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A US church depicts Jesus, Mary and Joseph as detained refugees

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Baby Jesus is lying in a manger inside a cage, wrapped in an emergency foil blanket and separated from Mary and Joseph, who are each trapped in cells of their own.

This is the startling nativity scene created by a Protestant church in California to draw attention to the plight of migrants.

“We put them in different cages, as a symbol representing our community, and all immigrants, who are being held in detention centers and need our help,” Genaro Cordoba, co-creator of the installation and spokesman for Claremont United Methodist Church, said.

“Jesus, Joseph, Mary represent all our immigrants, all the refugees, not just in the United States but all over the world,” he said, switching from Spanish to English.

“We have seen how they suffer, and people don’t want them, and (in) our country the same thing,” Cordoba added.

Karen Clark Ristine, senior minister at the church about 48 kilometers east of Los Angeles, explained in a Facebook message accompanying the images that the Holy Family were “the most well-known refugee family in the world.”

“Shortly after the birth of Jesus, Joseph and Mary were forced to flee with their young son from Nazareth to Egypt to escape King Herod, a tyrant,” she wrote.

“They feared persecution and death. What if this family sought refuge in our country today?”

The grim Nativity scene appears to address that question.

Each cell is lined with barbed wire, and both Mary and Joseph are pictured facing the infant, their arms outstretched in hope and desperation.

“Imagine Joseph and Mary separated at the border and Jesus no older than two taken from his mother and placed behind the fences of a Border Patrol detention center as more than 5,500 children have been the past three years,” wrote Ristine.

A Trump administration “zero tolerance” policy launched in 2018 saw thousands of children separated from their parents at the border, a tactic apparently meant to frighten the families, before the government backed down.

Migrants including children were held in caged enclosures.

“Jesus grew up to teach us kindness and mercy and a radical welcome of all people,” said Ristine.

by nation

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Lifestyle

Sofapaka striker retires at just 32

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Sofapaka FC striker Ronald Okoth has parted ways with the club and effectively retired from the game at just the age of 32.

“I would like to take this opportunity to announce that we have mutually parted ways with Sofapaka FC at the expiry of my contract and also, announce my official retirement from professional football,” a statement posted on his official social media accounts reads partly.

“I want to sincerely thank the entire Sofapaka Football Club family from the President Elly Kalekwa, the whole executive board, the Head Coach John Baraza and his entire able technical bench, backroom staff together with all my fellow teammates for the amazing time we shared as a family and not just as a football club. Playing for this great club with a professional management setting and big ambitions has been without a doubt one of my proudest achievements.”

Okoth now shifts focus to talent management and placement under his RO Sports label.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to announce my retirement from professional football as I embark upon a new an exciting chapter in my life. As the founder and CEO of RO Sports and RO Sports Soccer Academy – also as an Information Manager having graduated from Kenya Methodist University with a Bachelor of Science in Information Science degree, other exciting and ambitious challenges wait ahead,” the statement continues.

“At 32 years of age and with other things on the side going on, I have felt that indeed this is the right moment to call off my career on a high after 13 good years of actively chasing a career in football both in the lower leagues and at the top level locally. It’s a new chapter for me filled with immense pride, emotions but most of all excitement for the future,” it adds.

In the 13 years, Ronald Okoth has played for Siaya Rangers, Salem Sportif, Jericho AllStars, Congo United, KEMU FC, Gor Mahia, Mahakama FC, Nairobi Stima, Western Stima, Mathare United, KCB FC and Sofapaka.

By NN

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CS Balala revokes blogger from Tourism board over statement on Nairobi National Park

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Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala has revoked Pauline Njoroge’s appointment as a member of the Tourism Regulatory Authority board with immediate effect.

In a statement on Saturday, CS Balala said she had been replaced with Standard Group journalist Najma Ismail.

He explained that the ministry had just learned of her past remarks about the Nairobi National Park and could not associate itself with her.

For Ms Njoroge, the appointment was a case of so-near-yet-so-far as it was cancelled 24 hours after gazettement.

In the old, undated post that resurfaced on social media, Ms Njoroge called for the land the park sits on to be put to “better and more profitable use”.

“INTEGRITY”

The remark returned to haunt her, proving once again that the internet never forgets.

“… we have just seen what she tweeted in the past, that Nairobi National Park was useless. We do not want to be associated with such people and such thinking,” CS Balala said.

“The integrity of the park is very important and the government is committed to saving it and any other protected area which is the habitat for our national heritage – wildlife.”

CS Balala regretted that the ministry did not know about Ms Njoroge’s view, as it did not come during her background check, and thanked members of the public who used social media to highlight the issue.

NJOROGE’S VIEW

Ms Njoroge is a Digital Media Strategist and Communication Officer at the NEPAD/APRM Kenya Secretariat under the State Department for Planning.

In her post, she questioned the sense in sustaining the park given that Nairobi is congested.

Below is a screengrab of what she wrote.

Njoroge

REACTIONS

As soon as the Kenya Gazette with numerous parastatal appointments was published on Friday, Kenyans took to social media to highlight Ms Njoroge’s post.

She and many others landed three-year appointment to plum parastatal board positions.

Among them were Kanu Secretary-General Nick Salat, former Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission CEO Halakhe Waqo, former assistant minister Kilemi Mwiria, former vice-president Kalonzo Musyoka’s son Kevin Muasy and former Nairobi Speaker Alex ole Magelo.

On Saturday, some members of the public opposed Ms Njoroge’s appointment while others opposed its revocation.

Via Twitter, one ‘Lord Abraham Mutai’ said, “This is just sad. Denying Pauline Njoroge a chance to serve Kenyans based on what she said a few months ago is unacceptable. People have opinions on diverse issues and people should be allowed to change their minds. This is just making decisions based on emotions.”

Joyline Chebet said it would be ironical to appoint to the board someone who does not believe in tourism.

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16 die as plane crashes moments before take off

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BY KEVIN KOECH

A plane carrying 190 people skidded off a runway and crashed, breaking into two pieces after landing at Calicut airport in the southern state of Kerala in India.

The Boeing 737, en route from Dubai, was reportedly repatriating Indians who were stranded in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) city following the outbreak of coronavirus.

According to reports by BBC, at least 16 people were confirmed dead by aviation officials as of Friday, August 7, night, when the crash occurred.

Rescue operation and evacuation mission began in earnest and latest reports indicate the process was completed by midnight and survivors were taken to hospitals in Calicut and Malappuram in India.

Tens of passengers of sustained injuries with aviation officials confirming 15 of them were in critical condition. Air India Express said the two pilots were among those who died.

The ill-fated aircraft crashed on its second attempt to land at the airport after the first attempt was aborted by the pilots due to heavy monsoon-season rainfall lashing Kerala.

“The aircraft overshot the runway in rainy conditions”, then plunged down a 35ft (10.6m) slope, before breaking in two,” said India’s Civil Aviation Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri.

Indian President Narendra Modi said he was pained by the devastating news of the crash and condoled with families of those who lost their loved ones.

Modi also wished a quicked recovery to the injured.

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