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US cancer survivor swims across English Channel

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An American breast cancer survivor on Tuesday became the first person to swim across the English Channel four times non-stop in a 54-hour feat of endurance.

Sarah Thomas, 37, an open water marathon swimmer from the US state of Colorado, could be seen in a video posted on Facebook arriving at Dover on the southern English coast with a group of supporters cheering her on.

“I feel a little sick,” she is heard saying following the herculean effort, which reportedly saw her cover close to 130 miles (209 kilometres) due to strong tides.

Only four swimmers have previously completed the approximately 21-mile Channel crossing between Britain and France three times without stopping.

“I just can’t believe we did it,” Thomas told the BBC.

“I’m really just pretty numb. There was a lot of people on the beach to meet me and wish me well and it was really nice of them, but I feel just mostly stunned.”

Thomas said the hardest part was dealing with the salt water, which left her throat and mouth sore, while she also got stung in the face by a jellyfish.

The athlete relied on a protein recovery drink mixed with electrolytes and caffeine – which was tied to a rope and thrown to her every 30 minutes – to complete the feat, according to her mother.

Endurance swimmer Lewis Pugh wrote on Twitter that her achievement was “extraordinary, amazing, super-human”.

“Just when we think we’ve reached the limit of human endurance, someone shatters the records,” he wrote.

In a post on Saturday before setting off, Thomas wrote: “This swim is dedicated to all the survivors out there.

“This is for those of us who have prayed for our lives, who have wondered with despair about what comes next, and have battled through pain and fear to overcome,” she wrote.

The marathon swimmer received the cancer diagnosis four months after an unprecedented August 2017 non-stop solo swim of 104.6 miles in Lake Champlain on the US-Canada border.

She underwent treatment for the aggressive form of breast cancer – which had already begun spreading to the lymph nodes under one of her arms – in the summer of 2018, according to a fundraising website for a documentary about her achievements.

“I was at the peak of my athletic accomplishments… and then I got diagnosed with cancer,” Thomas said in a video posted on the Kickstarter website.

“It’s part of who I am now, part of my story. I just hope it never comes back but if it does, to know that I did everything I wanted to do in life.”

In the video Thomas, who finished her first open-water event in 2007 and had previously made two Channel swims in 2012 and 2016, said swimming across the Dover Strait had been a lifelong dream and “just as hard as climbing Mount Everest”.

“When you’re a kid you just dream of swimming the English Channel.”

By nation.co.ke


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Lifestyle

Man whose son died at concert asks police to arrest his killers

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Earlier this month, when Geoffrey Gikonyo began the search for his missing son, 17-year-old Stephen Munga, he prayed and hoped that they would find him alive and safe.

But this was not to be.

On November 12, the family’s search for Shanty, as Stephen’s friends fondly called him, led them to the City Mortuary in Nairobi.

Munga said that they were shocked to stumble upon Shanty’s battered body, a heartbreaking indicator that their last child and only son had died a painful death.

“His body seemed okay from the neck down but his head had a lot of injuries.

“It felt mushy when I touched it and one of his eyes had been perforated.

Stephen Munga aka Shanty

“I know my son died in a lot of pain,” Munga said.

In a desperate search for answers, Munga sought an explanation from the mortuary workers how his body ended up there.

“They told us that Shanty was beaten up by unknown people at the event, Nai Fest, held at Ngong Racecourse,”  Munga recounted.

A post-mortem showed that Shanty had died of severe head injuries. His family, which struggling to come to terms with his murder, says nothing was out of the ordinary when Shanty left home earlier that day.

Munga said together with his wife, they granted Shanty permission to go spend time with his friends since he had consistently demonstrated he was a responsible young man.

He left home on the afternoon of Saturday, November 7, and this was the last they saw him alive.

Filled with teenagers

This was not the first time Shanty went out with his friends and would always return home on time, his father said.

This time, he failed to return home two nights in a row, something he had never done before.

It is still not clear how the 17-year-old Form Three student gained entry to Nai Fest, a music event meant for adults. But what is certain is that on November 7, the day of the concert and the day Shanty died, he was last seen alive at the event.

However, witnesses claimed that the event organisers knowingly admitted teenagers as IDs were not a requirement to be allowed in.

“The event was filled with teenagers. People were being attacked and molested.

“There weren’t any police officers at the gate,” Dennis Mbugua, who attended the event between told the Saturday Standard.

Other witnesses corroborated Mbugua’s claim said the event not only admitted teenagers but also sold them alcohol.

Revelations by the concertgoers, both through social media posts and interviews, painted the gory picture of a concert characterised by drug use, violence and outright disregard of Covid-19 safety measures.

Witnesses questioned by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) officers at the Kabete Police Station where Shanty’s case is being handled said they saw him at the event.

One of the witnesses, Maria Njeri, told Saturday Standard that she saw Shanty being beaten earlier during the event only to stumble on his battered body on the ground on her way out of the venue.

“Around 8.30 pm, bouncers pulled Shanty from the crowd. One of them held his hands.

“I don’t know what happened after that but two people followed them outside, one of them in tears,” Njeri recalled the events leading up to Shanty’s death.

She said when the duo returned where they were seated, she heard one of them say, “I hope they won’t hurt him.”

Njeri and her friends found Shanty’s body at around 9.40pm, just over an hour after he had been dragged out of the concert.

She recalled police officers arriving at the scene and ordering them to leave.

Later that evening, Njeri shared information about Shanty’s death on social media.

Last week, a video emerged of two men violently pounding and kicking Shanty while dragging him outside a tent at the venue.

The police are yet to arrest any suspects in relation to Shanty’s death.

Bridget Achieng, the event organiser denied that Shanty died at Nai Fest saying they found him injured backstage and rushed him to hospital.

DCI officers said they have commenced investigations into Shanty’s death after witnesses recorded statements on Wednesday.

Singers Francis Amisi (Frasha) and Hubert Nakitare, also known as Nonini joined Shanty’s family in seeking answers over his death.

By Standardmedia.co.ke


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Business

Cry of a Kenyan man whose Multi-Million-Shilling Apartments have gone unoccupied for 4 Years

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A landlord in Kenya has been left counting losses after his real estate retirement plan goes down the drain.

85-year-old David Ndolo from Kitengela told the media that he had lost more than Ksh10 million in rent after his multimillion apartment block stayed unoccupied for 4 years.

Ndolo says he built the multi-million-shilling property in Kitengela, Kajiado County through his pension savings. Its construction was completed in 2014.

The building consists of five bedsitters and 19 two-bedroom houses, which should earn him a total of Sh250,000 per month.

“I have watched helplessly as my retirement investment crumbles,” he lamented.

According to neighbors, his tenants started fleeing due to sewer water suspected to be coming from an adjacent building linked to a retired government official.

Ndolo’s troubles began in 2014 when over 200 tenants occupied the adjacent building and sewer water started seeping into his apartments.

He says he reported the matter to the National Environmental Management Authority and public health officials but the authorities closed the building instead.

His daughter Roselyn Ndolo said that officials ordered the closure citing that the apartments were a health hazard.

When contacted by journalists, Kitengela Public Health Officer Benard Kiluva stated that he did not have enough information on the matter since he was recently posted to the area.

Kajiado NEMA Director Joseph Kopejo promised to visit the site to probe the matter.

Government officials say Many landlords in the country have been contravening these provisions by either discharging untreated effluent into a public sewer or discharging it into the environment without an effluent discharge license.

“According to Kenyan law, it is illegal for  any person from discharging any effluent from sewer treatment works, industry or other sources into the environment without a valid effluent discharge license issued by the authority,” said a NEMA official.

 


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Diaspora

VIDEO: Kenyans in Diaspora reject BBI report, referendum

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A lobby for Kenyans  in the diaspora is urging voters to reject the  Building Bridges Initiative report in the  referendum being championed by President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga.

According to Commonwealth Voter Privileges Right Association (COVPRA) the report is being imposed on Kenyans after the views of  certain groups and  elected leaders views were rejected..

Uhuru and Raila have rejected amendments to the final report saying those opposing it had time to give their views to the fourteen member committee they appointment.

 

The lobby avers that the recommendations in the final report do not represent the position of all Kenyans and a contested referendum would divide Kenyans.

“Kenyans should reject the BBI report. It is two man initiative that is being imposed on the people. The clergy have rejected it, several groups have rejected it. It’s not a Wanjiku Initiative. A few people and their surrogates want to change the Constitution for their personal gain,” Mr David Kimengere Waititu, the association’s Organising secretary told the Nation.

“It would have been  necessary to allow debate on all the issues that  arose in the final report  before coming  up with a bill. Kenyans are being taken for a ride,”  he said.

In June the group petitioned the committee  led by Garissa senator Yusuf Hajji to allow views from all dissenting voices saying all Kenyans should be allowed to participate.

“Freedom to Assembly, Freedom of expression and Freedom to political participation are so important in a  process like this one. It would be a sham  if the BBI Team was to ignore the views of some Kenyans. During the  meetings to sensitize the public on the initiative,” Kimengere said.

Leaders allied to Deputy President William Ruto and civil society are opposed to some of the proposals in the final report.

The group says a contested referendum would leave the country divided.

“We do not want a process that would leave Kenyans more divided. Let all Kenyans reject this report in a referendum to save their country from a few people who think they own Kenya.  We in Covpra, have our motherland at heart,” he said.

 Covpra said that the future of Kenya lies in the hands of the hollo polloi and not it’s leaders.

“ We call upon the Kenyans poor not to buy to the schemes of the dynasties. Let us protect our country by rejecting this monster called BBI if it goes to the referendum.

The group said in a statement that Kenyans should reject plots by politician to engage in chaos.

“At the end, this might result to   a badly contested referendum and  create a poisoned society ahead of the 2022 general elections. Let’s refuse any incitement to violence and stand up against the dynasties to shape the future of Kenya,” he says.

In their June petition, the group cited the strained relations between the Executive and the Judiciary and the fall out in the ruling Jubilee party over the process as a matter of concern.

“Our position stands that there is no proposal  to fix the simmering tensions between the two arms of government and between the two leaders of the Executive,” Mr Kimengere stated.

-nation.co.ke


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