Monthly Archives: March 2019

  • Breakthrough as Kenya poised to elect first female governors


    Joyce Laboso Kenya’s?deputy parliamentary speaker Photo: Twitter/@DrJoyceLaboso
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    Nairobi:Women are likely to be elected for the first time to some of Kenya’s powerful governor positions after making historic gains in party primaries this week, experts said, heralding a political breakthrough for the patriarchal society.

    Kenya has East Africa’s lowest female representation in parliament – at 19 per cent – and women have struggled to make gains in the face of violence, intimidation and sexism.

    That looks set to change in August’s elections.

    “This time, at least two women are almost guaranteed for the position,” said Macharia Munene, a professor of international relations at Nairobi’s United States International University.

    “They might win because they have proven themselves as capable leaders in previously held positions.”

    Kenyans will vote for their president, parliament and county representatives on August 8.

    The ruling Jubilee party and the opposition National Super Alliance, known by its acronym NASA, both elected women to run as county governors in primaries concluding on Sunday.

    None of Kenya’s 47 counties, which manage local infrastructure, are headed by a female governor, an influential position overseeing budgets worth billions of shillings.





    [Martha Karua, former Kenyan presidential candidate, is running a governor position.]

    Martha Karua, former Kenyan presidential candidate, is running a governor position.Photo: Supplied

    The counties get about 20 per cent of national revenues. They can also raise local taxes. In return, they must provide most health facilities, pre-schools, and local infrastructure.

    Anne Waiguru, who is standing in the Jubilee stronghold of Kirinyaga, some 100 km northeast of the capital Nairobi, has a good chance of victory, Munene said.

    She was the powerful minister for devolution and planning until she resigned in 2015, saying that unsubstantiated corruption allegations had taken a toll on her health.

    Joyce Laboso, the deputy parliamentary speaker, is also well poised to win the western county of Bomet for Jubilee, he said.

    “We have stepped up this year,” Labososaid. “Society must stop thinking that women are mere flower girls.”

    Wavinya Ndeti, who was a member of parliament until 2013, is vying on a NASA ticket, while two of the three women to have stood for the Kenyan presidency – former ministers Martha Karua and Charity Ngilu – are both running under their own parties.

    “Women have proved that they can be good leaders who want to change the lives of their people,” said Ngilu, who was Kenya’s first female presidential candidate in 1997.

    Women usually lack the political clout and money to get nominated by the main players in primaries, where voters choose party candidates, often amid violent clashes.

    “Apart from the physical violence we suffer during campaigns, we are also subjected to a lot of emotional abuse,” said Laboso.

    Female candidates often hire bodyguards after threats of rape and beatings, sexual slurs or curses from elders for violating tradition.

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  • Half arrested in Donald Trump’s immigration raids had traffic convictions or no record


    Washington:About half of the 675 immigrants picked up in roundups across the United States in the days after President Donald Trump took office either had no criminal convictions or had committed traffic offences, mostly drunken driving, as their most serious crimes, according to data obtained byThe Washington Post.
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    Records provided by congressional aides Friday offered the most detailed look yet at the backgrounds of the individuals rounded up and targeted for deportation in early February by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents assigned to regional offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, San Antonio and New York.

    Two people had been convicted of homicide, 80 had been convicted of assault, and 57 had convictions for “dangerous drugs.” Many of the most serious criminals were given top billing in ICE news statements about the operation.

    The largest single group – 163 immigrants convicted of traffic offences – was mentioned only briefly. Over 90 percent of those cases involved drunken driving, ICE said Friday. Of those taken into custody in the raids, 177 had no criminal convictions at all, though 66 had charges pending, largely immigration or traffic offences.

    The raids were part of a nationwide immigration roundup dubbed Operation Cross Check, which accounts for a small portion of the 21,362 immigrants the Trump administration took into custody for deportation proceedings from January through mid-March.

    The two-month total represents a 32 per cent increase in deportation arrests over the same period last year. Most are criminals, administration officials have said. But 5,441 were not criminals, double the number of undocumented immigrants arrested for deportation a year earlier. The administration has released a detailed breakdown of the criminal records only of the raids in early February.

    Trump has said that public safety threats are his top priority. Shortly after he was elected, he vowed to first deport serious criminals from the United States.

    But critics say immigration agents instead have also targeted students, parents of US citizens who do not have serious criminal records and minor offenders.

    “That makes me so angry,” said Kica Matos, a spokeswoman for the Fair Immigration Reform Movement, which is organising demonstrations Monday to protest Trump’s immigration policies. She said that many of the DUI convictions are years-old and that the data “confirms our worst fears, which is that this administration is really trying to deport as many as possible regardless of whether they have a criminal record.”

    President Barack Obama also deported thousands of people who never committed crimes, but toward the end of his administration, he imposed strict new rules that prioritised the arrest of criminals.

    The Trump administration has said the current president also wants to prioritise deporting criminals. But officials add that anyone in the United States illegally could be detained and deported.

    “As Secretary Kelly has made clear, ICE will no longer exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement,” said ICE spokeswoman Jennifer Elzea, referring to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly. “All of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and, if found removable by final order, removal from the United States.”

    ICE arrested immigrants across the United States in February as part of Operation Cross Check, an initiative that seeks to detain immigrants that also occurred during the Obama administration.

    Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies for the Centre for Immigration Studies, which favours limits on immigration, said ICE is properly enforcing immigration laws by arresting criminals and people in the United States without papers.

    “Those are legitimate reasons to remove people,” she said. “ICE officers are no longer operating under the restraints imposed by the Obama administration. They’re not forced to look the other way when they encounter people who are removable.”

    Congressional aides said the information from ICE follows months of frustration from lawmakers that the agency is not responding fast enough to requests for information.

    After initially being supportive of Kelly, many Democrats have turned on him, believing he is being less than forthcoming about his sprawling department’s moves to implement Trump’s immigration policy.

    Kelly, a retired Marine general, shot back at congressional critics last week in a speech at George Washington University.

    “If lawmakers do not like the laws they’ve passed and we are charged to enforce, then they should have the courage and skill to change the laws,” Kelly said. “Otherwise they should shut up and support the men and women on the front lines.”

    That kind of approach “wasn’t a constructive way to deal with Congress,” House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer said in an interview Friday. Democrats, he said, are frustrated by Trump’s immigration policies but are unable to change laws because they don’t currently control Congress.

    “That kind of language ought to be jettisoned,” Hoyer said.

    The Washington Post

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  • Chinan news headlines: April 29, 2017


    Need anational newssnapshot first thing?Well, we have you covered.
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    ​Regional news:► QUEENSLAND:THEY may be the largest irrigated cotton farm in the Southern Hemisphere but not even Cubbie Station were left unscathed by this season’s dry hot summer.

    ► DARWIN, NT:An n woman is fighting for life after becoming the first local victim of a global airbag recall crisis that has left drivers with gruesome injuries and affected millions of car owners.Read more.

    ►WAGGA WAGGA, NSW:A Wagga resident has called for large dog ownersto consider using a muzzlein the wake of avicious dog attack which left afamily forced to watch their cat die in their arms.Read more.

    ►BENDIGO:“Imagine what it is like to be told you can’t have this choice [to go out after 10pm] because you are disabled, and make no mistake this is what it says. This is our government forcing our disabled citizens to be out of sight, out of mind. This is discrimination.” Read more.

    Harry Styles is heading to for his first solo world tour. But just over 4000 fans will be able to see him perform here. Read more.

    Eye on the weatherWhat does it look like in your neck of the woods today?

    National news:► The head of the NSW Police Sex Crimes Squad recently warned a NSW Parliamentary inquiry into human trafficking that exploited overseas workers were slipping through the cracks because there was now no way to identify – or stop – underground brothels.Read more.

    ►Labor has referred Pauline Hanson’s One Nation to Queensland authorities amid claims the party has breached electoral rules. Read more.

    ►Multinational gas companies will soon sell an annual $50 billion worth of n liquefied natural gas to foreign markets, but the nation will have to wait more than a decade for any revenue boost and some projects will never pay a cent in tax for the resources they extract.​ Read more.

    World news:► North Korea unsuccessfully test-fired a ballistic missile on Saturday from a region north of its capital, Pyongyang, South Korea’s military said, defying intense pressure from the United States and the reclusive state’s main ally, China. Read more.

    ►Nairobi:Women are likely to be elected for the first time to some of Kenya’s powerful governor positions after making historic gains in party primaries this week, experts said, heralding a political breakthrough for the patriarchal society. Read more.

    ►About half of the 675 immigrants picked up in roundups across the United States in the days after President Donald Trump took office either had no criminal convictions or had committed traffic offences, mostly drunken driving, as their most serious crimes, according to data obtained byThe Washington Post.Read more.

    Faces of Jeff McCloy, the larger-than-life personality who dramatically won, and then lost, Newcastle’s lord mayoralty between 2012 and 2014, has remained a highly visible figure in the city’s political scene since he resigned in the heat ofthe Independent Commission Against Corruption’s inquiry into political donations made before the 2011 state election.

    From interventions about the controversial light rail route, to challenging the ICAC in the High Court of , Mr McCloy has lost none of his famously forthright nature.

    But since the conclusion of ICAC’sOperation Spicer investigation, which found Mr McCloy“acted with the intention”of evading laws about thedisclosure of political donations and the ban on donations from property developers, the question being asked in some circles is:would he ever run again? Read more.

    On this day …

    ►311Roman Emperor Galerius issues Edict of Toleration, ending persercution of Christians in the Roman Empire

    ►1789George Washingtonis inaugurated as the first President of the United States of America

    ► 1859 Charles Dickens'”A Tale Of Two Cities” is first published in literary periodical “All the Year Round” (weekly installments until Nov 26).

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  • NRL: Newcastle Knights beaten by Gold Coast Titans at Cbus Super Stadiumphotos


    Knights crash to seventh straight loss | photos TweetFacebook Knights v Titans on Gold CoastPictures by Getty ImagesThe Newcastle Knights suffered their seventh straight loss on Saturday afterthe Gold Coast Titans scored 32 unanswered pointsin the second half.
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    The visitors were beaten 38-8 in front of10,511 spectators at CbusSuperStadium after leading 8-6 at the break, but remaining scoreless on the run home.

    This result keeps the Knights (two points)anchored to the bottom of the NRL competition ladder, now four behind the Titans (6) and two arrears of the Penrith Panthers (4).

    Newcastle started the round nine fixturewith much promise,Knights skipper Sione Mata’utai produced a try-saving tackle over the lineknocking the ball free from the arms of Titans hooker Nathan Peats in the sixth minute.

    After being held up next to the posts and forcing a repeat set, Newcastlethen made the most ofextra possession with second-rower Sam Stone latching onto a short ball from hooker Danny Levi and swiveling past Jarryd Hayne to open the scoring in the 13th minute. Brock Lamb added the extras for a 6-0 lead.

    Lamb made it 8-0 with a penalty goal four minutes later, shortly after Knights prop Daniel Saifiti made a 50 metre break in midfield.

    The Titans reduced the margin to two in the 24thminute when Hayne, who received a penalty 10m out, took a quick tap and crashed over. Gold Coast halfback Ash Taylor converted to make it 8-6.

    The Knights managed to hold the Titans enterprising attack at bayjust before the break and took the same lead into half-time.

    Gold Coast crossed twice in the space of six minutes shortly after the main stoppage to first reachthe frontvia five-eighth Kane Elgey and then double their advantage to 16-8 courtesy of Hayne’s second for the afternoon.

    Just shy of the hour mark Titans centre Konrad Hurrell dived full stretch and caught a clever chip kick from Taylor to extend the home side’s advantage to 20-8.

    The Titans kept on coming and tries in the 68th,73rd and 77th minutes put the result beyond the Knights’ reach.

    Gold Coast replacement Jon Greenwood produced a one-on-one strip from Lamb just 10m out and nabbed a four-pointer, Hurrell crunched Knights halfback Jaelen Feeney in a tackle to force a turnover and then crashed over him for his double before Titans captain Ryan James was also addedto the score sheet.

    Meanwhile, in late team changes before kick-offJosh King made his first appearance for the Knights this season, the 13thof his career, starting at lock with Luke Yates shifting back to the bench. Anthony Tupou dropped out of the squad.

    For the Titans the main shufflesawHayne moving to the centres and Tyrone Roberts going to fullback. Elgey was elevated to No.6and Morgan Boyle became one of four interchange players.

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  • NSW Country rugby union: Newcastle beat Illawarra to lift Caldwell Cup


    Newcastle reclaim country rugby crown TweetFacebookAll weekend, both games, they were top-class.
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    Stu Pinkerton

    “There’s a few good stories,” Pinkerton said.

    “Josh Stewart’s played Country for different provinces for six or seven years but has never held the Caldwell Cup. He’s been captain of Country.

    “Ben Ham, in colts and seniors, has been here six times and never won.

    “Potentially Jay Strachan and Steve Lamont this was a last opportunity to play for Newcastle.

    “I think they’re thinking about not representing this year. It was great for them because they’ve been stalwarts in the team. It was great to see them with the trophy.

    “And then there’s 11 debutants in the team as well, so it’s great for the future to see so many young guys be part of the team that wins.”

    Newcastle’s only blemish in the final was an intercept try just on half-time.

    “We got out to 17-0. I thought we were the better side. We were comfortable,” Pinkerton said.

    “In the second half we kept them scoreless. Our defence really held them in check and when we had the opportunity to score our backs were really slick. All weekend, both games, they were top-class.”

    The coach also praised his physios and trainers for keeping the players fresh across the weekend.

    “Yesterday was really hot. We’ve only played two or three club games. It’s a high standard. It’s a hard thing to do. It’s the team that can manage that the best, too,” he said.

    “It was a great off-field effort as well.”

    Newcastle flyhalf and goal-kicker Dane Sherratt was named playerof the tournament.

    The Newcastle under-19s lost their final 14-8 against Central Coast, but halfback Gus Locke was namedplayer of the colts tournament.

    The Hunter’s women won their sevens semi-final over Mid North Coast 17-0 but lost the final 19-10 to Central West.

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