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VIDEO: AU summit ends in Addis amid claims of bugging by the Chinese

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The 30th AU summit wound up Monday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia after 8 days of deliberations on a myriad of topics.

Meanwhile, China has dismissed reports it bugged the African Union (AU) headquarters as “preposterous”.

Kuang Weilin, the Chinese ambassador to the AU, told reporters in Ethiopia the “absurd” claim in France’s Le Monde was “very difficult to understand”.

He spoke out three days after the newspaper published an article claiming data from the Chinese-built AU building was being copied to Shanghai.

The article said the discovery resulted in all the AU servers being switched.

Le Monde spoke to a number of anonymous sources, who claimed the alleged transfer was taking place late at night [link in French], and was only spotted in January 2017 due to the spike in activity between midnight and 02:00, despite no-one being in the building.

It was suggested the alleged data transfer had been taking place since 2012, when the building, in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, was opened.

Officials also brought in security experts from Algeria to sweep the entire headquarters for potential bugs, the newspaper said, leading to the discovery of microphones in desks.

But Mr Kuang – who hailed the headquarters as a “monument” to his country’s relationship with the continent – said it was entirely untrue.

“I really question its intention,” he told reporters on Monday. “I think it will undermine and send a very negative message to people. I think it is not good for the image of the newspaper itself.

“Certainly, it will create problems for China-Africa relations.”

-Agencies

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UNSUNG DIASPORA HEROES: Mwakilishi, Jambonewspot, Ajabuafrica

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BY MAHUGU NUTHU

“Fake news!” “Fake news!” Sadly, we are now used to waking up to anti-press rhetoric. It’s the new catchphrase. Trump’s old “you’re fired” shtick has lost its mojo. His unrelenting attacks on members of the Fourth Estate is something one would only expect from authoritarian leaders. For us Africans, harassment of media is something that sounds too familiar.

For years we have come to appreciate press freedom as the lifeblood of democracy and ironically looking up to USA as the beacon of these ideals. But that’s another story for another time.  That’s not the subject of this piece, but it makes a good backdrop. Everybody understands the power media outlets, but probably less appreciated is the power of the Mwakilishi, Jambonewspot, Ajabuafrica and dozens other online based newspapers. Today, these are the unsung heroes in our community.  The proof is in the pudding.

In a recent case in my own backyard, a family lost a young son in a road accident out of state. By Gosh, no parent should have to bury a child. We know it is not the natural order of things. That’s pain. Excruciating pain and sorrow. But God giveth and God taketh away.

It’s even worse when this happens abroad. As if death is not enough a blow, its followed by unimaginable bureaucratic tangle of paperwork and logistical nightmare. Consequently, the family needed assistance to move their son hundreds of miles to their state for a memorial service and then send him thousands of miles to his final resting place in Kenya.

Mr Mahugu Nuthu. PHOTO/COURTESY

The committee had to reach out quickly to raise the funds though social media and traditional ways. Unsurprisingly Mwakilishi, Jambonewspot and Ajabuafrica opened their pages. They responded quickly. Cases like this proves the importance of community press and the useful role these websites play in supporting the information needs of the Kenyan in USA.

When it comes to tragedy, they do things that you won’t get from a monolithic newspaper in terms of turnaround time, reach and cost. Their results are very tangible and observable almost instantly, something you won’t get from the so called mainstream media.

These community websites do not usually charge for death notices and you reach a lot of Kenyans. Consider that one-day listing of four lines in a “national newspaper” will cost you several hundred dollars. And you might end up not reaching the people you are targeting.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not actually about money. It’s comforting to know that you don’t have to deal with the advertising department of a soulless intractable entity.  Mwakilishi, Jambonewspot and Ajabuafrica operators understand our community because they’re a part of it. Nobody is immune to tragedies. For the record I don’t know these people personally. But their actions show that they do not merely serve as information providers. Sometimes “death announcement” means “financial help is needed ASAP”.

Only a Kenyan living in USA would understand that and urgency of the situation. New York Times might not. That’s how we handle things. We scream across the country albeit digitally. We are the ones who discovered the “digits” by sending smoke signals piece by piece across the ridges thousands of years before it became “on” and “off” that computers use today. It was stolen. But I digress. I will leave the “alternative facts” to the “post truth experts!”

While we are on the “appreciation” subject, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the role of Kenyan Churches in USA. They have become the glue which holds our community together. In times of tragedy, hardship and sorrow, as in the above reference case, the local churches become sanctuaries of hope. Allow me to pull another Kansas City Metro backyard example.

Neema Community Church is rooted deeply in its community, and has its membership operating as de facto public servants. Located in Olathe, Kansas, it’s a huge beautiful sanctuary with classrooms, meeting rooms, offices, recreation areas, a large fellowship hall and huge kitchen attached to it. Well, and lots of parking to boot. Under Pastor, Rev. David Nzioka, it’s a community center dealing with needs that go beyond the mission of a traditional church.

A place of worship where local homeless escaping freezing nights often get free food. In a time of crisis thousands of miles from home you are bound to find fellow compatriots here looking for the elusive answers to their many “whys” and seeking comfort in each other. It’s the iconic sacred tree where Africans worship, meet and greet

.  After a year of polarizing elections that rekindled ethnic tensions, it’s very encouraging see Kenyans remaining united at that level. Tribal lines become effectively blurred.  It takes a dynamic, charismatic and inspirational leader to accomplish this. I hope you find your own fashion of “Dr. David Nzioka” in your neck of the woods.

Back to my subject as I conclude. I understand there are many diaspora news websites whose primary mission is to cover the important issues that affect the Kenya community in USA. Many showcase community businesses for a fee. Yes, they are businesses themselves. They are not obligated to carry your message, however sad. They choose to do it.  While I did not mention them all by name, my biggest hope is that you will continue to support them.

These media outlets make our community better just because of their dedication to it.  Same case applies to our community churches and pastors. We should let them know that we do appreciate what they do. Although we are spread across this continent-size country, sea to shining sea, they make us a cohesive Kenyan community.

By Mahugu Nuthu | nuthology@gmail.com. Mahugu is the author of the book Nuthology.

 

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I’ve always wanted to marry Chris Kirubi- Huddah Monroe declares love for billionaire

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Business tycoon Chris Kirubi has a new crush, Huddah Monroe.

This became evident after the billionaire who is on a steady recovery process offered nuggets of wisdom to the youth.

Of the many Kirubi shared, one struck a chord with Huddah.

His advice to young men not to buy ‘flowers’ for their women but rather a tree which will endure and produce fruits and flowers struck a chord with her.

Upon seeing it, the Huddah Beauty CEO could not hide her feelings for the magnate anymore posting on her insta stories, “That’s why I always wanted to marry C.K. Such a great man.”

Huddah Monroe. PHOTO/COURTESY

This is not the first time though.

She was not shy in telling off his critics after Kirubi’s deteriorating health condition first made its way to the public domain.

“Chris Kirubi is a great man. Someone we should all emulate as a businessman. He bought shares at the right places and got lucky,” she wrote.

“And what pained me the most is the Chris Kirubi issue. I am ashamed to be Kenyan. Nairobi is a sea full of sharks waiting for you to shake a little. So they can finish you. Kick you when you are down. Mshindwe na Mlegee,’’ added Huddah.

-SDE

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VIDEO: I’m surprised by how much money I have, says Obama

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Former U.S. president Barack Obama has urged governments, especially in Africa, to embrace inclusive capitalism, which ensures there is equitable distribution of wealth, resources and knowledge across social and economic divides.

While delivering a lecture in Johannesburg in South Africa on Tuesday, July 17, Mr Obama urged leaders to shun illegal or unjust acquisition of wealth, saying “there’s always enough money and food for everybody”, hence there is no need to raid the public coffers to amass wealth.

Mr Obama spoke for 1 hour and 24 minutes at the 16th Annual Nelson Mandela Lecture – an event that honors the life of South African leader Nelson Mandela.

Mr Obama said since he left office in January, 2017, he is surprised by the money he is making. The Head of State was insinuating he did not have to raid public coffers during his time in office to be wealthy.

“Right now I am actually surprised by how much money I got. Let me tell you something; I don’t have half of how much these folks have; or a tenth of 100…,” said Mr Obama to a cheering crowd.

“There is always so much that you can eat. There’s only a so bigger house you can have. There’s only so many nice trips you can take. I mean it is enough! You don’t have to take a vow at poverty just to say let me help out a few of the other folks; let me look at that child out there who does not have food to eat; who needs some school fees. Let me help them out by paying a lot more in taxes; it is okay. I can afford it!” said the former President.

Taking a swipe at corrupt and selfish leaders, Mr Obama said: “It shows the ambition of just wanting to take more and more and more, instead of saying: ‘Wow, I got so much. Who can I help?’ How can I give more and more and more? That’s ambition; that is impact; that is influence. What an amazing gift to be able to help people, not just yourself.”

Mr Obama urged world leaders to adopt a social inclusivity system, which would help in narrowing the gap between the rich and the poor.

“We have a responsibility to ensure social justice is observed. We have to figure out how to close the widening gap of wealth and opportunity – both within countries and between them. How we achieve this, is going to vary from country to country.

“We can learn from the last 70 years that it won’t involve unregulated, unbridled and unethical capitalism. It also won’t involve old-style command and control socialism from the top. That was tried; it did not work.

“For almost all countries, progress is going to depend on an inclusive market-based system; one that offers education for every child; one that secures the rights of every worker; that breaks up monopolies to encourage competition and uplift the small and medium-sized businesses; one that has laws that root out corruption and ensures there is fair dealing in business; one that maintains some form of progressive taxation so that rich people are still rich, but they give a little bit back to make sure that everybody else has something – to pay for universal healthcare and retirement security; and invest in infrastructure and scientific research that builds platforms for innovations.”

Mr Obama’s statement comes amid media reports that he is making thousands of dollars from speeches and lecturers that he gives in different parts of the world.

In April, 2017, UK’s Independent newspaper reported that the former President made at least $800,000 (Ksh80 million) from just two speeches since he left office in January, 2017.

“Mr Obama met up with presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin at the A&E Networks advertising upfront at the Pierre Hotel and was rewarded $400,000 (Ksh40 million) for a 90-minute interview with her in front of advertisers for the cable network,” the Independent reported in April, 2017.

Other sources of income for Mr Obama, according to Time magazine, include pension, with the magazine reporting that: “All ex-presidents get pensions, to the tune of $205,700 (Ksh21 million) annually, and the amount increases regularly to keep up with inflation”. This is topped with other perks, US media say.

Book deal (Mr Obama memoir) could be another source of the ex-President’s income. Time says: “Obama’s book contract would be worth somewhere between $12million (Ksh1.2 billion) and $30 million (Ksh3 billion).”

In 2009 alone, Obama reported $5.1 million (Ksh510 million) in income just from the sales of his two books.

-NET WORTH-

American media estimate Mr Obama’s net worth at $40 million (Ksh4 billion).

Barack Obama earned $400,000 (Ksh40 million) a year throughout his entire eight-year term as President of the United States.

On April 15, 2016, Mr. Obama released his 2015 tax returns, which showed that he and his wife filed jointly and reported an adjusted gross income of $436,065 (Ksh44 million). They paid $81,472 (Ksh8.1 million) in taxes according to their 18.7 percent tax rate. They also donated a total of $64,066 (Ksh6.4 million) to more than 30 charities.

-Edaily

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