Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Posted by ME at 5:19 PM
Posted by ME at 5:17 PM
Nov. 19, 2014 "Lawrence Jackson captured the President busting out in laughter as he and the First Lady recorded a holiday video message in the Map Room of the White House." (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)
Dec. 3, 2014 "The First Lady and I both spotted the President standing under the mistletoe and she moved in to grab a kiss from him following a dinner for Combatant Commanders and military leadership at Blair House in Washington, D.C." (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Dec. 16, 2014 "The President talks on the phone with President RaÃºl Castro of Cuba in the Oval Office. The next day, the President announced the U.S. would restore full relations with Cuba after more than 50 years." (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Feb. 11, 2014 "Ever the gentleman, the President helps the First Lady off the stage after she thanked the White House chefs during the State Dinner for President FranÃ§ois Hollande of France on the South Lawn of the White House." (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
"March 23, 2014 "A great moment captured by Amanda Lucidon of the First Lady and daughters Sasha and Malia during their visit to the Great Wall of China." (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)
May 6, 2014 "Aides laugh as the President swats a fly that was invading his space in the Oval Office." (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
May 16, 2014 "A pretty self-explanatory moment by Chuck Kennedy, as the First Lady toured the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site in Topeka, Kansas, with Stephanie Kyriazis, Chief of Interpretation and Education." (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
June 6, 2014 "The President talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin after a lunch with other foreign leaders to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, France. I'm sure they were talking about a subject matter other than D-Day." (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
June 9, 2014 "The President sits for a 3D portrait being produced by the Smithsonian Institution. There were so many cameras and strobe lights flashing but the end result was kind of cool. See the video at this link: http://1.usa.gov/1zhPtAf." (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
June 23, 2014 "The President kisses a baby girl as he and the Vice President greeted wounded warriors and their families during their tour in the East Room of the White House." (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
June 29, 2014 "The President shares a quiet moment with his daughter Sasha during a father and daughter hike at Great Falls, Virginia." (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
July 10, 2014 "During remarks on the economy in Austin, Texas, the President was heckled about immigration by two young men in the audience. After being interrupted again, the President told the men that he wanted to finish his speech but would be happy to have a conversation with them later. As soon as he left the stage, the President told his staff to bring the two men backstage so he could indeed talk to them about immigration." (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
July 31, 2014 "It's true that the President has a calm demeanor. Not always though. Here the President expresses his dismay at comments from a Republican member of Congress discussing the administration's policy in Syria during a meeting with the chairs and ranking members of congressional national security committees. This frank exchange was later reported in the press." (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Aug.14, 2014 "'Presidents don't get vacations; they get a change of scenery,' then First Lady Nancy Reagan once said about her husband's trips to his California ranch. It doesn't really matter if a President is in the Oval Office or on vacation in Martha's Vineyard. He is still the President, capable of making decisions wherever he is. Here, while on vacation in Chilmark, Massachusetts, the President puts the finishing touches on his remarks after meeting with Attorney General Eric Holder and others about the the situation in Ferguson, Missouri." (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Oct. 20, 2014 "It was supposed to be just a simple early voting by the President at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center in Chicago, Illinois. When Aia Cooper, left, and her fiancÃ© Mike Jones, far right, walked by to also cast their ballot, Jones quipped, 'Mr. President, don't touch my girlfriend.' The President replied, 'I really wasn't planning on it,' joking that Jones was 'an example of a brother just embarrassing you for no reason.' When the President finished voting, he reached over and gave Cooper a kiss on the cheek." (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Oct. 24, 2014 "When Nina Pham walked into the Oval Office, the President gave her a big hug as her family and White House Dr. Ronny Jackson watched. Nina, a Dallas nurse diagnosed with Ebola after caring for an infected patient in Texas, was being treated at the National Institutes of Health in nearby Bethesda, Maryland, and the President invited her to the White House when she was released after being declared Ebola-free." (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Posted by ME at 1:59 AM
Posted by ME at 1:26 AM
Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Posted by ME at 11:54 PM
Posted by ME at 11:53 PM
Posted by ME at 9:53 PM
Posted by ME at 5:52 PM
Posted by ME at 5:51 PM
Posted by ME at 6:46 AM
Posted by ME at 6:26 AM
Monday, December 29, 2014
Posted by ME at 11:37 PM
Posted by ME at 11:36 PM
Posted by ME at 11:32 PM
Posted by ME at 11:30 PM
Posted by ME at 11:29 PM
Posted by ME at 9:21 PM
Posted by ME at 8:02 PM
Posted by ME at 7:57 PM
Sunday, December 28, 2014
Posted by ME at 11:22 PM
Posted by ME at 11:20 PM
Several supporters injured after chaos erupts during Moses Kajwang's tour of Homa Bay http://bitly.com/1BedpFQ
Posted by ME at 10:32 PM
More by this Author
Gunshots rent the air at Olare Market Sunday in Homa Bay County after a hostile crowd charged at an ODM team that had set out on an introductory tour of Mr Moses Otieno Kajwang'.
The team led by ODM national chairman John Mbadi was greeted by the crowd of young people who expressed their dissatisfaction with ODM's nomination of the late senator's brother.
The youths who were chanting, "we want elections not selection," forced body guards to shoot in the air in a bid to disperse them.
The crowd was also heard chanting the name of former Rangwe MP Philip Okundi. The party has experienced a number of resignations following the controversial nomination of Mr Kajwang' with the latest being former Raila Odinga's aide Silas Jakakimba who Saturday announced that he is running on a UDM ticket.
Party chairman Mr Mbadi was Saturday locked up in a meeting with area MCAs elected on an ODM ticket in Nyakweya Hotel in Kisii over the controversial nomination of Mr Moses Kajwang'.
Posted by ME at 10:29 PM
Posted by ME at 10:05 PM
Posted by ME at 10:00 PM
Posted by ME at 9:59 PM
More by this Author
The country ends a difficult year, characterised by a security meltdown, with a major political disagreement over the future of the Security Act.
This is the very measure that the government claims is intended to address security problems, but which the opposition and human rights groups claim is an attempt to roll back constitutional liberties and which they seek to challenge.
The passing of the Act, amid chaotic scenes in the National Assembly, was followed by immediate assent, the President using the occasion to offer the previously missing rationale for the Act.
His advice that those criticising the Act should first read it was ironic, since failure to offer a meaningful opportunity to understand its contents was the first problem. The Deputy President also criticised the opposition’s resistance to the Act, thus crystallising a new fault line in national politics.
The coming year is likely to be challenging. Without considering the uncertain security situation, over which new and unforeseen complications can arise, the current political disagreements, outwardly about management of national security, have further compounded what was already a testing national context, leaving little room for healthy politics.
Calls by the opposition for national dialogue, rebuffed by the government, created Okoa Kenya, whose flagship has been the call for a referendum to address issues, including insecurity, with which there has been no meeting of minds with the government. While the referendum effort has not flourished, the official response to the runaway insecurity has been inadequate, and has demonstrated a leadership gap.
Before the Security Act, it was difficult enough for the government and the opposition to cooperate in addressing national issues. The fallout from the Act significantly increases the difficulties. Although the President finally took decisive measures by replacing the country’s security chiefs, an action that will buy his government time to address insecurity in the country, he also made a series of blunders along the way.
While the President initially characterised the Mpeketoni terrorist attacks as ethnic cleansing targeting the Kikuyu community, thus absolving Al-Shabaab, who had already claimed responsibility, he has since called them “attacks on Christians in Lamu”.
This characterisation was criticised as reckless, divisive and discriminatory, the President coming through as a sectional leader. Then, the President, away when the Mandera attacks occurred, returned to the country and released the government from responsibility for security, declaring individuals were responsible for their own security and also blaming victims of insecurity for what befell them, with the Deputy President supporting this position.
While the latest action, the Security Act, perpetuates Jubilee’s balkanising reaction to insecurity, the processing of the Act, pushed through the National Assembly in record time, amid spirited but ultimately futile resistance by the opposition, destroys the remaining chance for bipartisan politics.
Thus, New Year comes with the reality that the President’s often contested understanding of, and responses to, insecurity faces the additional difficulty of a decline in his bi-partisan appeal.
In the highly divided national context, the President is unlikely to suffer any harm from this, and may, in fact, consolidate his existing support. But this is not likely to endear him to the rest of the country.
The chamber of the National Assembly was the scene of the latest round of disagreements, before which indescribable ignominy unfolded, in what was a veritable war.
Whoever is to blame, it is clear that the Speaker, Justin Muturi, is now unfit to lead the Assembly and his position as Speaker is no longer tenable, even in Jubilee’s eyes.
However, it is unlikely that Jubilee will replace him. His remaining in office will, therefore, be a continuing desecration of the Assembly, as witnessed in the debate on the Security Bill, and will render the House irrelevant in national life, rather like the one-party Kanu parliaments of old, or the old judiciary.
Thus, 2015 will open with an increasingly ineffective leadership under President Kenyatta, compounded by an ineffective and toxic Assembly. From there it will only get harder.
Nobody in Kenya now, not the President and not the opposition leadership, enjoys the respect of the whole country, as would be able to bring the various factions together to discuss anything.
Cord will continue mounting whatever skirmishes it can against the government, most of which will fail, as there are few neutral people left, and its support base remains unconvinced that Cord is worth their support.
As also seen through the arrest and charging of blogger Robert Alai, Jubilee no longer needs to hide its hand, and no longer can. The intolerance on display in the processing of the Security Bill will continue in 2015, and the remainder of this electoral term.
Debate on the Security Bill was an important juncture in national politics because it provided the occasion for Jubilee to finally drop its mask. Like the Kanu leadership before, the Jubilee leadership claims infallibility, and knowledge of everything, and therefore needs nobody outside Jubilee.
Kenya is under an evidently incompetent leadership which is now also becoming openly dictatorial. Two reasons explain this. First, to reduce public scrutiny and exposure of its mistakes, and secondly, to defeat any challenge to its power. The opposition is where Jubilee wants it to be: in disarray.
Jubilee will continue to spend resources to contain dissidents rather than solving actual problems. The Security Act clarifies that Jubilee is not interested in popularity or legitimacy but in disorganising all opposition as a means of holding onto power. Some will conclude that Jubilee learnt Kanu.
A father passing by his teenage son's bedroom was astonished to see the bed was nicely made and everything was neat and tidy. Then he saw an envelope propped up prominently on the center of the pillow. It was addressed "Dad". With the worst premonition, he opened the envelope and read the letter with trembling hands :-Dear dad, It is with great regret and sorrow that I'm writing you, but I'm leaving home. I had to elope with my new girlfriend Rosy because I wanted to avoid a scene with Mom and you. I've been finding real passion with Rosy and she is so nice to me. I know when you meet her you'll like her too even with all her piercings and tattoos. But it's not only the passion Dad, She is pregnant and said that She wants to have the kid and that we can be very happy together. Even though Rosy is much older than me (anyway, 42 isn't so old these days is it?), and has no money, really these things shouldn't stand in the way of our relationship, don't you agree?It's true she had other boyfriends as well but I know she'll be faithful to me in her own way. She wants to have many more children with me and that's now one of my dreams too. In the meantime, we'll pray that science will find a cure for AIDS so Rosy can get better; She sure deserves it!! Your loving son, Rocky. At the bottom of the page were the letters "PTO" Hands still trembling, his father turned the sheet, and read: PS: Dad, none of the above is true. I'm over at the neighbor's house. I just wanted to remind you that there are worse things in life than my report card that's in my desk center drawer. Please sign it and call when it is safe for me to come home. I love You!
27 December 2014 Last updated at 17:08 ET
Liberia senate race: Landslide win for George Weah
Continue reading the main story
The former football star George Weah has won a landslide victory in Liberia's senate elections, in polls disrupted by the Ebola outbreak.
Mr Weah got 78% of the vote for the Montserrado county seat, which includes the capital Monrovia.
He beat Robert Sirleaf, the son of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who took nearly 11%.
Low turnout in the poll, which was first planned for October, was blamed on concerns about Ebola.
Strict health controls were in place to try to prevent the spread of the disease.
Those who came to polling stations had their temperature taken, were told to stand a metre (3ft) apart and wash their hands before and after voting.
Liberia has been one of the countries worst affected by Ebola, with almost 3,400 deaths, the UN says.
Other winners in the senate elections include Jewel Howard-Taylor, the ex-wife of the jailed former president Charles Taylor, and the former rebel leader Prince Johnson. Both retained their seats.
The National Elections Commission chairman, Jerome Korkoya, called the conclusion of the vote "the end of a crucial journey".
Mr Weah won the first round of the 2005 presidential election, losing the runoff to Ms Johnson-Sirleaf.
He is the only African to be named Fifa's world player of the year, winning in 1995.
Posted by ME at 4:50 PM
Posted by ME at 4:41 PM
Posted by ME at 4:36 PM
Posted by ME at 4:34 PM
Posted by ME at 4:33 PM
Posted by ME at 4:32 PM
Search for missing AirAsia jet QZ8501 bound for Singapore from Indonesia suspended
WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR:
- AirAsia flight QZ8501 bound for Singapore from Surabaya, Indonesia and carrying 162 people on board went missing Sunday morning.
- Contact with the plane was lost around an hour after departure, somewhere over the Java Sea between Belitung island and Pontianak, on Indonesia's part of Kalimantan island.
- Search and rescue operations were launched with the Indonesian army as well as Singapore and Malaysia scouring the area around Belitung, but have been suspended for the night.
Indonesia air traffic control lost contact with AirAsia flight QZ8501 bound for Singapore from the Indonesian city of Surabaya on Sunday morning.
Search and locate efforts were launched but Indonesia later suspended the operation as darkness fell. The national search and rescue agency said the operation will resume at 6 a.m. in the morning, with the search area expanded to include mountainous areas on land.
Earlier, AirAsia released a statement listing 162 people on board, with 138 adults, 16 children and one infant making up 155 passengers along with seven crew members (two pilots, four flight attendants and one engineer).
The passengers comprise one Singaporean, one Malaysian, one British, three South Koreans and 149 Indonesians, while the crew consists of six Indonesians and one French. See the full manifest here.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) confirmed that the Singaporean on board the missing flight is a two year-old girl travelling with her father, the British national.
A Changi Airport staff holds up a sign to direct possible next-of-kins of passengers of AirAsia flight QZ 8501 from Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore, at Changi Airport in Singapore December ... more
QZ8501 lost contact with Indonesian air traffic control at 7:55am local time, 42 minutes after departure and an hour before it was scheduled to land in Singapore.
Reuters reports that the aircraft was between the Indonesian port of Tanjung Pandan and the town of Pontianak, in West Kalimantan on Borneo island, when it went missing without a distress signal.
The plane was on the submitted flight plan route before it asked for permission to deviate to avoid "bad weather" described by officials as dense storm clouds, strong winds and lightning.
"The plane requested to the air traffic control to fly to the left side which was approved, but their request to fly to 38,000 feet level from 32,000 feet could not be approved at that time due to a traffic, there was a flight above, and five minutes later the flight disappeared from radar," said air transportation chief Djoko Murjatmodjo.
The captain in command had a substantial total of 6,100 flying hours and the first officer a total of 2,275 flying hours, said AirAsia, adding that the jet underwent its last scheduled maintenance on 16 November 2014.
Map locating the scheduled flight AirAsia QZ8501, which went missing on Sunday morning
Indonesia deployed seven aircrafts, four navy ships and six boats from its search and rescue agency. It has received offers of support from Australia, Singapore, Britain, South Korea and Malaysia so far.
A C130 plane was deployed by the Republic of Singapore Air Force in the afternoon, with another aircraft due to join the search Monday morning.
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak also took to social media to comment on the situation.
Posted by ME at 4:25 PM