Two brothers, watchman butchered in Garissa attack

Three people were hit with blunt objects on their heads, and killed, while they slept at a hotel in Garissa town on Thursday morning. The two waiters and a private security guard were attacked by unknown people at about 3 am. Police identified the victims as watchman Kassim Rashid and waiters Abdisalan Ibrahim and Salat Salah. The victims succumbed to excessive bleeding while one other person escaped and was taken to Garissa County Referral Hospital. Garissa county commissioner James Kianda said police were looking into information they had received from members of the public.

February 23, 2017 05:35 UTC

Three stabbed to death in Garissa hotel

Three people were this morning killed in Kilas food court in Garissa county. The two waiters and a private security guard were stabbed in the head by unknown people. Nothing was stolen from them during the 3am incident. Witnesses said the incident happened very fast and that they could not see the assailants. The police have launched investigations into the matter.

February 23, 2017 05:35 UTC

Kenya: Zimbabwe deploys army at hospitals after doctors' strike

Gerald Gwinji, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health, said the doctors' strike had put pressure on public hospitals, which were already struggling with shortages of drugs and under-funding from the government. The paediatric and maternity sections were the worst affected, Edgar Munatsi, the president of the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association, which called the strike, told Reuters. He said more than 400 doctors were staying away from work, warning that senior doctors could also join the strike. At Parirenyatwa Hospital, Zimbabwe's largest public hospital in Harare, non-critical patients were being turned away and referred to local clinics run by city councils. United Bulawayo Hospitals in the country's second city Bulawayo put out a notice saying that due to the doctors' strike "we have resolved to attend to 'dire' emergencies only."

February 23, 2017 05:30 UTC

Kenya: NASA discovers seven Earth-size planets where life is possible

They hope to scan the planets' atmospheres for possible chemical fingerprints of life. The discovery, published in this week's issue of the journal Nature, builds on previous research showing three planets circling TRAPPIST-1. They are among more than 3,500 planets discovered beyond the solar system, or exoplanets. That makes its Earth-sized planets appear large as they parade past. "They could have some liquid water and maybe life."

February 23, 2017 05:30 UTC

We have failed to learn from the past on electoral process

As an officer with vast and in-depth knowledge and expertise in this process for a very long period, I submitted my recommendations to the electoral body. These were some of my suggestions; to ensure party agents are trained in the same manner as the other electoral officials. Agents to undergo at least two-day training to equip them with relevant knowledge on procedures involved in the entire electoral process. Considering the impasse being witnessed in the bicameral Parliament, one can tell they understand little on the entire electoral process. This simple clause may disintegrate the entire nation.

February 23, 2017 05:17 UTC

Why you shouldn't throw out those little silica gel packets just yet

The silica gel packets have little beads inside that help keep the products you buy from moisture. Don't worry, get a few silica gel packets. Throw the wet swimming costume in a different bag with a few silica gel packets. Keep razors in a tupperware container with about five silica gel packets and they'll last longer. Keep it in a plastic bin and tape a few silica gel packets to the inside.

February 23, 2017 05:17 UTC

KDF bid to turn farm airplanes into war planes ‘overpriced by Sh20 billion’

The kind of aircraft Kenya is interested in are Air Tractor AT-802L, originally built for agricultural use but remodelled into armed planes for military purposes. The deal in contention, it is worth noting, includes armouring the planes, an arms package and a training programme for Kenyan military personnel. The process for finalising a deal under the US Foreign Military Sales programme also involves a 30-day review by Congress. But Mr Braid said the deal can still be blocked if Congress supports Mr Budd’s call for an investigation. HALT SALEThe US government’s executive branch, headed by President Donald Trump, could also intervene to halt the sale, Mr Braid noted.

February 23, 2017 05:16 UTC

Kenya: Bodies of four men found in abandoned car in Kikuyu

| Updated Thu, February 23rd 2017 at 10:48 GMT +3Nairobi, Kenya: Police have recovered four male bodies that were found in an abandoned car in Gitaru area, off Nairobi-Naivasha highway. The bodies seem to have been strangled before they were put into the salon car and abandoned at the Gitaru interchange, Kabete division. The owner of the apartment had initially thought the car was parked there by mechanics at a nearby garage when he first saw it on Wednesday morning. Speculations are that the killers parked the car at the scene on Tuesday night or Wednesday dawn. When officers arrived they found the car locked and broke into it and found two bodies in the boot and two others in the backseat.

February 23, 2017 05:14 UTC

Crude oil rises after report shows drop in stockpiles

The US West Texas Intermediate crude April contract added 48 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $54.07 a barrel. Brent crude was up 48 cents, or 0.8 percent, at $56.32, although both benchmarks were still well within recent tight ranges. Crude inventories fell by 884,000 barrels in the week to Feb. 17 to 512.7 million, compared with analysts' expectations for an increase of 3.5 million barrels, data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute showed on Wednesday. However, for prices to break out of their trading ranges, the market needs to see signs that OPEC inventories are falling, said Tony Nunan, oil risk manager at Mitsubishi Corp. in Tokyo. In the United States, crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub were down by 1.7 million barrels, while U.S. crude imports fell last week by 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) to 7.398 million bpd, according to the API.

February 23, 2017 05:03 UTC

Helb must upgrade communication lines

That the Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) plays a vital role in financing higher education for students who are not well off is not in doubt. However, the board's channels of communication can be very frustrating at times due to delayed response. For example, I have written to the board via the board's Twitter handle many times to ask about the mode of application for a certificate of compliance to no avail. My efforts to call the contact centre via the number given on the website have been unsuccessful as I only ended up being put on hold for a record six-plus minutes. Mind you, the lines are not toll-free.

February 23, 2017 04:52 UTC

War on drugs not about personal fights

Claims that the ongoing fight against drug abuse is aimed at harassing Opposition leaders are misleading. The fact the Jubilee administration, under the leadership of President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto, has taken the war a notch higher is a clear indication that they care about this country. But some leaders have described the war as a personal vendetta. The fight against drugs is not the work of the Jubilee administration alone but involves a combined effort of leaders and individuals who mean well for the country. What is required in the ongoing war against drugs is constructive criticism rather than personal vendettas against the Jubilee leaders.

February 23, 2017 04:49 UTC

Doctors' union officials are modern-day heroes

The current officials of the doctors' union fall in this category, whether one likes it or not. For the 50-plus years since Kenya attained independence, the country has struggled to define who our present, past and future heroes are. The struggles the seven officials have waded through over the past two and a half months point to Kenyans how to define, select and honour heroes. Don't misconstrue or be misled by the Government that the collective bargaining agreement doctors are fighting for is all about salaries and allowances. Eighty-five per cent of the CBA is about the health of Kenyans as enshrined in our Constitution and other international health statutes.

February 23, 2017 04:47 UTC

Kenya Power should give answers on bills

Many complaints have been raised about Kenya Power but it seems their human resource and customer care departments do not care. The complaints range from fluctuation of units and amounts paid, inflated bills, power surges and corrupt officials to power outages. But the biggest complaint is with the people who got power following a partnership between the company and the World Bank. Application is free but after the end of the first token for each meter, there is a bill of Sh1,500, which must be cleared in order to continue getting tokens. If the power company has connected over one million households even in the rural areas and each must pay Sh1,500 for the meter, how much profit are they raking in?

February 23, 2017 04:42 UTC

Nkaissery, Boinnet should resign over Kerio Valley killings

The continued cattle-rustling and banditry in Baringo, Marakwet and West Pokot is a clear indication that Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery and Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet have failed to fulfil their mandate to protect Kenyans. It is saddening to see lives being lost almost daily in Kerio Valley, especially in Marakwet and Baringo, yet no action is being taken to stop this. Residents of Kerio Valley may have thought that Mr Boinnet understands the problem well, but they were wrong. If anything, the situation is worsening, subjecting the people to untold suffering as they cannot engage in any development activities. It is shocking to see that human life and livestock are lost daily and the two seem unshaken.

February 23, 2017 04:30 UTC

Trump revokes Obama guidelines on transgender bathrooms

Obama had instructed public schools last May to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms matching their chosen gender identity, threatening to withhold funding for schools that did not comply. Conservatives such as Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who spearheaded the lawsuit challenging the Obama guidance, hailed the Trump administration action. The courts are likely to have the final say over whether Title IX covers transgender students. Obama's Education Department undertook the guidance in response to queries from school districts across the country about how to accommodate transgender students in gender-segregated bathrooms. Read: US judge blocks Obama transgender school bathroom policy

February 23, 2017 04:21 UTC