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Why Chinese husband, African wife found fame online

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Sandra Made and her Chinese husband Zou Qianshun are, in many ways, like millions of newly married couples around the world.

Made, 27, is a housewife who looks after their 10-month-old baby, while Zou, 43, is a fishing captain and the family breadwinner.

But in China, they have become an online sensation.

The couple began live-streaming funny skits of their home life on Chinese social media platform, Kuaishou, in February. They now have 120,000 followers.

Made says their videos are popular because people are not used to seeing an African woman with a Chinese man. “Everyone loves Sandra and thinks she’s outgoing,” says Zou.

The couple makes about 5,000 yuan (Ksh.72,700) a month through virtual gifts donated by fans on the site, which can be exchanged for money, he adds.

They met three years ago when Zou was working in Cameroon, where Made ran a hair salon. A year later, Zou proposed and the couple married in March 2017.

Soon after, they relocated to Zou’s hometown near Dandong, Liaoning province, in northeast China.

In 2016, there were just 1,700 mixed marriages in Liaoning, which is home to 43.7 million people, according to China’s National Bureau of Statistics.

But Zou says there are five other Chinese men in his town with African wives. “They all met in Africa,” he adds.

The most-viewed video on Made’s feed is a comedy sketch of her pretending to feed her baby, Daniel, but instead putting all the food into her mouth.

Reactions on Kuaishou to the couple’s humorous skits include “666,” which means cool, and “Sandra! You’re so beautiful,” “Pretty eyes,” and “You speak good Dandong dialect!” Made says she improves her Putonghua by talking with fans online.

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Business

Kenyans won’t be permitted to enter EU when borders reopen

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Kenya is among countries whose citizens will not be allowed to enter European Union countries as the block prepares to reopen its external border on Wednesday.

Consequently, Kenyans wishing to travel to the EU will have to wait longer.

EXCLUDED

The EU has released two lists, one for those that will be accepted, and one for those who will not.

This is after the bloc failed to agree on a common list of the countries that would be banned from entering the block upon the border reopening.

Countries like the United States, Brazil and Russia have also been excluded from the list.

Only Uganda and Rwanda have been listed among the East African Countries.

According to Euronews, EU officials failed to agree on a common list of the countries that would definitely be banned from entering the block upon the border reopening but managed to create a list of the countries with a better epidemiological situation, the citizens of which will be able to enter Europe by the end of next week.

CRITERIA

The news outlet reported that ambassadors from the 27 EU members convened from Friday afternoon to establish criteria for granting quarantine-free access from next Wednesday.

“A redrawn text of 10-20 countries was put to them, but many said they needed to consult first with their governments, diplomats said,” the outlet reported.

According to the article, discussions continued overnight, with the EU countries giving informal replies by Saturday evening.

So far in a draft list published, citizens of 54 world countries will benefit from the reopening of the European Union external borders.

“The European Union has an internal process to determine from which countries it would be safe to accept travellers,” EU Commission spokesman Eric Mamer said last Thursday, adding that its decisions are “based on health criteria.”

RECOMMENDATION

On June 11, the Commission presented its recommendation on the reopening of internal Schengen borders on June 15, so that Europeans can travel within the borderless area freely, just as they did pre-pandemic.

It is said the countries however managed to create a list of the countries with a better epidemiological situation, the citizens of which will be able to enter Europe by the end of next week.

Countries that have been barred will only be able to enter the bloc at a later date when the epidemiological situation in these countries improves.

EU officials have been quick to point out that decisions on who can and cannot enter the bloc are not political, but based on science that allows member states to keep their citizens safe.

On Monday, Kenya’s Covid-19 cases climbed to 6,190 as the global count surpassed the 10 million mark.

By Nairobi News

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Education

Most teachers seeking treatment abroad suffering cancer – report

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ajority of teachers seeking treatment outside the country suffer from can-cer, a report by insurance provider Minet Kenya indicates.

The report dubbed Teachers Medical Scheme Statistics Summary indicates that cases that sort treatment outside the country for cancer stood at 50 per cent, while heart diseases stood at 8 per cent.

Aneurysm cases were 7 per cent, leukaemia was at 6 per cent, kidney diseases at 5 per cent, nervous system disorder also at 5 per cent and spinal cord problems at 3 per cent.Liver diseases were at 3 per cent, and so were hip replacement procedures.

Hearing loss cases were 2 per cent making.

The report indicates that a total of 1,036,022 members are benefiting from the medical scheme.Rift valley has the highest number of members at 295,896, while North Eastern has the least number at 15,537.Eastern has 191,474 members, Nyanza has 184, 938, Western (145,492) Central (116,679), Coast (65,791) and Nairobi (20,215).At the moment, the report shows that teachers enrolled in the scheme are 332,501, spouses are 183,135 while children are 520,386.

Last expense, which are payments made to meet burial costs, stood at Sh523 million from the 2015/2016 financial year up to May, while group life compensation stood at Sh1.8 billion.The amount paid for inpa-tient claims as at January, from 2015/2016, stood at Sh15 billion while outpatient, dental, optical and maternity spend as at Sep-tember 2019 stood at Sh16 billion.

Chronic diseases management enrolment stood at 2,648.The report indicates that the company has undertaken 284 international treatments.

“Most of the cases are referred to India where specialised treatment is not available locally. Cases that we evacuate include but are not limited to transplants, PET Scans, cancer, cardiac diseases, brain and spinal disorders,” states the report.

The medical scheme for teach-ers now stands at a budget of Sh9 billion and is expected to grow to Sh12 billion in the new financial year starting in July.

In the improved scheme, the Teachers Service Commission in-creased inpatient cover to between Sh750, 000 and Sh2.5 million from Sh500,000 to Sh1.5 million.

Optical services are now at Sh45,000 up from between Sh10,000 and Sh25,000, dental is at Sh35,000 up from between Sh10,000 and Sh25,000, while maternity is between Sh100,000 to Sh200,000 up from a previous Sh75,000.Group life cover is between Sh450,000 to Sh1 million, while the last expense is between Sh200,000 to Sh600,000.

Overseas evacuation is now at Sh1 million. Children eligible for the scheme are those aged zero to 18 years. Those in the 19–25 age bracket must provide evidence that they are enrolled in learning institu-tions school to access the benefits.

Teachers are now able to contact medical service providers through online platforms after the scheme administrator unveiled an online porta

By Sunday Nation

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Immigration News

How Kenyans have been caught up in Trump’s immigration bans

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Dr Joseph (last name withheld to protect his identity) is a Kenyan-born research scientist working at Neumann University in West Chester, Philadelphia.

Since he completed his doctorate at the same university 12 years ado, he has been living and working in the US on a temporary work permit – renewed every two years.

The permit, processed by Neumann university was up for renewal at the end of April, but because of the Covid-19 pandemic, his renewal application has been in limbo.

“This is why the recent announcement that the administration has suspended all work visas and permits until the end of the year hit me like a sledgehammer. I don’t know how I’m going to provide for my family since I’m not on the college payroll from April, and I can’t travel back to Kenya because the airports are still closed,” said Dr Joseph.

He is among scores of Kenyans now living and working in the US likely to get caught up in President Trump’s visa/permit freeze announced early in the week. Since taking power in January, 2017, President Donald Trump has made every effort to cut immigration to the US.

Using the current pandemic as an excuse to control even legal immigration, President Trump in April ordered suspension of immigration into the US in almost all legal categories apart from relatives of US citizens and members of the military.

He also allowed the immigration of individuals whose services are deemed essential in the fight against Covid-19. Following a report from the Labor Department, the President recently issued a devastating order halting employment-based immigration in addition to the earlier orders.

According to US-based Kenyan immi-gration lawyer Charles Wanjohi, during his entire term, Trump’s administration has been fighting employment-based immigration. He says immigration practitioners like himself have experienced increased denials of petitions.

“At this time, we are advising our clients to make efforts to comply with the available legal avenues as much as they can, to maintain their status. For those with pending petitions and applications, we are advising them to continue strengthening their cases by compiling more supporting evidence”. said Mr Wanjohi.

He added that even though the num-ber of Kenyans in the US who use these seasonal work permits is not as much as that of people from Mexico and Asian countries, there’s a significant number of Kenyan professionals who rely on renewable work permits. Many lawyers, immigration experts and activists see President Trump’s new immigration ban as nothing but a distraction.

“It will, in the long run, hurt the US economy more than the foreigners. US work visas like foreign aid do not help or develop the foreign countries but help the US economy,” said Dr David Amakobe, founder and CEO of African Wood Inc.

Dr Amakobe, a Kenyan resident of Middletown, Delaware, argued that since the ban coincides with border closures over Covid-19, it has no immediate effect. But should President Trump be re-elected, foreigners who work on work visas may have to consider other options.

“In the long term, with remote working having become the norm, they will have to work from less expensive countries but charge the same. They should start making those arrangements now,” Dr Amakobe said.

He added that US technology and innovation is very reliant on foreign experts. Like Britain under Margaret Thatcher, the US is relinquishing leadership and other countries are going to open up.

“President Trump is short-sighted but it serves him well politically. It is complicated to explain to Americans that import taxes (tariffs) are not paid by China but by them. It’s difficult to explain to Americans that the technol-ogy and innovation by foreign workers provide the products and services that make the dollar stronger,” Dr Amakobe said.

“In my view Covid-19 and President Trump are a gift to Kenyans to reset their perspective about the world and their place in it.”

Mr Wanjohi says that in fact it’s not only work permit visas that are deeply affected by Trump’s obsession with limiting migration into the US, other affected areas include asylum applications. “Our advice to those applying for asylum is to seek experienced legal services in the process,” he said. The new restrictions took effect on June 24.

By Chris Wamalwa, Sunday Nation

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