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Fatou Bensouda banned from entering the US, visa revoked

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The United States has revoked the entry visa of the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, who is investigating possible war crimes committed by U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last month that Washington would withdraw or deny visas to ICC staff investigating such allegations against U.S. forces or their allies.

Bensouda’s office on April 5 confirmed U.S. authorities revoked her visa but said the ICC prosecutor would continue her duties “without fear or favor.”

The move was criticized by the United Nations and the European Union.

A 2016 report from the ICC said there was a reasonable basis to believe that the U.S. military had committed torture at secret detention sites in Afghanistan operated by the CIA, and that the Afghan government and the Taliban had committed war crimes.

The United States does not recognize the court as having jurisdiction over U.S. citizens, but Americans can be charged with crimes that are allegedly committed in countries that are members of the court and Afghanistan is a member.

ICC judges have not yet handed down a decision on opening a formal investigation in Afghanistan.

The ICC is a court of last resort with 122 member states.

It acts only when countries within its jurisdiction are found to be unable or unwilling to seriously investigate war crimes, genocide, or other serious atrocities.

“The U.S.A. government should actively invite the Prosecutor to come and meet, not ban her from travelling,” Amnesty International’s Centre for International Justice said in a Twitter post. “Cooperation with the ICC is in the U.S.A.’s interests — to share relevant information and show there is nothing to hide,” Amnesty Centre for International Justice@AmnestyCIJ wrote.

-Agencies

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Business

VIDEOS: Boston, Massachusetts residents are all smiles courtesy of Optiven

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Optiven Group just hosted its Boston customers for sumptuous dinner and a one-on-one meeting. What’s more? Courtesy of this event, several Bostonians are now owners of land that is 100% transformed, meaning they are now proud owners of land that has all facilities including children park, a jogging track, water, trees and secure gated communities.

See more: https://www.optiven.co.ke/diaspora/usa2019

These happy clients can now embark on a journey of building homes and for those who are already building, they will enjoy the new innovative project, where Optiven through its sister company PMC Estates (www.pmcestates.co.ke) will get all our clients a good tenant, maintain their houses and collect and deposit Money in their accounts or wire the rent to their USA accounts.

A number of customers in the USA & Europe are already benefiting courtesy of this new service with no risk of being shortchanged by a dishonest relative.

The Optiven team, which is led by George Muteti and Steve Mbugua, who are both Senior Managers, are available for online support as they celebrate those they presented the ownership documents at Boston. They were in Virginia, Maryland Missouri and now in Boston, Massachusetts as they head to Seattle in Washington State later this week.

We at Optiven celebrate all those customers whose titles were delivered to their doorstep and we commit to also deliver to those others who are still paying for their properties on installments. These installments have enabled many Kenyans in diaspora to own properties with Optiven Group. Most of who have purchase Victory Gardens and are very happy.
Youtube: https://youtu.be/gdu935WbGcI

Others customers have bought Garden of Joy, a very strategic property that is ready for settlement. Youtube: https://youtu.be/X97lzyZ3M8Y

Still, other customers have bought Nyeri project (Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXqUvYSSZ9s)

While others have bought Shekinah Gardens: https://www.optiven.co.ke/properties/shekinahgardens

Thika Royal palms https://www.thikaroyalpalms.com/ and Amani Ridge-The place of Peace

https://www.optiven.co.ke/component/allvideoshare/video/amaniridgeplaceofpeacekiambu?Itemid=665

We congratulate the hundreds of diaspora clients who have bought and joined our 10, 000 plus customers, whom we have empowered over the last 20 years. You are now part of the great Optiven movement.

We now encourage you to join the movement as we push our vision to Economically and Socially empowering and transforming the world.

Call us now:
540 214 4376

443 734 2465

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Diaspora

Kenyan man deported from the US on arrival at the airport, seeks help to reunite with his Patients

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An online petition to help a Doctor of Kenyan descent who was deported from the United States two weeks ago has been launched.

According to the petition seen by ksnmedia.com,  Dr. Alexander Ondari  was returning to the US to complete his last year as a resident physician at the University of Texas Medical Branch on July 6th, when he was denied entry.

He is now seeking the intervention of the US Embassy in Nairobi. Below is the Petition as prepared by one Georgia Colleluori:

 

On July the 6th, Dr. Alexander Ondari was returning to USA to complete his last year as a resident physician at University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. However, he was barred from entering, as the immigration officer at the airport (Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport) did not honor the valid J1 Visa that he had. Unfortunately, he was deported back to Kenya where he is right now. Currently, all depends on the USA Embassy in Kenya to grant him a new J1 Visa. 

Dr Ondari’s constant efforts as a physician, together with his charitable character, is critical to the well-being of the communities he lives and serves in. Dr Ondari’s objective is to bring value to the US, an aim that has been already accomplished during the last 17 years as a non-immigrant visa holder. It’s is thus a honor to support his efforts to obtain a J1 visa so that he can serve his patients and continue to improve the health of America.

You can sign the Petition by clicking here – change.org/p/us-embassy-in-nairobi

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Business

Push to end US cocoa imports tied to forced child labour

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US law gives Customs officials the authority to block the importation of goods produced by forced labourers, and the senators wrote that there is “overwhelming evidence” to justify the use of that authority with regard to cocoa from Ivory Coast, the world’s leading producer.

The letter cited a June story in The Washington Post that detailed the use of child labour on that country’s cocoa farms, and the failure of the world’s largest chocolate companies to fulfil a promise to eradicate the practice from its supply chains by 2005.

Blocking cocoa from the Ivory Coast, as well as the chocolate produced from it, would have broad effects on the US chocolate and cocoa industry. Ivory Coast produces roughly a third of the world’s supply.

“Given the prevalence of forced child labour in the Ivory Coast’s cocoa sector, it is clear at least some, if not a significant portion of those imports, were produced with forced child labour,” according to the letter from Mr Brown. “It is time the US took more aggressive action to combat forced child labour in the cocoa sector.”

In addition, the letter said, authorities should pursue a criminal investigation into the importation of cocoa products tainted by forced child labour.

Legislators have struggled for years to block imported goods that have been produced by forced labour. A longstanding law enabled Customs agents to block such imports, but an exemption allowed their importation if the goods could not be obtained elsewhere.

Mr Brown and Mr Wyden successfully pushed legislation in 2015 to close that loophole, and anti-slavery and labour rights groups in recent years have been pushing Customs officials to use their strengthened authority.

Some of the world’s largest chocolate companies— including Mars, Nestle and Hershey — promised in 2001 to eradicate child labour from their supply chains.

But the practice persists throughout West Africa. A study sponsored by the US Department of Labour in 2015 reported that more than two million children were working on cocoa farms in Ivory Coast and Ghana.

“There’s a good case that there continues to be forced child labour in West African cocoa,” said Judy Gearhart, director of the International Labour Rights Forum, which in 2002 sought a similar investigation of cocoa. “It’s absolutely the case that Customs should be investigating this. It would push forward more effective programmes to ensure that there’s no forced child labour.”

Child labour in Ghana and Ivory Coast has been blamed on the poverty of cocoa farmers, and in recent weeks, the national governments of those countries

announced measures that would demand higher prices for the world’s big cocoa and chocolate companies. Government officials say higher prices will boost farmer incomes, reduce the incidence of child labour and give West African farmers a more equitable cut of global chocolate profits.

The imbalance between the global profits of the chocolate companies and the poverty of the farmers amounts to a “manifest injustice,” Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said last month. “We will not continue to be victims or pawns of the global cocoa industry that is dependent on the work of our farmers.”

By The East African

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