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High Court
Kenya High Court upholds law banning same sex relations
24 May 2019, 8:52 PM

The Kenyan High Court on Friday upheld a law banning same sex relations. Gay rights activists had petitioned the court to decriminalise same sex relations on grounds that some sections of the Kenyan law are discriminatory and infringe on their rights to privacy.

The court however ruled that the provisions are not discriminatory because they do not single out homosexuals and that the petitioners had not provided evidence to prove that their rights had been violated under the said laws.

Same sex relations in the East African nation are punishable by 14 years in jail.

The push and shove to get into the courtroom minutes before the three judge bench sat to deliver the much anticipated ruling.

The two sections of the law stipulate that “carnal knowledge against the order of nature” is punishable with up to 14 years in prison, and for “indecent practices between males” one is liable to up to five years in prison.

The petition was filed in 2016 by three gay rights organisations, who argued that criminalising same sex relations under a colonial law era violates their rights to equality, non-discrimination as well as human dignity and privacy.

“We find that the impugned sections are not unconstitutional, accordingly the consolidation petitions have no merit. We hereby decline the relief sought and dismiss the consolidated petitions,” says Roselyn Aburili who is the high court judge in Kenya.

A disappointing end, for gay rights activists not just in Kenya but across Africa who thought Kenya’s High court would set a precedent.

It sends a very chilling message not just to LGBT people in Kenya but LGBT people across the African continent. This has been a such a painful moment to listen and witness,” says Eric Gitari who is a petitioner.

33 countries in Africa still outlaw same-sex relations. The church welcomed Friday’s judgement.

“You can see it on my face, this is the face of Kenya that there must be frenzy now and celebration, the country has been defended by this ruling,” say Bishop Alfred Rotich who is the Catholic Bishop.

The United Nations expressed disappointment in Friday’s ruling saying it was a missed opportunity to uphold human rights.The activists have said they will appeal the ruling.

No traces of swine flu in humans in Free State
24 May 2019, 7:15 PM

The Free State department of health says there is no human affected by swine flu in the province. The disease can be transmitted to humans but this is very rare.

Spokesperson Mondli Mvambi says following rumours of swine flu outbreak making rounds, the department has checked laboratories.

Mvambi says there is no swine flu circulating among humans at this stage, noting that people are however contracting normal flu at this time of year which in most cases is not fatal.

Mvambi has urged people who suspect someone is suffering from swine flu to report the matter to authorities.

Crime scene
Woman, boyfriend gruesomely murdered in Mthatha
24 May 2019, 5:14 PM

Residents of Tyumbu Village in Mthatha, Eastern Cape, are still in shock following the gruesome murder of a 55-year-old woman and her 25-year-old boyfriend.

The bodies of the deceased were discovered by the woman’s granddaughter who alerted villagers and the police.

According to police reports, the suspect or suspects gained entry by bending burglar bars and kicking the door open before fatally shooting the deceased.

The woman is reported to have been in the forefront of a land claim, which caused a dispute among Tyumbu residents.

Family members allege that Nombeko Maxwele had been receiving death threats from people who were dissatisfied with the land claim. They believe her rivals are behind her shooting.

Police are investigating two cases of murder and say they are following possible leads.

Tevita Kuridrani
Bulls suffer 6th crucial defeat
24 May 2019, 4:10 PM

The Bulls have suffered a sixth Super Rugby defeat in 13 matches this season. They are now also in danger of being knocked off the top of the South African Conference by the Jaguares or the Sharks.

The Brumbies scored four tries to one to beat the Bulls 22-10 in Canberra after leading 12-10 at half-time.

Outside centre Tevita Kuridrani scored a hat-trick of tries to put the Brumbies on course to return to the play-offs bracket when they beat the Bulls in Canberra.

The Bulls on the other hand drop down to second place in the South African conference behind the Jaguares, while the Sharks can also leap-from the Bulls should they beat the Lions in Durban on Saturday.

The Bulls came into the fixture full of confidence after their winning performance against the Rebels in their tour opener last Friday.

They were facing a Brumbies side that returned from a bye, looking to make it six home wins in a row.

The Brumbies scored the opening try through their big and strong backline players — running lines and angles that had the Bulls defence in sixes and sevens.

Kuridrani was in for his first and the Brumbies took the lead following an earlier Manie Libbok penalty.

The Pretoria outfit took advantage of a 14 man Brumbies team after Thomas Cusack was sin binned. They forced their way over from a scrum for Hanro Liebenberg to dot the ball down for a converted try.

But the Brumbies pilled on the pressure and two minutes before the break, they again went wide as Kuridrani sliced through a gap in the defence to go over for his second.

Christian Lealiifano converted for a 12-10 halftime lead.

In the second half, the Brumbies were quick off the mark, taking the opportunity of the scrum in an attacking position.

Henry Speight set-up Irae Simone for a try following a Lealiifano inside pass.

Kuridrani got his hat-trick as the Bulls once again allowed the Brumbies to go wide and open up a 12 point gap that sealed victory.

The win for the Brumbies sees them remain top of the Australian conference.

In Hamilton, the Chiefs scored three tries to one for a 19-13 victory over the Reds. All three tries were scored in the first half that saw the home-side take a 19-6 halftime lead.

This result momentarily moves the Chiefs up to 10th place on the standings, while the Reds move down to 14th.

Meanwhile the Springboks Sevens team will have an opportunity this weekend to secure their Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games qualification.

The London leg of the series is the penultimate of a season where the top four are guaranteed a place at the Olympics.

The Blitzboks are currently in fourth place on 121 points following their recent two tournament wins.


German Learners
Youths rally in climate protest before EU vote
24 May 2019, 3:21 PM

Tens of thousands of young climate activists rallied in Germany on Friday in the latest mass protest demanding urgent action against global warming, ahead of the weekend’s European Parliamentary elections.

At least 5,000 students boycotted classes and demonstrated at Berlin’s iconic Brandenburg Gate in what was expected to be one of the largest of protests planned in more than 120 countries.

Large crowds also gathered in Hamburg, Frankfurt and other German cities, mirroring protests across Europe and the world. In Berlin, they carried signs with messages such as “Climate now, homework later!” and “There is no planet B”, while teenage activists chanted: “What do we want? Climate justice! When do we want it? now!”

The initiator of the “Fridays for Future” protests, 16-year-old Swedish school girl Greta Thunberg, again passionately called on youths in Europe and around the world to join the movement.

“It is time for all of us to resist on a massive scale,” she wrote in a text co-authored with German activist Luisa Neubauer in the newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

“We have the feeling that many adults have not yet fully understood that we young people cannot stop the climate crisis on our own,” they wrote, calling the challenge “a task for all of humanity”.

While many previous protest movements have started on university campuses, the “Fridays” rallies emerged from among school students — a generation that has grown up with predictions of ecological doom yet witnessed what they see as only glacial political change.

“Climate change doesn’t respect borders, climate change will at some point become irreversible,” said one protester, Berlin student Aaron Langguth, 21. “That’s why we have to do something now.

“The students realise that there’s no point going to classes if they don’t have a future.”

‘Make love, not CO2’

Many of the banners, posters and protest cries reflect a rising sense of frustration and anxiety about inheriting a warming planet with melting ice caps and glaciers that is battered by worsening droughts, floods and storms.

“You are running out of excuses, we are running out of time,” read one message directed at politicians, while another demanded: “The climate is changing, why aren’t we?”

Many messages addressed the serious issue in a more light-hearted way, including signs that read, “Make the world cool again,” “Make love, not CO2” and: “Don’t blow it – good planets are hard to find”.

One boy’s hand-painted sign mixed ecological alarm with a teenager’s optimism: “Our planet is getting hotter than my future girlfriend.”

Another issued a direct warning to adults: “If you don’t take us seriously, we’ll scrap your pensions”.

In recent months, the rallies have indeed helped to significantly shift political attitudes among adults.

Most mainstream parties have addressed climate change and other environmental issues as a Eurobarometer poll shows that it is now a leading concern for European Union voters, not far behind economic issues and migration.

Present at the Berlin protests were #ParentsForFuture and similarly named groups by Scientists, Doctors, Entrepreneurs, Midwives and Queers.

Under the 2015 Paris deal to limit global warming to well below two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, the 28-nation EU has pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 percent by 2030, compared to 1990.

But many scientists and climate activists say Europe and all other major economies must sharply raise their ambition.

The UN Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change warned in October that warming is currently on track towards a catastrophic 3C or 4C rise.



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