Kenya issues travel warning on South Africa

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Kenya has issued a travel warning against South Africa, citing a rising wave of crime in a move that may spark a fresh round of diplomatic showdown months after the two States resolved a protracted visa standoff.

In a security alert sent to top government officials from Pretoria, Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Monica Juma has warned of increased cases of armed robberies, carjacking, theft, burglary, kidnap, rape and mugging.

“The most worrying element of this crime wave is the rising number of incidents of attacks within the vicinity of hotels,” Dr Juma says.

“In addition, the diplomatic community is being openly attacked in residential areas and in the central business district.”

The letter further blames South African authorities for failing to stop the wave of attacks despite the crime reports being filed with the police.

The letter, copied to Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua, is shared with all principal secretaries, governors, MPs, senators, Members of County Assemblies, the Solicitor-General and chief executives of independent commissions and agencies.

“We need to bring to the attention of all official delegations or members of public travelling to South Africa on duty or official assignments to be cautious,” the letter says.

South Africa has grappled with sporadic but violent xenophobic attacks since 2008 as its army of uneducated youth blame foreigners for the high level of joblessness.

To minimise chances of xenophobic attacks, Dr Juma has advised Kenyans to arrive in South Africa before 6 p.m., book accommodation in well-established areas and avoid travelling in public service vehicles.

The letter is dated April 24, the same day the United Kingdom issued a travel advisory against South Africa.

“There is a very high level of crime, including rape and murder in South Africa,” the UK says in its travel warning.

“The most violent crimes tend to occur in townships, remote and isolated areas and away from the normal tourist destinations. Most visits to South Africa are trouble-free, but you should take sensible precautions to protect your safety.”

Canada has also issued a travel advisory against South Africa. On May 2, the North American state said it had not issued a nationwide advisory for South Africa but warned its citizens “to exercise a high degree of caution due to the significant level of serious crime.”

For Kenya, the alert is likely to rekindle old diplomatic fires.

In 2014, South Africa angered the East African nation when it introduced a Sh5,850 visa application fee for Kenyan travellers.

Under the rules that Nairobi threatened to match with equally tough measures, visa processing time was also extended to at least seven working days and travellers visiting for more than 30 days asked to pay additional Sh4,800 fee.

The standoff was resolved after President Jacob Zuma visited Nairobi in October last year.

Hundreds of Kenyans live and work in South Africa, which is also an important trading partner of Kenya.

The tough immigration rules and xenophobic attacks saw Kenya’s exports to South Africa drop from Sh4.35 billion in 2015 to Sh4.15 billion last year. Imports from South Africa dropped sharply by 31.7 per cent, from Sh61.3 billion to Sh41.86 billion over the same period.

Renewed diplomatic tension is expected to affect trade further.

Dr Juma wants Kenyan visitors to avoid isolated areas within urban areas and major cities of South Africa.

She also wants Kenyans to avoid displaying their cellphones, jewelry and travel documents “as these attract attention and may result in possible attacks.”

from the business daily

FRANCE GETS A YOUNG PRESIDENT

Euro strengthens as ‘pro-business’ Macron wins French presidency

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The euro has risen after pro-EU Emmanuel Macron won France’s presidential vote by a large margin.

The single currency strengthened 0.2% against the dollar as investors were reassured over the future stability of the European project.

The reaction was muted, however, as investors were expecting Mr Macron, a former investment banker and an economic liberal, to prevail.

He has proposed cutting corporation tax and changes to the labour market.

“Voters elected for Emmanuel Macron’s pro-business policy proposals, which have the potential to unlock long-held-back investment and stimulate French markets,” said Stephen Mitchell at London-based fund manager, Jupiter Asset Management.

His opponent in the race for the presidency, Marine Le Pen, is a critic of globalisation and had proposed withdrawing France from the single currency

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In contrast, Mr Macron, has campaigned for greater European integration.

Mr Macron, who was economy minister under Socialist President Francois Hollande, has tried to define himself as neither left nor right politically.

All about business

Customers of cosmetics company Out of Africa do more than just purchase high-quality shea-butter skin care products; they also help improve the quality of life for West African women and children. A portion of Out of Africa’s proceeds is donated to organizations that provide education and medical care to children, and the company regularly donates to women’s cooperatives that create jobs in West Africa.

Safaricom rewards M-pesa subscribers following outage
NAIROBI, KENYA: Safaricom has rewarded its customers with free M-pesa service following outage that crippled most of its services on Monday. The Company Chief Executive Officer Bob Collymore said as a small gesture, from midnight Tuesday to midnight Wednesday, all customers will be able to send money on the M-PESA network for free

It reported that the Monday system outage affected a number of core services. “We had two traffic outlets which failed rapidly one after the other. In response, as a priority, the team very quickly started operating the affected functions from our redundant equipment in order to restore services,” said Collymore. “Although most customers could call, text and use data by noon and M-PESA by late afternoon yesterday, this work came to an end this morning. We are now working to ensure that network stability continues.”
Global agency warns Kenya its credit rating at risk of downgrade
Global ratings agency Fitch has warned Kenya that it could downgrade its rating if it does not adequately grow revenues to bridge the budget deficit and tame borrowing. It said Kenya’s ‘B+’ sovereign rating is supported by its high medium-term growth potential, but a gaping budget deficit and high levels of borrowing could hurt the country’s credit profile. “Failure to consolidate the budget deficit and stabilise government debt to GDP ratio would be negative for Kenya’s credit profile,” said the agency.

Kenyans are saving more, shows new report

The culture of saving might be catching up in Kenya, according to a new report by Standard Chartered Bank. The bank, which surveyed what it refers to as emerging affluent from Africa and Asia, found that 79 per cent of Kenyans that fit the description save every month

BUSINESS KENYA

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“KENYAN MARKET AND BUSINESS ENVIROMENT IS THE  BEST IN AFRICA..”

world business reports have it that nairobi is the most intelligent city in africa following its vast involvment in business technologies..

According to an article appearing in the CNN (http://edition.cnn.com/2015/02/10/africa/nairobi-africa-intelligent-city/index.html), Kenya’s capital city however failed to make it to the World’s top seven finalists.

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Due to business technology and most business inovations, kenya is most favourable to business growth.

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venture into business today and get your business grow within no time

– The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) names Nairobi the smartest city in Africa – The City in the Sun is also ranked among the 21 most intelligent cities globally – It is also the only African city in the top 21 smartest city in the world – ICF has provided five reasons why Nairobi deserves to be number one spot in Africa Read more:

Facebook releases timeline of Cleveland shooting videos

Facebook is facing backlash after a Cleveland man uploaded a video of himself shooting someone to the social network, and followed it with a Live video confessing to the murder. The slaying and its subsequent distribution across Facebook has raised questions about how the company moderates violent content.

Justin Osofsky, Facebook’s vice president of global operations, released a statement and timeline of the events and videos surrounding the incident.

Osofsky’s statements hand off the responsibility for policing content on Facebook to its users, although he acknowledged the company can do better at moderation. He says artificial intelligence and new policies governing how videos are shared could present solutions to the issue, and that Facebook will try to speed up its current review process.

“As a result of this terrible series of events, we are reviewing our reporting flows to be sure people can report videos and other material that violates our standards as easily and quickly as possible. In this case, we did not receive a report about the first video, and we only received a report about the second video — containing the shooting — more than an hour and 45 minutes after it was posted. We received reports about the third video, containing the man’s live confession, only after it had ended,” Osofsky wrote.

11:09AM PDT — First video, of intent to murder, uploaded. Not reported to Facebook.
11:11AM PDT — Second video, of shooting, uploaded.
11:22AM PDT — Suspect confesses to murder while using Live, is live for 5 minutes.
11:27AM PDT — Live ends, and Live video is first reported shortly after.
12:59PM PDT — Video of shooting is first reported.
1:22PM PDT — Suspect’s account disabled; all videos no longer visible to public.

The timeline demonstrates the failures of Facebook’s moderation system, which relies on user reports to flag controversial or violent content. While the Live video of the man’s confession was quickly reported by another user, the video of the killing itself went unreported and therefore remained online for nearly two hours.

“Artificial intelligence, for example, plays an important part in this work, helping us prevent the videos from being reshared in their entirety. (People are still able to share portions of the videos in order to condemn them or for public awareness, as many news outlets are doing in reporting the story online and on television),” Osofsky said.

Even with advances in artificial intelligence, it’s not clear that Facebook can prevent Live from being used to broadcast violence. The livestreaming service has already been used to share videos of shootings, torture, and sexual assault. And while users are angry at Facebook for allowing the Cleveland killing to be livestreamed, users were also outraged when a “technical glitch” caused the removal of video documenting the police murder of Philando Castile. Osofsky says that the Cleveland videos “goes against our policies and everything we stand for,” but there are times when users will expect Facebook to preserve violent videos because they have political importance. It’s a delicate balance, and one that isn’t likely to be solved by AI alone.

“Facebook isn’t going to stop a murder. And I don’t care how good the AI gets, it’s unlikely any time soon to say ‘hey, that video is some person killing another person, don’t stream that.’” Mike Masnick noted on Techdirt. “Yes, senseless murders and violence lead people to go searching for answers, but sometimes there are no answers. And demanding answers from a random tool that was peripherally used connected to the senseless violence doesn’t seem helpful at all.”

INTRESTING FACTS ABOUT NORWAY

 

  • Norway’s formal nINTRESTING FACTS ABOUT NORWAYame is Kongeriket Norge (Kingdom of Norway).[13]
  • Norway was originally called Nordweg, meaning the “Northern Way.”[6]
  • Norway’s national symbol is the lion.[13]
  • Norway has a total area of 125,021 square miles (323,802 square km), which includes Bouvet, Jan Mayen, and Svalbard Islands.[13]
  • Norway’s flag is red with a blue cross outlined in white that extends to the ends of the flag. The vertical part of the flag is shifted to the hoist side in the style of the Dannebrog (Danish flag). The colors recall Norway’s past political unions with Denmark (red and white) and Sweden (blue).[13]
  • Beerenberg, at 7,306 feet (2,227 m), on Jan Mayen Island in the Norwegian Sea, is the Norway’s only active volcano.[13]
  • In December 2010, the Norwegian newspaper Aftenpost claimed to have gotten hold of Julian Assange’s Wikileaks’ purported 250,000 confidential U.S. Embassy cables.

FUN FACT ABOUT THE NORWAY FLAG IS THAT IT CAN BE SHARED WITH 6 COUNTRIES

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ITS ALL ABOUT EASTER HOLLIDAY

Why Easter is called Easter, and other little-known facts about the holiday

This Sunday, April 16, Christians will be celebrating Easter, the day on which the resurrection of Jesus is said to have taken place. The date of celebration changes from year to year.

The reason for this variation is that Easter always falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the spring equinox. So, in 2018, Easter will be celebrated on April 1, and on April 21 in 2019.

This dating of Easter goes back to the complicated origins of this holiday and how it has evolved over the centuries.

Easter as a rite of spring

Most major holidays have some connection to the changing of seasons. This is especially obvious in the case of Christmas. The New Testament gives no information about what time of year Jesus was born. Many scholars believe, however, that the main reason Jesus’ birth came to be celebrated on December 25 is because that was the date of the winter solstice according to the Roman calendar.

Since the days following the winter solstice gradually become longer and less dark, it was ideal symbolism for the birth of “the light of the world” as stated in the New Testament’s Gospel of John.

Similar was the case with Easter, which falls in close proximity to another key point in the solar year: the vernal equinox (around March 20), when there are equal periods of light and darkness. For those in northern latitudes, the coming of spring is often met with excitement, as it means an end to the cold days of winter.

Spring also means the coming back to life of plants and trees that have been dormant for winter, as well as the birth of new life in the animal world. Given the symbolism of new life and rebirth, it was only natural to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus at this time of the year

The naming of the celebration as “Easter” seems to go back to the name of a pre-Christian goddess in England, Eostre, who was celebrated at beginning of spring. The only reference to this goddess comes from the writings of the Venerable Bede, a British monk who lived in the late seventh and early eighth century

Facts About Easter You Probably Didn’t Realize

1. The tallest Easter egg chocolate was made in Italy in 2011. It stood at 10.39 meters and weighed an astounding 7,200 kg.

2. In the US, only 12 of the 50 states recognize Good Friday as a holiday.

3. The art of painting eggs is called pysanka, which originated in Ukraine. It involves using wax and dyes to color the egg.

4. The term Easter gets its name from Eastre, the Anglo-Saxon goddess who symbolizes the hare and the egg.

5. The exchange or giving of Easter eggs actually dates back to before Easter and the giving of eggs is actually considered a symbol of rebirth in many cultures.

6. There used to be a tradition churches observed that resembled the game of “hot potato.” Here, the priest would toss a hard boiled egg to one of the choir boys.

The boys would toss the egg amongst themselves and when the clock struck 12, whomever had the egg was the winner and got to keep the egg.

7. Peep peep… did you know Americans buy more than 700 million marshmallow Peeps during Easter? This makes Peeps the most popular non-chocolate Easter candy.

8. Americans consume more than 16 million jelly beans during this holiday. That is enough jelly beans to circle the globe not once, not twice, but three times.

9. Are you an ears, arms or tail person? Seventy-six percent of people eat the ears on the chocolate bunny first, 5 percent go for the feet and 4 percent for the tail.

10. During the holiday, more than 90 million chocolate bunnies, 91.4 billion eggs and 700 million Peeps are produced each year in the United States alone.

11. Next to Halloween, Easter is the biggest candy-consuming holiday of the year. Good thing they are almost six months apart, perfect for your yearly dentist check-ups!

12. An estimated $14.7 billion is spent in total for Easter in the US.

13. The Easter egg is said to symbolize and represent joy, celebration and new life.

14. Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Christ; it is the oldest Christian holiday and one of the most important days of the year.

15. Half the states in the United States banned the dyeing of chicks on Easter; however, Florida recently overturned this law and now prevents the dyeing of all animals.

16. Not only did Florida overturn the dyeing of animals, but the state also held the largest Easter egg hunt, where 9,753 children searched for 501,000 eggs.

17. The White House of tradition of the Easter Egg Roll started back in 1878, with President Rutherford B. Hayes!

18. Workers in Birmingham, who make the famous Cadbury Creme Egg, produce more than 1.5 million egg delights a year.

19. The idea of the Easter bunny giving candies and eggs is said to have originated in Germany during the middle ages.

No matter how old you are or where you are in the world, Easter is a fun family tradition that never gets old.

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