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Rules from the Men Side

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Via, Standard Digital

There are rules that run the world. Then there are rules that women deliberately create to curb the liberal behaviours of men. It’s more like a reference book, a mini-constitution that men are supposed to bow to.

Men, as far as I know, are more liberal and would not really care to follow rules in relationships. Not that it’s a bad thing only that, my friend Ryan, argues that they could have better things to do. I wasn’t really listening to him, until he told me that as a man, I had to be organized, and have rules to present to women. .

Thinking about it, I totally agree. I am a convert, and as man, here are some rules that he sent  me. He insisted that these are rules that women should know men have by default.

He in fact said that they should memorize as many as they can. So women know that:

1. Men are not mind readers.

2. Shopping is not a sport. And no, we are never going to think of it that way.

3. Please,you should know that crying is blackmail.

4. Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one: Subtle hints do not work! Strong hints do not work! Obvious hints do not work! Just say it!

5. Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.

6. Come to us with a problems only if you want help solving it. That’s what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.

7. Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In fact, all comments become null and void after 7 Days.

8. If you won’t dress like the Victoria’s Secret girls, don’t expect us to act like soap opera guys..

9. If something we said can be interpreted in two ways and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one.

10. You can either ask us to do something or tell us how you want it done. Not both. If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.

11. Whenever possible, Please say whatever you have to say during commercials.

12. Christopher Columbus did NOT need directions and neither do we.

13. ALL men see in only 16 colors, like Windows default settings. Peach, for example, is a fruit, not A color. Pumpkin is also a fruit. We have no idea what mauve is.

15. If we ask what is wrong and you say “nothing,” We will act like nothing’s wrong. We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle.

16. If you ask a question you don’t want an answer to, expect an answer you don’t want to hear.

17. Don’t ask us what we’re thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as football, cars, bikes or games

18. You have enough clothes and too many shoes.

20. Thank you for reading this. Yes, I know, if you tell these rules to your woman, you may be forced to have to sleep on the couch tonight, courtesy of the rules; But did you know men really don’t mind that? It’s like camping.

As  we digest the rules, its pretty clear, the game is changing in relationships, there are new rules in town. But as far as relationships are concerned, this is how every man think in his relationships.

Oldest human DNA found in Spain

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A drawing shows what the species of Homo heidelbergensis might have looked like 400,000 years ago.
A drawing shows what the species of Homo heidelbergensis might have looked like 400,000 years ago.

Via By Elizabeth Landau, CNN
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Homo heidelbergensis remains found in Spain
  • From a femur bone, scientists sequenced mitochondrial DNA
  • Technique can be used elsewhere, too, scientists say

(CNN) — There were no genetic tests 400,000 years ago, so our ancient relatives didn’t know as much about themselves as we know about them now.

Scientists have reconstructed a nearly complete mitochondrial genome of an ancient human relative, whose remains were found in Sima de los Huesos (“pit of bones”) in northern Spain. It is the oldest DNA to be recovered from an early humanlike species, authors of a study wrote in the journal Nature.

The ancient species that has revealed some of its genetic secrets, via bone fragments from a femur, is probably not directly linked to your family tree though.

“It’s quite clear that this is not a direct ancestor of people today,” said Svante Paabo, a biologist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and senior author of the study.

Instead, he said, this representative of an early humanlike species, called Homo heidelbergensis, could be an ancestor of both Neanderthals and another group called the De nisovans.

The genetic relationship to Denisovans, discovered through this DNA research, is surprising because the Homo heidelbergensis remains found in the cave have many Neanderthal-like features. The only remnants of Denisovans come from Siberia — a long way from Spain.

“It’s sort of an open question really what this means, and I think further research into the nuclear genome of these hominins will address that,” Paabo said.

How they did it

Paabo and colleagues used a new method for sequencing ancient, degraded genetic material to put together the 400,000-year-old specimen’s mitochondrial genome. It is the oldest DNA ever found outside permafrost conditions — in other words, it was not permanently frozen.

Mitochondria are structures in cells that convert food energy into usable forms. DNA stored in the mitochondria is passed to children through the maternal line only (i.e., only moms can pass it on), so it’s only a small snapshot of inherited genes.

Genetic material in the cell’s nucleus comes from both parents and gives a fuller picture of genetic heritage.

To study genetics of our ancient predecessors, researchers have an easier time studying mitochondrial DNA because there are hundreds of times more copies of it in each cell.

“It’s a much bigger chance to find some fragments of this preserved,” Paabo said.

A skeleton of a Homo heidelbergensis representative from a cave site in Spain.
A skeleton of a Homo heidelbergensis representative from a cave site in Spain.

The method that researchers used involves separating the two strands of the DNA double helix. They then make a “library” from each of the two strands. If part of one strand is damaged, its analogue on the other strand — which is made of complementary genetic partners — may be intact.

“That is sort of the big trick involved,” Paabo said.

After sequencing the mitochondrial DNA, researchers then compared the result with genetic information about Neanderthals and Denisovans.

Since nuclear DNA encompasses more information about a person’s inheritance, a nuclear genome sequence from Homo heidelbergensis may reveal even more clearly how it is connected to other ancient humanlike species, he said.

But retrieving the nuclear DNA sequence will be challenging, study authors wrote. Just to get the mitochondrial DNA sequence, it took about two grams of bone — less than 0.1 ounce — even though hundreds of copies of this DNA are in every cell.

Still, Paabo said, the sequencing technique his group used “opens a possibility to now do this at many other sites, and really begin to understand earlier human evolution.”

Relationship to other species

Researchers thought initially the mitochondrial DNA of the Homo heidelbergensis specimen would share a common ancestor with Neanderthals. Neanderthals lived in Europe beginning as much as 300,000 years ago, Paabo said. (Homo sapiens, our species, first appeared in Africa between 100,000 and 200,000 years ago.)

Instead, researchers discovered through the DNA that this specimen is closer to the Denisovans, a group related to the Neanderthals.

A likely explanation is that in Eastern Eurasia this species gave rise to Denisovans, and in Western Eurasia they were the ancestors of Neanderthals, Paabo said. But more research needs to be done to verify that theory.

Humans, Neanderthals related to yet another group

Little is known about the Denisovans. Although some of their remains were found in southern Siberia, their genetic signature is only found today on islands in the Pacific.

Paabo was also the senior author on a 2012 study in the journal Science analyzing the Denisovan genome. That research suggested that human ancestors and the Denisovans’ ancestors must have branched off from one another as much as 700,000 years ago — although that number is vague. Still, it seems that the Denisovans must have mated with indigenous people in Papua New Guinea and Australia, Paabo said.

About 3% to 5% of the DNA of people from Melanesia (islands in the southwest Pacific Ocean), Australia and New Guinea as well as aboriginal people from the Philippines comes from the Denisovans.

On the other hand, everyone who lives outside Africa today probably has some Neanderthal DNA in them, Paabo said in 2012.

The bottom line, Paabo said, is that the relationships between these early human relatives — Homo heidelbergensis, Neanderthals and Denisovans — are not clear-cut.

“It’s going to be a more complex history that one will eventually clarify with the help of DNA,” he said.

Super Typhoon Haiyan Slams into Philippines, at Least Three Dead.

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Via Reuters

The strongest typhoon in the world this year and possibly the most powerful ever to hit land smashed into the Philippines on Friday, forcing more than a million people to flee, flooding villages and raising fears of widespread casualties.

Haiyan, a category-5 super typhoon, scoured the northern tip of Cebu province and headed northwest towards Boracay island, both tourist destinations, after lashing the central islands of Leyte and Samar with 275-kph (170 mph) wind gusts and 5-6 meter (15-19 ft) waves.

At least three people were killed and seven injured, national disaster agency spokesman Rey Balido told reporters in Manila. The death toll could rise as more reports arrive.

“The humanitarian impact of Haiyan threatens to be colossal,” said Patrick Fuller, spokesman for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Power and communications in the three large islands of Samar, Leyte and Bohol were almost completely down but authorities promised to restore them within 24 hours.

Officials warned that more than 12 million people were at risk, including residents of Cebu City, which has a population of about 2.5 million, and areas still reeling from a deadly 2011 storm and a 7.2-magnitude quake last month.

“The super typhoon likely made landfall with winds near 195 mph. This makes Haiyan the strongest tropical cyclone on record to make landfall,” said Jeff Masters, director of meteorology at U.S.-based Weather Underground.

About a million people took shelter in 29 provinces, after President Benigno Aquino appealed to people in Haiyan’s path to leave vulnerable areas, such as river banks, coastal villages and mountain slopes.

“Our school is now packed with evacuees,” an elementary school teacher in Southern Leyte, who gave her name only as Feliza, told a radio station. Leyte and Southern Leyte are about 630 km (390 miles) southeast of Manila.

Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla reported a 3-metre (10-ft) flood in one village in Leyte. “There is zero communication at the moment,” he told ANC television.

NO POWER, LANDSLIDES

“Roads are still impassable. There are some landslides,” said Roger Mercado, governor of Southern Leyte province.

More than 100 coastal homes were flattened, while landslides destroyed houses in the hills, but his province had seen no casualties yet, he told Reuters.

In Samar province, links with some towns and villages had been cut, officials said.

“The whole province has no power,” Samar Governor Sharee Tan told Reuters by telephone. Fallen trees, toppled electric poles and other debris blocked roads, she said.

Authorities suspended ferry services and fishing and shut 13 airports. Nearly 450 domestic, and eight international, flights were suspended.

Schools, offices and shops in the central regions were shut, with hospitals, soldiers and emergency workers preparing rescue efforts. Twenty navy ships and military aircraft including three C-130 cargo planes and helicopters were on standby.

“Power is off all across the island and the streets are deserted,” said Lionel Dosdosa, an International Organization for Migration coordinator on Bohol island, the epicenter of an October 15 earthquake that killed 222 people and displaced hundreds of thousands. He said power was off and streets were deserted.

At the Sandcastles Beach Resort in Boracay, guests stayed indoors. “The beach is abandoned. The winds are whistling unceasingly, so we secured our homes and the resort,” Jenelyn Castro, one of the resort’s staff, said by telephone.

The state weather bureau said Haiyan was expected to move past the Philippines on Saturday and out over the South China Sea, where it could strengthen even further and hit Vietnam.

Meteorologists in Vietnam said it could be the country’s strongest storm ever. Evacuations had already begun, the state-run Voice of Vietnam radio said.

The world’s strongest recorded typhoon, cyclone or hurricane to make landfall was Hurricane Camille in 1969, which hit the southern U.S. state of Mississippi with 305 kph (190 mph) winds, said Weather Underground’s Masters.

An average of 20 typhoons hit the Philippines every year.

Last year, Typhoon Bopha flattened three towns on Mindanao, killed 1,100 people and caused damages of more than $1 billion.

Haiyan is the second category 5 typhoon to hit the Philippines this year after Typhoon Usagi in September.

(Additional reporting by Karen Lema and Erik dela Cruz; Editing by Jason Szep)

 

Man claims second Mr Ugly title

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The holder of Zimbabwe's Mr Ugly William Masvinu (R). He has won his second consecutive Mr. Ugly title and then admitted his appearance comes

Via Daily Nation.

A Zimbabwe man has won his second consecutive Mr. Ugly title.

William Masvinu beat off competition from 11 others to take the trophy as the most aesthetically challenge man in Harare and win a year’s worth of school fees for one of his kids.

He told Allafrica.com: “My ugliness comes naturally to me and although I did a bit to prepare for the show, I let them do the rest.”

Michael’s manager Michael Gumbo added: “A bit of choreography together with his funny clothing helped him on stage but it was all minimum effort.”

What’s Really Behind Hillary Clinton’s Latest Wave of Speeches?

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By Erin McPike, Via CNN

Washington (CNN) — Three speeches, three days.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is starting to look a lot like someone who is picking up the pace of a presidential campaign — complete with the perks and the challenges that come with it.

On Wednesday, she spoke to the University of Buffalo. Thursday, she returned to Washington for her place in the lineup of high-profile public figures at a conference the Center for American Progress was hosting. Friday night she did Colgate University’s “distinguished speakers” series in upstate New York.

Asked in Buffalo what her ideal presidential candidate in 2016 would look like, she said: “I’m not as interested in what the candidate looks like as what the candidate stands for and what the candidate really believes needs to be the agenda for America’s future, particularly as it relates to young people like students at this great university.”

Three big takeaways from Hillary Clinton’s return to politics

And in what could be interpreted as either a slight dig at President Barack Obama — or at least a way of differentiating herself — she added, “and what the candidate brings to the table in terms of being able to not only present the agenda but have a very specific set of plans of implanting the agenda and bringing the country along.”

Hillary Clinton speaks at Virginia rally
 

Candidate Obama, of course, was viewed by critics as a powerful speaker with less experience and less of a vision to implement, and Clinton could be playing on buyer’s remorse.

But the tests she might face on the left and the right were in play this week.

Clinton on possible presidency

She didn’t veer far to the left in her remarks before the wonky liberal crowd at the St. Regis in Washington for the Center for American Progress gathering, but her presence was notable.

CNN contributor Ron Brownstein cautioned that if she faces a challenge in a Democratic primary, it’s likely to be from the liberal left.

“It is very hard to imagine somebody beating Hillary Clinton from the center of the party,” he said. “If there is going to be anybody who could even give her a tough time, it would be somebody coming from more of a fringe of the party, something kind of a tangent of the party — either a generational argument or a populist argument.”

Brownstein specifically mentioned Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who has become a hero to the populist wing of the party, as a potential challenge to Clinton.

How long can Hillary wait?

And yet, advantages come for politicians who are considered overwhelming frontrunners like Clinton. Just this week, liberal billionaire George Soros said he’s jumping on the bandwagon to draft Clinton into the 2016 race by becoming a co-chair of the “Ready for Hillary” super PAC’s finance team.

Even though Clinton is not exactly lining up donors and bundlers for her own campaign just yet, the commitment to her is a significant one in what could be a quest to sew up her left flank.

But she’ll have other issues on the right, if she reaches the general election.

On Wednesday, a protestor in Buffalo heckled her over the biggest black mark on her record, the death of four Americans at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, during her tenure as Secretary of State. Democrats and Republicans alike say it could be her biggest weakness if she becomes her party’s nominee.

“Benghazi. You let them die,” the protestor said.

And that weakness leads some to wonder why Clinton is sticking her neck out so far so soon.

Brownstein said he’s surprised by how visible and vocal she’s been this fall.

“I think a lot of people thought that she would basically go under the radar for as long as possible to stay out of the fray, kind of shorten the race,” he said. “So it is a somewhat different strategy — maybe they are trying to sort of avoid the sense that she is kind of an imperial candidate who believes that this is hers by birthright or succession.”

Opinion: Hillary, don’t run for president

The weirdest Things Recently Found on Mars

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Via CNN.

(Wired) — Mars is a crazy place. In recent years we’ve discovered some of the strangest things on the Red Planet: ice spidersSwiss cheese terrain, and perfectly spiral-shaped lava tubes.

And the more we explore our near planetary neighbor, the weirder the things we find get. NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has been circling Mars since 2006, provides the clearest and highest-resolution images of the planet’s surface. Looking through the image archive of its HiRISE camera, which can resolve things about a meter wide on the ground, reveals a vast supply of strange and wonderful things.

Here we share some of the orbiter’s most recent weird sightings from the last few months. The images provide incredible scientific insights into Mars. But, perhaps just as important, they are beautiful, fascinating, and reflective of the alien world that sits not too far from our own.

Just a note on the colors in these images: HiRISE has cameras that see in slightly different wavelengths than our own eyes. Many of the photos it produces are in “false color,” meaning the different wavelengths have been assigned colors for purposes of clarity or to highlight an important feature. There are no actual turquoise dunes on Mars. But the false color pictures do allow scientists to differentiate various textures and materials on Mars.

Trending from Nairobi West Gate Mall

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Via Daily Nation

 

12:00pm Kenya Defence Forces (@kdfinfo) tweets that four KDF personnel sustained injuries and were taken to hospital for treatment.

11:45pm Kenya Defence Forces (@kdfinfo) tweets: “Most of the hostages have been rescued and security forces have taken control of most parts of the building.”

10.05pm Kenya Defence Forces (@kdfinfo) tweets: “Rescue operation at the Westgate Mall is still underway. Hostage situations are delicate and must be handled with utmost care and caution.”

9.36pm Kenyans have contributed Sh16,204,400 via M-Pesa to help those affected by the terror attack at Westgate Mall. Funds being raised through the paybill number 848484 will be administered by Kenya Red Cross Society.

9.08pm Death toll at Westgate rises to 68, Kenya Red Cross reports.

8.24pm US President Barack Obama calls President Kenyatta with condolences; M-Pesa contributions by Kenyans to victims hit Sh11m

6.28pm Three choppers reportedly flying very low at the scene of the attack

6.00pm Our reporter Zadock Angira says security officers are on their final assault advancing towards the attackers.

5.58pm Final assault commenced, attackers hiding in a room with bullet proof window

4.58pm President Kenyatta says the security forces are doing all they can to secure the lives of those still in the mall.

4.54pm President currently addressing the press, says Kenya shall not relent on the war on terror.

4.05pm Israeli forces join Kenya battle to end deadly mall siege, AFP reports.

3.55pm UN Security Council issues a statement condemning the attacks at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi which has claimed at least 59 lives and injured 175.

3.26pm Deputy President William Ruto asks ICC to adjourn his trial so he can deal with the Westgate terror attack, Reuters reports.

2.14pm Police fire tear tear gas to disperse surging crowds.

2.13pm President Kenyatta to address a press conference at 3pm Sunday. He will be joined by former PM Raila Odinga and Musalia Mudavadi.

2.03pm One more survivor rescued, a woman.

1.15pm The Chinese ambassador to Kenya Liu Guangyuan issues statement saying; “the Chinese side is shocked and strongly condemns the terrorist attack at Westgate Shopping Mall, and wishes to express deep condolences to the victims and profound sympathy to the wounded and the deceased family.”

12.50pm The top Muslim leadership in the country issues statement and condemns the attacks at the Westgate mall.
12.34 The government to provide the list of those affected later on.

12.26pm Minister Ole Lenku says there could be between 10-15 attackers in the mall; says operation is delicate to ensure that hostages get out safe. 1000 people out so far.

12.01pm Death toll now at 59 says minister Ole Lenku,175 injured.

11.44am A Canadian immigration official from the Canada’s High Commission in Kenya among those killed, said the Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird in a press statement.

11.17am “This attack does not warrant countries issuing travel advisories because this has happened all over the world, it happened in Egypt and even in the US,” said former PM. Former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka has sent condolences from Sri Lanka.

11.09am “This is a cowardly act by terrorists which they tried to do in 1998 and failed, they will not succeed,” says former PM Raila Odinga.

10.57am Unknown number of hostages still trapped in the mall, Interior cabinet secretary Ole Lenku to brief journalists shortly. Police are not allowing anyone near the mall. Gunshots heard earlier.

10.45am Former PM Raila Odinga arrives at Oshwal Center near Westgate Mall, says its a tragic incident and hopes life returns to normal as soon as possible.

10.28am Another woman rescued bringing the number of those rescued this morning to four, husband happy to see her.

10.03am Our reporter Aggrey Mutambo notes that one of the survivors (an employee) who hid in the basement says suspects still inside the mall 22 hours later, fire exchange was there earlier on.

9.51am The US State Department indicates that at least four US nationals were injured in the attack.

9.30am Two military officers seriously injured in Westgate rescue operation rushed to Oshwal Center for first aid.

9.17am Oshwal Religious Center near Westgate is providing free food and water to victims, security forces and other rescue agents.

CCTV finally reveals shocking details on how Gunmen Attacked West Gate Mall

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Via Africa News Post
-Between 10 and 15 terrorists were involved in the attack on the Westgate Shopping Mall

-Some of them were armed with grenades, automatic rifles with a chain of bullets and pistols

– Gunmen gained entry into the area through two main areas. They were dropped outside the mall by three saloon cars.

-The gunmen struck from the front and rear side of the building.

-They first attacked a café that is at the entrance of the mall with gunfire and a grenade before they proceeded inside.

-Simultaneously
, another group of four wearing turbans accessed the mall through the main parking entrance.

-At the parking gate, they first killed a manager with the Securex Group before they walked upstairs through the ramp to where a party was being hosted by the Radio Africa Group’s East FM.

-They are seen asking people their names and demanding that they read some information

-At the parking yard, the CCTV shows the attackers lobbing two grenades at crowds but only one exploded. Police later collected the unexploded one.

-At the rear entrance, they used an automatic rifle to force it open after lobbing the first grenade that caused panic and led to closure of the doors.

-They spent a long time in the parking yard where they killed a pregnant woman who tried to argue with them

-Inside they also opened fire at the shoppers after separating them on gender and age among other factors.

 

Radio Journalist Ruhila Adatia Killed in Westgate Attack: Her Last Media Update

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ruhila-adatia

Via Daily Nation

Ruhila Adatia (center)

A few hours after she arrived at the Westgate shopping mall Saturday morning, Radio Africa Group presenter Ruhila Adatia-Sood posted several photographs on her Instagram account and linked that to Twitter.

She was clad in a loose black top and black trousers with a blue and orange necklace completing the look.

Ruhila was in the parking lot of the upscale mall for Sungold Sunrice Superchef, a cooking competition sponsored by the rice brand, which she was hosting.

She posted a total of eight photos on Instagram, with her fans, with her colleagues and some of those who won prizes with bags of rice in their hands.

That was her last activity on social media.

About three hours after news of an attack on Westgate mall began spreading on social media, the first Twitter posts about her emerged.

Of the many who lost their lives in the attack yesterday, Ruhila may be the most familiar.

Kenyans are most likely to recognise her bubbly voice reading entertainment news on Kiss TV, Kiss 100 and XFM. Perhaps as a sign of her popularity, there was a page in her memory on Facebook last evening.

On her Twitter page, Ruhila Adatia-Sood described herself as a “food lover, thrill seeker and a bungee jump away from sanity.” “Always looking for my next meal,” she also says on her profile on the East FM website.

A fun-loving person, Ruhila is described on the East FM website as a “TV presenter by day and superhero in the evenings as I get you home in the traffic mess.”

She adds, with a twist of that familiar fun-loving person that she, “believes there’s not enough reality television. Farhan Akhtar (an Indian filmmaker, writer, singer TV host and actor) is my hubby, DiCaprio is my iceberg.”

A graduate of Rhodes University in Grahamstown in South Africa, she used to co-host The Rush on Metro East FM with Gupz Saund.

Ruhila married Ketan Sood in January 2012 in what The Star on January 9 said was a three-day Swahili-themed wedding. She was pregnant with their first child.

In an interview published in The Star in September 2012, the last-born in a family of four girls is described by her sisters as a go-getter.

Said Farah Adatia Gomes: “Ruhila loved reading, listening to music and watching TV though she never really got to watch what she wanted as most of the time we used to bully her into watching and listening to what we wanted. She was charming and outgoing, always a leader.”

East FM, a radio station whose target audience is Kenyan Asians, was holding a children’s event at the roof top parking of Westgate Mall when gunmen struck Saturday.

Information posted on the firm’s Facebook page a few hours before the fatal shooting shows that the occasion was the second round of the SunGold SunRice Junior Super Chef Competition, the first of which was held at the same time and place last Saturday.

The children competiting were to prepare a starter or main dish accompanied by a desert.

“We are super excited!! Do join us on Saturday from 11am onwards at Westgate roof top for the 2nd round of Sungold Sunrice SuperChef

Junior! See you there and do share this post!,” Kamal Kaur, an East FM presenter, wrote.

Ms Kaur attended the event which she tells the Sunday Nation was “packed with kids”.

And after the competition began, Ms Kaur said they heard popping noises.

“We heard what sounded like firecrackers,” she said, narrating how the group then ran to the edge of the parking lot and looked over to see people streaming out of the mall.

She then ran to find her son and they tried to get the children out through the Java service entry.

“One man shot at my son, but he managed to duck. He was wearing blue jeans, a black T-shirt, sunglasses and an Arabic headscarf (kaffiya) wrapped around his head. He was holding a big automatic weapon, and I could see a pistol sticking out of his pocket.”

East FM radio presenter Aleem Manji, who was also with Ms Kaur, was reported injured.

– Daily Nation

HOW FATE AND CIRCUMSTANCES TURNED AMBITIOUS GIRL FROM KENYA INTO ASYLUM SEEKER IN THE UK.

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ustadh

By Maddo Ochieng’

Shortly after finishing her secondary education in 2005, Tina (name changed) joined Tiwi Beach Hotel, at the sprawling scenic beaches of Kenya’s coastal strip, to train as an animator. Soon, she met and fell in love with a middle-aged Briton who was a regular guest at the hotel.

Tina was only 22 years old when the man proposed to marry her and take her with him to the United Kingdom. The UK Home Office issued her with a tentative spouse visa for two years. This would be renewed at intervals as the marriage progressed, until attaining citizenship after five years.

The happy couple settled in the serene countryside of High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. The man promised to pay dowry as soon as they had settled in the UK, but he later reneged on the promise.

At first, life was good. Tina was happy to be in the first world country; something she viewed as a great achievement especially at her young age. Given the strength of the British pound against Kenya shilling, any little surplus would trickle back home and make a significant contribution in the peasant maternal family where she grew up after her parents had separated when she was still a kid. “I expected to go to school, and have a career afterwards.” Tina says.

But fate would change so fast. Tina’s life took a downward trajectory. She came face to face with domestic violence. “My ex-husband was sick, he experienced erectile dysfunction, which he claimed was due to stress at work, but he said it was only temporary…unknown to me, it got worse, which made him so violent and lose his temper all the time.” The tearful mother of one says.

The reality that she was in an abusive marriage, far away from home and in a place where she knew nobody else stuck her like thunderbolt. She panicked but still hoped that things would improve. However, after just a month, their tumultuous marriage came to a sudden halt, posing a potential threat to her legitimate stay in the UK. Tina sustained a knee injury while scampering to escape the flower vase that the man had aimed at her. She then had to abandon household chores to recuperate. But that only worsened things. “That’s when we had to go our separate ways, he was getting worse by the day, abusing, and hitting me, calling me names like black monkey…” She says.

After quitting the marriage, Tina became broke, homeless and desperate. She was still new in the country and lacked skills for survival. She looked for better jobs but only landed at cleaning with retail shops. She later lost her first job, and frantically sought another until she got hired as cleaner in a branch of Asda stores in London. There, she again fell in love with the store’s manager. His managerial position convinced Tina of his maturity hence genuineness.

However, luck was not on her side again. Despite the man having indicated that he was comfortable with Tina getting pregnant any time, he abandoned her after making her pregnant. He denied responsibility and hung up Tina’s phone calls. When a solicitor intervened, the man threatened to sue Tina for harassment. Tina had to survive on support and accommodation from friends until she delivered her bouncing baby girl.

Ten months ago, she sought asylum with National Asylum Support (NAS) in Leicester, but the UK Home office rejected her citizenship application. She appealed and is still waiting for feedback. Meanwhile, she shares a room with a Zimbabwean mother of a two year-old boy. “The room has a very dirty carpet. I can’t even put the baby down… I can feel the springs on my mattress. I believe it’s a breach of human rights to put me in such a dirty room.” She says, and adds that the waiting is equally traumatising because she hasn’t received any updates on her asylum application.

What if the Home Office decides to repatriate her? Tina stares into the space and says: “I don’t have a dad, I don’t know where my mum is; they split when we were kids but I know she is somewhere alive.” In the meantime, it is the radiant smile on her eleven months-old daughter’s face that inspires hope in her wrecked life as time ticks away, drawing close her day of reckon.