Four students were arrested Saturday after police discovered a shooting plot involving Summerville High School in Tuolumne, Calif. Among the evidence, deputies said they found a list of the names of the targeted victims. Tuolumne County Sheriff Jim Mele said the students confessed.

Oregon shooting 

As many as 13 people were killed and 20 injured Thursday when a 20-year-old shooter opened fire in a classroom at a community college in southern Oregon, according to Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenbaum

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The Damnation of Memory

Originally posted on Ben Wilkie:

In recent days, we have seen fresh examples of a war against memory in the Middle East, waged by the Islamist organisation, ISIS. In late-February, videos surfaced depicting the destruction ancient Assyrian cultural artefacts in a Mosul museum (the video might have been staged, but the message remains). On March 6, disturbing reports emerged that militants had assaulted the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud, around 300km southeast of Mosul, destroying it with bulldozers.

These acts of cultural desecration and destruction in the Middle East have precedents. In 2013, Jabhat al-Nusra militants marched on the Syrian city of Jasim to destroy its statue of the non-conformist poet, Abu Tammam. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s militants replicated this act in Mosul in 2014, when he took to that city with bulldozers and brought destruction on countless archaeological sites and cultural treasures, including the Tomb of Jonah. In 2001, the Taliban targeted ‘shrines of the…

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Uzbekistan Interlude

Originally posted on INSIDE PAKISTAN:

I’ve taken a detour from Pakistan and am writing from the desert town of Bukhara. I’ll resume with more posts from Pakistan in a few days.

The Flight from Islamabad to Tashkent last week was only two hours but it felt like entering another world. It’s quite the change from South to Central Asia. The Uzbek’s are incredibly friendly and when people ask where I’m from all I have to say is New York and they totally relate. Many Uzbek’s have immigrated to Brooklyn and Queens and some of the faces here remind me of aunts and uncles growing up in Brooklyn. My grandmother is from Russia so it feels like a bit of a homecoming. It’s a quite a change from the California centric SE Asia I’ve come to know.

It’s wedding (they are called Toys) season now. Elaborate shops sell bridal dresses everywhere you look. These huge parties…

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Chronopolis: Detroit’s Time Zones

Originally posted on Paul Dobraszczyk:

The Imagination Station opposite Michigan Central Station The Imagination Station opposite Michigan Central Station

In a peculiar instance of art imitating life, I happened to read J. G. Ballard’s 1960 short story ‘Chronopolis’ during a recent stay in Detroit. In Ballard’s tale, set in a future city (the Chronopolis of the title), the population have completely abandoned the notion of sequential time, resulting in a city that is ‘effectively an enormous ring, five miles in width, encircling a vast dead centre forty or fifty miles in diameter.’ Hiding his own interest in the now forbidden timepieces of his ancestors, the central character Conrad sets off on a journey into this abandoned city, meeting the renegade Marshall, and restarting the city’s clocks once again. Typical of Ballard’s writing, this seemingly fantastical story was eerily prescient of the fate of the city in which I read it. Detroit’s decline is always narrated with shocking statistics and chronological landmarks: the riots/rebellion of 1967…

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Official Schedule For Pope Francis’ Visit to U.S.

Official Schedule For Pope Francis’ Visit to U.S.

Pope Francis Visits Washington D.C.

  • Tuesday, September 22, 2015
    • 4pm: Pope Francis arrives in D.C. at Joint Base Andrews at 4 p.m.
  • Wednesday, September 23, 2015
    • 9:15 a.m: White House Welcoming Ceremony and personal meeting with President Barack Obama
    • 11:00 a.m.  Papal Parade along the Ellipse and the National Mall
    • 11:30 a.m: Midday Prayer with U.S. bishops at Saint Matthew’s Cathedral in D.C.
    • 4:15 p.m: Junipero Serra Canonization Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
  • Thursday, September 24, 2015
    • 9:20 a.m: Arrival at Capitol
    • 10 a.m. Speech to the Senate and House of Representatives (Joint Session of Congress)
    • 11 a.m. Brief appearance on West Front of Capitol
    • 11:15 a.m:  Visit to St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in D.C. and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington
    • 4 p.m: Departure for New York from Joint Base Andrews (D.C.)
    • 5 p.m. Arrival at John F. Kennedy International Airport (New York)
    • 6:45 p.m. Evening prayer at St. Patrick’s Cathedral (New York)

Pope Francis Visits New York

  • Friday, September 25, 2015
    • 8:30 a.m United Nations General-Assembly
    • 11:30 a.m Multi-religious service at 9/11 Memorial and Museum, World Trade Center
    • 4 p.m. Visit to Our Lady Queen of Angels School in East Harlem
    • 5 p.m. Papal motorcade through Central Park
    • 6 p.m. Madison Square Garden Mass

Pope Francis Visits Philadelphia

  • Saturday, September 26, 2015
    • 8:40 a.m Departure for Philadelphia from John F. Kennedy International Airport
    • 9:30 a.m Arrival in Atlantic Aviation hangar at Philadelphia International Airport Philadelphia
    • 10:30 a.m Mass at Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul
    • 4:45 p.m Visit to Independence Mall
    • 7:30 p.m Visit to Festival of Families at Benjamin Franklin Parkway and Prayer Vigil with World Meeting of Families
  • Sunday, September 27, 2015
    • 9:15 a.m Papal meeting with Bishops at St. Martin’s Chapel, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary
    • 11 a.m  Visit to Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility
    • 4 p.m Papal Mass for World Meeting of Families
    • 7 p.m.  Visit with organizers, volunteers and benefactors of the World Meeting of Families at Atlantic Aviation
    • 8 p.m Departure for return to Rome

* This is the official schedule for the Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S. The site will be updated as needed to reflect any changes.

Americans get ready to hear Pope Francis – but will they listen?

The pontiff will likely get rock star treatment, but he may pay a price for his unorthodox approach to Cuba, inequality and climate change

Sign painters work on a portrait of Pope Francis on the side of a New York City office building, in August. Photograph: Mark Lennihan/AP

When Pope Francis touches down in Havana on Saturday, the modest 78-year-old pontiff will have a chance to savor the rapprochement he helped to broker between the US and Cuba last year – a deal that stunned the world and revived the Vatican’s status as a diplomatic powerhouse.

But the real significance of the pope’s journey – the most politically charged pilgrimage since his election in 2013 – will not be his victory lap, or even his likely meeting with Fidel Castro, the now ailing revolutionary leader who swept into power before Francis was even an ordained priest.

It will be the call to conscience he delivers to the country that lies just 90 miles north of Cuba.

During his first ever trip to the US, which will include speeches before the United Nations and and visits to the White House and World Trade Center, a prison and a Catholic school in Harlem, Pope Francis is expected to nudge, prod – and perhaps even shame – the world’s only superpower to act on issues ranging from global warming to immigration to racial and economic inequality.

Through words and gestures – such as the pope’s visit with the homeless that will immediately follow his address to Congress – Francis is expected to shine a light on the people that he believes have been left behind by American capitalism and an economic model that he has said “kills”.

“Is the pope anti-American? No. But it is fair to say that he probably shares what a lot of Latin Americans do: a healthy suspicion of their neighbors to the north,” said one Vatican official.

While the pope is likely to be greeted as a rock star on both parts of his journey, there is also an increasing awareness inside the Vatican that the pope is paying a price in the US for his emphasis on issues like poverty and exploitation – as opposed to traditional “culture war” issues like abortion and contraception

A Gallup poll in July found that a sharp drop in the pope’s favorability rating (from 76% in February 2014 to 59%) was driven by disapproval from political conservatives, with only a minority expressing a favourable opinion of the pontiff (45%).

Ultimately, the pope is attempting to rejuvenate the church in both Cuba – where only about a quarter of the population identifies itself as Catholic – and the US, which has lost 3 million followers since 2007, according to a report by Pew Forum, and is losing more members at a higher rate than any other denomination. About 13% of all Americans, the report found, call themselves “former Catholics”.

What remains unclear is just how far the pope will go to drive home what some conservative critics have decried as an uninformed perception of America by a man who does not understand the US or the free market system that – unlike many countries in his native South America – has created a robust middle class, albeit one that is under pressure.

History shows that Pope Francis is not one to hold his tongue.

As archbishop of Buenos Aires, the man who was still known then as Jorge Bergoglio – the son of Italian immigrants – once chided a church full of politicians for being corrupt and not doing enough for the poor. It did not go over well.

As pope, he once used a Christmas speech to accuse senior Vatican offiicals of narcissism, among other sins, and told the European parliament that the EU emanated an impression of “weariness and aging”, where great ideas were replaced by “bureaucratic technicalities”.

Vatican journalist Robert Mickens, editor-in-chief of the Catholic magazine Global Pulse, says the pontiff cannot afford to play down his message too much in front of a potentially sensitive American audience, particularly after he called unfettered capitalism “the dung of the devil” in a recent trip to Bolivia.

“If he does that, he risks looking insincere, like he just plays to the crowds,” Mickens said.

Some US observers may also be rankled by the very language the pope uses to deliver his message, Mickens added: at least one mass, in Washington, will be conducted in his native Spanish.

But Guzmán Carriquiry, vice president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America and a friend of the pope’s, suggested at a recent conference in Philadelphia that the pope would try to present a more nuanced understanding of the US, including in his discussion of economics.

“I think the pope will make a distinction between the practice of financial speculation that led to the economic crisis shaking the US and EU since 2007 and to global economic turmoil and, on the other hand, the positive role that free market plays in the US, [such as] by creating jobs,” he said.

Carriquiry said he believed the pope would also touch on the US’s role in the world – noting that the “fight against terrorism is a priority but [that] the grave responsibility of the US in promoting world peace … is much greater” – and suggested the pope might praise the US’s rich history of accepting immigrants, while denouncing mass deportation policies that separate families.

Austen Ivereigh, a papal biographer, said he believed the main purpose of the pope’s trip – both to Cuba and the US – was to heal the divisions within and between the two societies, and that he would take care not to “pour salt on existing wounds”.

“I don’t expect him to wade directly into key policy debates. However, I think there will be certain themes that are constant – family, ecology, the poor, immigration,” Ivereigh said.

The papal visit, he added, should be read as much by the pope’s itinerary as it is by his words, noting that a visit to Independence Hall in Philadelphia, where the Declaration of Independence was debated and adopted, ought to be interpreted in conjunction with his planned talks with representatives of immigrant communities.

While the Vatican has indicated the celebration of Serra was a way to celebrate the achievements of a “Hispanic” in the Americas – therefore emphasising the US history was not always dominated by white protestants – others, like Mickens, say the Vatican may have miscalculated if they believe that US Latinos (whose roots are Latin American) would view a Spanish missionary as representative.

The decision to grant a controversial figure like Serra sainthood also seems to contradict an apology Francis issued in Bolivia on behalf of the church’s role in colonization and the harm it did to the indigenous population.

Any criticism of the US – however subtle – will also be interpreted in the context of the pope’s approach to Cuba, where the church has historically been fairly hands-off in its criticism of the communist regime and its human rights abuses.

“Francis related to and identifies with the Cuban desire to protect the gains of the revolution. The church is playing a very important role in Cuba as a shield as it moves ahead in this important transition [of having established ties with the US],” says Austen Ivereigh, the papal biographer.

Francis does not want to become a tool for Cuban opposition groups, Ivereigh noted – he is not expected to meet with dissident group the Ladies in White – but any appearance of glossing over Cuba’s human rights record, coupled with a harsh critique of the US, would likely ignite more conservative anger with the pope.

One thing that most experts agree on is that the pope is enigmatic: while he seems to espouse liberal values on some days, raising the hopes of progressive Catholics of a changing church, his staunch adherence to conservative doctrine proves that he is not the radical reformer many liberals might wish that he was.

His two speeches before official bodies – the UN and the Congress – will not likely completely satisfy the left or the right. A call for action on global warming and help for the poor will be welcomed by Catholic Democrats like Nancy Pelosi, but he could equally seek to lend an olive branch to Republican Catholics by speaking of his opposition to abortion and his view that the traditional family has been put at risk by the expansion of gay marriage rights in the US and elsewhere.

“He is primarily coming here as a successor of Peter and making himself available and heard to the members of his flock,” said Jim Nicholson, the former US ambassador to the Holy See under George W Bush. “That needs to be kept in mind by everyone as opposed to a particular political or environmental agenda.”

And while he will not single out the anti-immigration stance of the leading Republican contender for the White House, Donald Trump, his words about the value of immigrants will likely nevertheless be interpreted as a sharp rebuke of the New York millionaire.

For now, the Vatican knows that – whatever controversies and surprises it might expect from an unpredictable pope – there is hope that the pope’s celebrity will ultimately smooth over any rough edges.

“The pundits can parse the talk to Congress and the UN but the fact of the matter is the wow factor is going to be huge,” one official said.


Kentucky clerk Kim Davis watches as same-sex couple gets marriage license

Couple receive marriage license on Monday in the office of the Rowan County clerk who was jailed over her refusal to issue such licenses

With Kim Davis watching, a lesbian couple received a marriage license in the Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk’s office where she had for months refused to allow any licenses to be distributed under her watch.

Davis – the embattled county clerk who was propelled to the national limelight for defying a federal judge’s order – delivered a statement to reporters outside her office on her first day back to work since the 49-year-old was sent to jail for refusing to issue licenses to gay couples earlier this month.

She said Monday that she would not authorize her deputies to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but, if they chose to, she would not take “action” against them.

Not long after, Carmen and Shannon Wampler-Collinses arrived at the Rowan County clerk’s office to obtain a marriage license around 10.45 am Monday – but their efforts didn’t succeed without a hiccup.

Unlike same-sex couples who have been denied licenses from Davis in recent weeks, however, the couple’s delay was caused by a technical issue familiar to daily bureaucratic work: a malfunctioning printer.

After a brief pause, deputy clerk Brian Mason handed the couple a marriage license, albeit one that’s been modified since Davis returned to work.

“This is about love,” said Carmen, a grant writer. “We love each other. We’re a family … raising two boys.”

The couple, who currently live in Lexington, said they felt it was important to obtain a license in Morehead, Carmen’s hometown. Davis turned them away on one separate occasion, Carmen said.

The Wampler-Collinses license was signed by Mason “who has really been great in all of this, once the judge gave the order, he was more than willing to step up”, Carmen said. It states that it was issued “pursuant to a federal court order,” she added, in line with a policy Davis enacted Monday morning. Additionally, rather than listing Davis’s name, it says “city of Morehead”, the Rowan County seat.

Earlier on Monday, a large crowd of supporters gathered ahead of what was expected to be a tense day, with the question of whether Davis would allow her deputies to process licenses to all eligible couples up in the air.
Kentucky clerk Kim Davis isn’t the only one denying couples marriage licenses
Read more
“To affix my name or authoritative title to a certificate that authorizes marriage that conflicts with God’s definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman violates my deeply held religious convictions and conscience,” Davis said, reading from a prepared statement.

State, county and local police flanked the clerk’s office on a rather brisk morning in the small town of Morehead, which has been transformed into a focal point for religious conservatives opposed to same-sex marriage.

Davis called for Kentucky governor Steve Beshear to call a special session of the Kentucky legislature to consider a bill that would remove clerks’ names from marriage licenses if they cite a sincerely religious belief.

Davis, however, said she had issued a new policy, effective immediately, to abide by Bunning’s order. Any marriage licenses processed by her office “will not be issued or authorized by me”. Instead, she said, the licenses would state they were issued “pursuant to a court order”.

Her deputy clerks do not have her authorization to issue licenses, she added.

If any deputy clerk issues a license to avoid being held in contempt and thrown in jail, “I understand their tough choice,” she said.

“I will take no action against them,” Davis said. “However, any unauthorized license issued will not have my name, my title or my authority on it.”

The work around seems to keep her in line with judge David Bunning’s order to release Davis from jail if she didn’t interfere with her deputies’ efforts to issue licenses. Davis was jailed on 3 September for six days.

“I just want to serve my neighbors quietly, without violating my conscience,” Davis said, fighting back tears. The clerk continued to raise questions about the validity of marriage licenses issued without her authorization, but the Wampler-Collinses said they’re unfazed nonetheless.

Following her statement, Davis supporters gathered around a small group who took turns preaching against gay marriage.

Local groups said couples were expected to attempt to obtain a license from Davis’s office on Monday.

Police blocked the entrance to the clerk’s offices and courthouse off Main Street.
Davis’s husband, Joe Davis, declined to comment when approached by the Guardian.

The crowd were overwhelmingly in favor of Davis’s position – a big change from previous gatherings in the case.

Nancy McFarland held a sign along the sidewalk that read: “Taking back the rainbow,” which she claimed had been misappropriated by the LGBT community. The Ohio resident drove down to Kentucky last night, along with throngs of Davis supporters.

The rainbow has “sorta been hijacked”, McFarland said. “For us to ignore the rainbow and such because they’ve taken it, it’s not a good thing.”

McFarland noted that Kentucky overwhelmingly passed a constitutional ban of same-sex marriage. When the US supreme court overturned the ban on 26 June, McFarland said “those judges overthrew the will of the people”.

Preachers outside the courtroom lobbed a stream of rhetoric against gay marriage throughout the early hours of the day.

“To be black is not a sin … but being a practicing homosexual is a sin against the almighty God,” said Flip Benham, an evangelical minister with the anti-abortion group Operation Save America.

Cal Zastrow, also with the group, said that, although he has stood by Davis throughout the ordeal, he wouldn’t support the clerk’s policy to allow deputies to issue licenses without her authorization.

“Our position would be that it’s against the law to issue licenses to same-sex couples,” Zastrow said. The Michigan resident said he has been active in Morehead for the last two weeks, mobilizing church groups to stand with Davis.

“We’re seeing raw tyranny here,” he said.

Tension and celebration in the office
That tension seeped into the clerk’s office before the Wampler-Collinses arrived to obtain their license.

Marney Maness arrived at the office to update her vehicle registration. She had to conduct the common, mundane task surrounded by a sea of reporters lining the clerk’s counter. The room was relatively quiet until Elizabeth Johnston, a same-sex marriage opponent from Ohio, chastised deputy Mason, saying “it’s a shame that you’re breaking the Kentucky law”.

Mason responded: “That’s your opinion.”

Down the opposite end of the counter, Maness jumped into the fray, telling Johnston: “But they aren’t breaking Kentucky law. They’re abiding by the constitution of the United States.”

“We have to follow the [laws] of the land,” Maness told the Guardian.

Outside the office, the scene was similar to what’s played out in recent days in the typically quiet town of Morehead: a visceral clash of beliefs, with same-sex marriage proponents jeering the Wampler-Collinses as they spoke with reporters.

“All that we want and all that we have ever wanted was for everyone in Rowan County who wants a license to be able to get one,” Carmen said.

Asked if she’s comfortable with the current policy, Carmen said she hopes the it lasts only in the “short term … while the case was in court”

It wasn’t a typical day for Mason, 38, either. Atop his desk now sits a plain sign that says: “marriage license deputy”.

After Maness arrived, a man entered the room to deliver him a gift: a candle and a box of Bourbon balls.


DEAR awards ceremony becomes a reality in Irving, Texas.

In a very busy weekend last Saturday saw numerous events in the DFW, among them is the DEAR, Diaspora Entertainment Awards & Recognition; A ceremony that celebrates Kenyans’ efforts around the world for their hard work and contribution in their chosen occupation.

Far and wide they came to The Venue Marriott Hotel Las Colinas, Irving texas. The event was graced by contestants and representatives among them Hon. Richard N tong’i a Nyaribari chache  Mp, Roselyne Nyakona of HRC kenya, among many. AGR FM was also represented by Diaspora Heart Beat host Felix Nyangate and EPI CEO.its the first of its kind and the following were termed winners among other contestants.

one of the community organizer award Steve Aseno Photo credit: DEAR awards

Outstanding Automotive and Transport Entreprenuer

Seagate Freight

Outstanding Agency of the Year

Lydia Akumu

Outstanding Sports Award / Life Achievement

Lorna Kiplagat

Best Actress Award

Clarice Otieno

Best Actor award

Benjamin Onyango

Outstanding New Scientist

Dr. Rose Gathungu

Education/ Academic

Betty Tambo

Best Blog Radio

Kenyan Diaspora Blog Radio

Outstanding Food and Beverage Restauratuer

Afrika Fusion Restaurant

Outstanding NGO

Lucy Mckenzie (I Care Operation)

Spiritual Award

Pr. Zippora Bogonko

Best Kenyan Male Artiste

Sanni M’mairura

Best Kenyan Female Artiste

Rosemary Biyaki

Best Music Producer of the Year

Billy Frank

Best Band/group of the Year

Moipei Sisters

Photographer of the Year

Mosey Waweru

Journalist of the Year

Anthony Karanja

Best Dj

Simple Simon (Nzau)

Best Female Model Award

Margaret Muchemi

Best Community Organizer

Steve Aseno

Best Gospel Music Award

Jedidah Magiri

Best Radio Entertainment Award

One Mic Show

Best Male Model Award

Matthew Moreka

Best Swahili Music Award

David Keen

Best African Magazine Award

Jambo News

Best Fashion Designer

Beatrice Wambui Njuguna

Best Businesswoman of the year/Entrepreneur

Connie Bryant

Businessman of the year Award

Abraham Kirwa

Outstanding Military Personel

Colonel Kariuki

Outstanding Legal Defender

Henry Ongeri

Friend of Kenya Award

Bishop T. D. Jakes

Lifetime Achievement Award

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta (Zero Campaign)

a message from the CEO Pam Mogaka: “We want to thank everyone that participated in this year’s DEAR Ceremony. All the memories that were created will have a lasting impact in all of us. The nominees, the winners, the perfomers and all those who work hard every day to make the event a success, thank you! You make this world a little bit better, keep up! On behalf of the founders and the supporters Thank you! We hope the new and improved DEAR 2016 will blow your minds! Stay tuned!”

these were the nominees from which the above won.

Outstanding agency of the year

  • Connie Bryant (Professional Home Medical and Hospice Care)

  • Lydia Akumu (Century Health Staffing Services)

  • Seagate Freight

Outstanding Automotive and Transport Entrepreneur

  • Rose Njeri

  • Evans Nyakundi

  • Seagate Freight

Best Actor award

  • Benjamin Onyango

  • Charles Ounda

  • Timothy Kimani

  • Bernard Guto

Best Actress award

  • Clarice Otieno

  • Aisha Noor Truphena

  • Lupita Nyong’o

  • Edna Ombogo

Education/Academic Award

  • Betty Tambo

  • Maina Kanyiri

Sports Award / lifetime achievement

  • Wesley Korir

  • Lorna Kiplangat

  • Wilson Wahome

  • Steve Ouko

  • Douglas Wakiihuri

Best Band/group of the Year

  • Mobby Mobisa & Cliff G

  • Moipei sisters

Outstanding New Scientist

  • Rose Gathugu

Best Blog Radio

  • Karisan Media

  • AGR FM

  • Kenyan diaspora Blog Radio

  • One Mic Show

  • Denzel Musumba

  • Mukurima Muriuki

Outstanding Food and beverage restaurateur

  • Moto Moto Kitchen (Linda Stewart)

  • Afrika Fusion Restaurant

Outstanding NGO

  • Lucy Mckenzie (I Care Operation)

  • Roselyne Orwa (Ronfoundation)

  • John Micheal Ouko

  • Eunice Meja (Upendo)

  • FoK (Face of Kenya)

  • Beatrice Williamson (Maisha)

  • Catherine Ondari

  • Lyn Evan (JNN)

  • Kenya Diaspora Sports Organization

  • East African Chamber of Commerce

Spiritual Award

  • PR. Zippora Bogonko

  • Damaris Mkubwa

Best Kenyan Female Artiste

  • Penzi Amani

  • Rosemary Biyaki

  • Florence Andenyi

Best Kenyan Male Artiste

  • Sanni Mairura

  • Robert Nyabwari

  • Fanaka Nation

  • Prince Mbetu

  • David Keen

  • Daddy V Kenya

Best Music Producer of the year

  • Billy Frank

  • Micheal Wanguhu

Photographer of the Year

  • John Olembati

  • Richard Ooga

  • Bernard Gutwa

  • Winnie Obiero

  • Mosey Waweru.

  • Christopher Onyaye

Best DJ award

  • Simple  Simon (Nzau)

  • Castro Otieno

  • Joshua Nyakundi

  • Dominic Ondabu

Best Young Female Model Award

  • Sheilla Nyambane

Best Academic Achievement

  • Betty Tambo

  • Maina Kanyiri

  • Marie Ojiambo

Best Community Organizer

  • Faith Chepkwony

  • Micheal Mugo

  • Steve Aseno

  • Vincent Tongi

  • Nyangeya Bwomanga

  • Patrick Nganga

  • Kevin Wanjohi

  • Roselyne Nyankona

  • Geoffrey Mogire

  • Patrick Nganga

  • Endita  Kiarie

  • Monica Kangethe

  • Kakenya Ntaiya

  • Bernard Kamau

  • Casmir Masega

Best Gospel Music Award

  •  Florence Andenyi

  •  Jesus Addicts

  • Jedida Magiri

  • Catherine Ondari

  • Kenyan Catholic Community

  • James Warachi

  • Andrew Kerosi

  • NLQ-Newlife questers

Best Radio Entertainment Award

  •  Susan Njeri Thomi

  • Orina Ontiri

  • Denzel Musumba

  • Chris Wamalwa

  • One mic show

  • Felix Nyangate

Best Male Model Award

  • Mathew Moreka

Best Female Model Award

  •  Melina Obare

  •  Marsha Lily

  •  Rose Njeri

  •  Sonnie Njau

  •  Margaret Muchemi

  •  Jessica Benson ( Jessy Benson)

  •  Harriet Maleche

  •  Reachel  Marete

  •  Janet Ratemo.

  •  Sheilla Nyambane

Best African Magazine Award

  • Catherine Gathuka Franklin.

  • Jambo News

  • Mwakilishi News

Best Fashion Designer

  • Kemunto Cutler

  • Beatrice Wambui Njuguna

Best Businesswoman of the year/Entraprenuer

  •  Lyna Mounde

  •  Connie Bryant

  •  Mercy  Nyamoko

Outstanding Military Personnel

  • Cypstar Onsongo

  • Eric Nyatenya

  • Kim Tanui

  • Colonel Kariuki

  • George Ponge

  • Bernard Ocharo

Outstanding Legal Defender

  • Henry Ongeri

Friend of Kenya Award

  •  Bishop T. D. Jakes

  • Michael  Chitwood

  • Melisa Lamming

  • Alice Avila

Lifetime Achievement Award

  • First Lady Margaret Kenyatta (Zero Campaign)

  • Benson Kasue (Diaspora Grassroots Mobilization)

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107 Dead in Mecca Crane Collapse

At least 107 people died and more than 230 people were injured when a crane collapsed in the Muslim holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.The huge red crane crashed into a part of the Grand Mosque – the largest in the world – that was filled with worshippers at the time.

The head of Saudi Arabia’s civil defence said strong winds and heavy rains had caused the collapse.

Mecca is currently preparing for the annual Muslim Hajj pilgrimage.

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to arrive in the Saudi city from all over the world later this month.

Mecca is preparing to welcome Muslims from around the world for the annual Hajj pilgrimage, which begins in about 10 days’ time.

Islam requires that every Muslim capable of doing so performs a pilgrimage to the site at least once in their lifetime.

Saudi authorities began a major expansion of the site last year to increase the area of the mosque by 400,000 square metres (4.3 million square feet), to allow it to accommodate up to 2.2 million people at once.

More than three million people undertook the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca in 2012. Saudi authorities have taken steps since 2013 to limit the number of people involved.

Large numbers of people have resulted in several tragedies over the years, including a stampede in 2006 that killed nearly 350 people.