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At least 20 people dead in US due to frigid weather

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BY BMJ MURIITHI

Frigid weather is raising grave concerns as more people are reported dead while many businesses and government offices remained closed for several days in a row in some states.

The US National Weather Service (NWS) has described the polar vortex system sweeping across the Midwest as “one of the coldest arctic air mass intrusions in recent memory.” About 80% of the country is affected by the inclement weather.

By Thursday afternoon, at leat 12 people were reported dead due to the weather conditions in various parts of the country.

The harsh Winter blast that has already killed at least seven people in North Dakota will worsen dramatically in coming days, forecasters warned Wednesday, saying that the expected conditions could be the coldest in a generation.

” Bitterly cold, very dangerous wind chills would spread across much of the eastern two-thirds of the country, “likely leading to widespread record lows and low maximum temperatures” plunging more than 20 degrees below zero in the Midwest,” read the statement from the NWS.

Frigid, icy conditions have been blamed for at least seven deaths so far. FILE PHOTO

The frigid, icy conditions are being felt  by hundreds of Millions of people across the country.

READ ALSO:   Kenyans in US who survived "Deep Freeze" say they miss the weather back home

AIR TRAVEL

Air travel has not been spared. About 1,000 flight arrivals and departures scheduled for Wednesday were preemptively canceled at the O’Hare International Airport in Chicago.

NBC reported Wednesday that more than 320 flights were cancelled  at Chicago city’s other major airport, Midway International.

Michigan Governor  Gretchen Whitmer has already declared a state of emergency as temperatures dropped to unbearable levels, and so have two other States.

 

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US Ambassador tours Eliud Kipchoge’s training camp

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The United States of America has pledged to continue collaborating with Kenyans to boost integrity in sports.

US Ambassador to Kenya Kyle McCarter lauded Kenyan athletes for their prowess which has earned the country global acclaim.

McCarter spoke when he paid a visit to Global Sports Communication training camp in Kaptagat, Elgeyo-Marakwet County that has produced renowned runners like Olympics marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge and world half marathon record holder Geoffrey Kamworor.

“This was a private visit and I wanted to come and have a feel of where the athletes train for them to be successful. We wanted to meet Kipchoge not because he is a world record holder but because he is a good example to the future generation,” said McCarter.

McCarter said Kipchoge good characteristics for a good leader in Kenya.

“Kipchoge is a good example to many and that is what is expected from a leader. Many youths are looking up to him and this shows one can achieve his/her dreams when you work hard,” he said.

McCarter also said that he was keen to see the young upcoming athletes who train at the camp because they are the future champions.

“I took note of the young athletes because they are the future and I will be happy to see them doing well in future,” said the envoy.

READ ALSO:   Kenyans in US who survived "Deep Freeze" say they miss the weather back home

He added that the US government will from next year collaborate with Kenyan government to improve sports and the National Basketball Association will be visiting Kenya to check on the sport and see how they can help improve and make it better.

“Basketball is becoming a big sport in Kenya and we shall have an NBA delegation visiting Kenya and try to see if we can work together in terms of improving the sport,” he added.

Kipchoge on his part said that it was a privilege to host the Ambassador who wanted to see where he has been training with his colleagues.

“It’s an honour to receive the envoy in the camp because he wanted to know where we reside as we train and we are grateful,” said the Olympic champion.

McCarter later presented Kipchoge with a T-shirt, cap, notebook, an emblem and a bag.

The Ambassador arrived at the camp at around 2pm under tight security accompanied by his wife Victoria, and was received by Kipchoge, Eindhoven Marathon champion Laban Mutai, former World Half Marathon champion Sally Chepyego and Toronto Marathon champion Philemon Rono.

He was taken on tour by Kipchoge before planting a tree at the facility where many visitors have been doing so to help enhance the good forest cover around the scenic camp.

READ ALSO:   Kenyans in US who survived "Deep Freeze" say they miss the weather back home

The Ambassador later joined Kipchoge and his training mates in a one-lap race at the camp.

Other athletes who graced the occasion included 1,500m Olympics champion Faith Chepng’etich, former 3,000m steeplechase world champion Hyvin Kiyeng, former two-time world champion in marathon Abel Kirui.

Kipchoge became the first human being to run the marathon under the mythical two hours during the 1:59 INEOS Challenge in Vienna, Austria in October. He finished the marathon in 1:59:40.

by nation.co.ke

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Sonko freed on bail

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Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko had been freed on Sh 30 million bond as a surety of a similar amount or a cash bail of Sh15 million.

The ruling has given by Anti-Corruption Court Magistrate Douglas Ogoti at the Milimani law courts on Wednesday. Sonko has also be denied access to the county office unless in the company of an investigating officer or any other authorized person.

At the office he will only be allowed to take his belongings.

Together with co-accused, Sonko has been instructed to hand in their passports and any other travel documents in court.

In the bail terms, his supporters are supposed to remain calm and he shouldn’t approach any witnesses.

READ ALSO:   Kenyans in US who survived "Deep Freeze" say they miss the weather back home
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Police killed 91 this year, rights body says

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The police have executed at least 91 people this year, a human rights body has claimed. The Independent Medical Legal Unit (IMLU) said this during an event to mark the International Human Rights Day, celebrated on December 10.According to IMLU, this brings to 976, the number of people killed by police bullets from 2013.

“We have also witnessed widespread attacks on human rights defenders and demonstrations in contravention of the right to peaceful assembly, right to demonstrate and picket, most of the demonstrators being young people, thereby, further narrowing civic space in the country,” said IMLU Executive Director, Peter Kiama.

Kiama said the Public Benefits Organizations Act has also remained unimplemented, denying an enabling environment for the civil society.Despite the government enacting legislation to deal with issues of human rights violation, Kiama said it has been reluctant in ensuring implementation.Among the laws are the National Coroners Service Act 2017 and the Prevention against Torture Act 2017.

The National Coroners Service Act 2017 establishes the office of the National Coroner, having jurisdiction to investigate the cause of death in cases where people die in law enforcement custody, as well as sudden or unnatural deaths.

The Prevention against Torture Act 2017 brings all state agencies and officials including police officers, council askaris, the Kenya Wildlife Service, and the Kenya Forest Services under the ambit of accountability for torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and provides clear penalties for such atrocities.

READ ALSO:   Kenyans in US who survived "Deep Freeze" say they miss the weather back home

“The government is slow in complying with court orders requiring compensation of survivors of torture, extra judicial execution and enforced disappearance defeating the principle of access to justice,” Kiama said.

He added: “IMLU has nine cases where compensation amounting to about Sh19 million was awarded to victims as far back as 2011 but the government is yet to honour them.”In 2018, Kiama said IMLU petitioned the Attorney General to release compensation for 10 victims, which is pending to date.The rights body demands appropriate budget allocation to ensure the government can provide redress to victims of torture, extra judicial killings and enforced disappearances.

They also demanded full implementation of the National Coroners Services Act 2017 and the Prevention of Torture Act 2017.According to Human Rights Watch 2019 report, although both the Kenya Police Service and the Independent Policing Oversight Authority had promised to investigate these cases, there has been little progress in holding the perpetrators to account.The report says many survivors did not receive post-rape medical care or counselling support.

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