refusing to wear them fearing they will catch skin disease or be put under a black magic spell. The law, which came into force on January 1, pits two factions equally feared by the common motorist against one another: erratic motorcycle taxis known as "Okadas," whose owners are notorious for road-rage, and the bribe-hungry traffic police. Some bikers have used calabashes -- dried shells of pumpkin-sized fruit usually used as a bowl -- or pots and pans tied to their heads with string to try to dodge the rules.
"And To succeed, it is necessary to accept the world as it is and rise above it". - George Mwaniki, Dubai
The parents of a six-year-old boy in the US have been charged with neglect after the boy drove their car for 10km in an attempt to get to school on time. Police in Virginia said the boy, who was not named, took the keys to the car after he missed the school bus. He drove for six miles (10km) on major roads, weaving through traffic and overtaking slower cars, before losing control and going off the road. The boy told police he learned to drive by playing video games.
Hospitals in Gaza have been overwhelmed trying to treat about 3,000 people wounded in the Israeli operation. Doctors say they are running short of essential supplies and people are dying as a result and right Israel has continued its ground and air attacks in the Gaza Strip for a fifth day, after a week of bombing, in a bid to force Palestinian militants to stop firing rockets into Israel.
London, Wednesday 7th January, 2009. Falling behind with council tax payments by only a few hundred pounds is increasingly tipping people towards bankruptcy as many town halls adopt a tougher approach to debts. With council tax bills doubling since Labour came to power, more homeowners are struggling to meet monthly payments and are falling into debt. Faced with a recession and budget squeezes, councils are increasingly using bailiffs and insolvency practitioners to get their money more quickly than by more conventional methods, The Times has learnt. Such moves can push struggling families deeper into debt as they are forced to pay back arrears plus thousands of pounds in debt-collectors’ costs. Once bankruptcy proceedings are initiated, people can face bills of up to £50,000 in insolvency and legal costs, even though their original debt might have been little over £750. Some are forced to sell their homes to meet the costs. Town halls are under huge pressure to meet targets set by the Government and the Audit Commission to raise the proportion of council tax they collect. Giles Hindle, an insolvency and corporate recovery partner with Beachcroft, the law firm, said: “What they have cottoned on to in recent years is that bankruptcy offers the most immediate prospect of recovering unpaid council tax. “They have found it the most effective tool for recovery.” Last year councils collected 97 per cent of the £20.6 billion tax due, a rate that has risen steadily in the past few years. Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act requests by the Liberal Democrats have exposed how aggressive some councils have become in chasing their debts. Responses from 171 out of 370 councils show that 1,706 householders were the subject of bankruptcy proceedings last year for failing to pay council tax arrears.
The season of cattle crossings along the River Niger in Mali is under way. The first crossing for the cattle is at the town of Diafarabe, 350km (220 miles) north-east of the capital, Bamako. The tradition goes back many hundreds of years and has been recognised by the UN as a world cultural heritage event and on right crowds wait on the other side of the river to watch the spectacle. The cattle wait in small groups to swim across the river. When the time comes for a group to cross they often need some prompting as the water can be very cold. The herdsmen yell and beat the cattle with sticks to get them moving. Keeping the cattle together is not an easy job. Some of the young boys swim across the river to make sure that the groups of cattle stay apart. In previous years cattle have drowned during the crossings as groups became mixed up together. The smallest calves are taken across by boat. A competition also takes place to choose the herdsmen who have the fattest cattle. There are prizes for the winners and they are the stars of the day. The herdsmen who are deemed to have done the worst job also get a prize – a single peanut.
Huang Guangyu, China's richest man wife is in problems. The net is tightening around China’s richest man with the detention of his wife amid a police investigation into possible financial offences by the businessman who founded the country’s biggest appliance chain. State media said Du Juan, 37, was now under police guard in Beijing and had been formally placed under “residential surveillance”. Ms Du had returned to Beijing from an unidentified location outside the city before Christmas. The police wanted to prevent her from leaving the country. She has long been a close business associate of her husband, running large parts of the company that Huang Guangyu built up from a streetside stall selling watches to a nationwide conglomerate over hundreds of stores. Mr Huang, 39, listed as China’s weathiest man on the Hurun Rich List this year with wealth estimated at £4 billion, disappeared in late November and was later revealed to be under investigation for alleged insider trading.
BANGALORE (Reuters) - The head of Indian outsourcing firm Satyam Computer Services resigned on Wednesday, disclosing that profits had been falsely inflated for years and sending its shares tumbling nearly 80 percent. India's biggest corporate scandal in memory threatens future foreign investment flows into Asia's third-largest economy and casts a cloud over growth in its once-booming outsourcing sector. The news sent Indian equity markets into a tailspin, with Bombay's main benchmark index tumbling 7.3 percent in a firmer session for world markets and the Indian rupee fell.
WHAT ARE YOUR OUR BODIES MADE UP OF?: The smallest building block of our body is the cell. Our body is made up of, believe it or not, 100 billion cells - a number with 12 zeros. All of these 100 billion cells develop from one single egg cell as an individual person grows.
A COUNTRY WHERE PEOPLE DRIVES TO KILL OTHERS
While on holiday in Kenya we came across an accident where we could not believe our eyes. Driving to kill others. We left Nakuru town at about 7.00 p.m. on Monday 8th December, 2008 heading to Nairobi. On our way we saw four incidents of lorry drivers driving their vehicles without lights. The first incident happened about half an hour after leaving Nakuru just before Gilgil. We thought it was a mistake but wait until we arrived a few miles to Naivasha. We almost landed at the back of another lorry on the road without lights. We drove behind it slowly where I managed to take this photos. It was to our surprise that we came to a police road block - guess what? The lorry was allowed to proceed? After Naivasha we came across another vehicle on the road without lights. Again at soko mjinga near Kinari another lorry carrying vegetables was driving without lights. The big question remain - why do some drivers want to kill others. What is wrong with some of our traffic police. Bishop Peter Gatimu of Apostolic Faith Church in Kenya came across such a lorry last month along the same road and his car was completely damaged after colliding with a lorry without lights.
IKO NINI BWANA SEED - JANUARY 2009 - ONE
IKO NINI BWANA SEED - DECEMBER, 2008 ONE
IKO NINI BWANA SEED - DECEMBER TWO, 2008
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