Sunday, August 14, 2022

Ruto Leads Tallies as IEBC Presidential Results Delay

Reuters, IEBC and Radio Africa tallies show Ruto leading the presidential vote count.

In Summary

• Reuters, IEBC, Radio Africa tallies show William Ruto leading the presidential vote tally

• On Saturday Gideon Moi and SK Macharia announced that the Standard and Citizen tallies showed that Raila had won

The results as per Radio Africa Group.

The long delay by the IEBC in announcing the final verified results of the August 9 presidential election is starting to lead to confusion. There have been conflicting reports about the state of the vote count. 

The IEBC latest verified Form 34 Bs show William Ruto leading Raila Odinga. Reuters reports that Ruto is leading Raila with 52 percent of the vote in its nearly complete tally of Form 34As.

A Radio Africa tally of all Form 34Bs (provisional and yet to be fully verified by the IEBC) shows that Ruto received 50.36 percent of the vote compared to 48.88 percent for Raila.

The tally shows Ruto has won 126 constituencies with 7,152,655 votes while Raila has taken 146 constituencies with 6,942,708 votes with 18 constituencies pending (excluding diaspora and prisons) - a difference of 209,947 votes.

The vote tally is available at https://elections.thestar.ke and consolidates the Form 34Bs aggregated to the 291 constituencies and to the provisional national count. Radio Africa is updating the final tally of the remaining 49 polling stations with 34, 815 outstanding votes. However, the IEBC has not yet verified and officially released all the Form 34Bs so the figures should be treated with caution.

THE FORM 34BS APPEAR TO SHOW THAT RUTO RECEIVED 50.3%

On Saturday Royal Media Services, the owner of Citizen TV, and Standard Group in a press release called the August 9 election in favour of the Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga.   A press statement released on Saturday stated that Raila Amolo Odinga received 51.13% of the vote and William Ruto 48.22%. The press release was signed by S. K Macharia for Royal Media Services and Gideon Moi for Standard Group.

The two media house have however not released a detailed polling station by polling station count of their results to the public.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission is still double-checking the Form 34As from over 46,229 polling stations in the 291 constituencies. As of Sunday morning, it had released the verified Form 34Bs (consolidated from Form 34As) from 135 out of 291 constituencies which showed that William Ruto was leading Raila Odinga with 3,511,573 votes, 51.3 percent of the verified total, compared to 3,284,316 votes, 48.0 percent of the verified total.

The IEBC has made all Form 34As and Form 34Bs available at its portal.  

The international news agency Reuters is also reporting in its stories that Ruto is leading the vote, according to the collated Form 34Bs.

“Reuters news agency and other media outlets have been tallying results forms from 291 constituencies posted on the election commission website. These have not yet been verified, and this tally is running well ahead of the official one. As of 2100 GMT (Saturday), Reuters had tallied 241 forms, which showed Ruto in the lead with nearly 52.3% of the vote, compared to 47% for Odinga. Two other candidates had less than 1% between them. Thirty other forms could not be included in the count because they were unreadable or were missing information such as signatures, constituency names, or totals”, Reuters is declaring.

In polls ahead just of the election, TIFA, Infotrak and IPSOS called the elections for Raila Odinga with an 8 percent, 7 percent and 6 percent lead respectively while the Radio Africa poll called it for William Ruto with a 1 percent lead.

IEBC has declared that Senator Johnson Sakaja has won the Nairobi Governor seat after garnering 699,392 votes (56 percent) defeating his main rival Polycarp Igathe (41 percent of Jubilee who got 573,518 votes. A Radio Africa Nairobi gubernatorial poll July 2022 predicted Sakaja would win by 57% of the vote.

Neo-Colonial Libya Officials Say15 Migrants Found Dead on Border With Sudan

By SAMY MAGDY

CAIRO (AP) — Libyan authorities said Saturday they found at least 15 migrants dead in the desert on the borders with Sudan, the latest tragedy involving migrants seeking a better life in Europe via perilous journeys through the conflict-wrecked nation.

The Department for Combating Irregular Migration in the southeastern city of Kufra said the migrants were on their way from Sudan to Libya when their vehicle broke down due to lack of fuel.

The agency said nine other migrants survived while two remain missing in the desert. There were women and children among the migrants, but the agency did not elaborate on how many. It also did not reveal causes of the migrants’ death but said they did not have enough food and water.

It said the migrants were all Sudanese — from a country in turmoil for years. The migrants likely attempted to reach western Libya in efforts to board trafficking boats to Europe.

The agency posted images on Facebook showing bodies purportedly of the dead migrants who were later burned in the desert.

The tragedy was the latest in Libya’s sprawling desert. In June, authorities in Kufra said they found the bodies of 20 migrants who they said died of thirst in the desert after their vehicle broke down close to the border with Chad.

Libya has in recent years emerged as the dominant transit point for migrants fleeing war and poverty in Africa and the Middle East. The oil-rich country plunged into chaos following a NATO-backed uprising that toppled and killed longtime autocrat Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.

Human traffickers in recent years have benefited from the chaos in Libya, smuggling in migrants across the country’s lengthy borders with six nations. The migrants are then packed into ill-equipped rubber boats and set off on risky sea voyages.

Ship Reaches Ukraine to Load Up With Wheat for Hungry Africa

By SUSIE BLANN

August 12, 2022

FILE - A dump track unloads grain in a granary in the village of Zghurivka, Ukraine, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022. A ship approached Ukraine on Friday, Aug. 12, 2022, to pick up wheat for hungry people in Ethiopia, in the first food delivery to Africa under a U.N.-brokered plan to unblock grain trapped by Russia’s war and bring relief to some of the millions worldwide on the brink of starvation. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky, File)

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — A ship docked in a Ukrainian Black Sea port on Friday to begin loading up with wheat for hungry people in Ethiopia. It will be the first food delivery to Africa under a U.N. plan to unblock grain trapped by Russia’s war on Ukraine and bring relief to some of the millions worldwide who are on the brink of starvation.

For months, fighting in Ukraine and a Russian blockade of Ukraine’s ports meant that grain produced in Ukraine, one of the world’s key breadbaskets, piled up in silos. That sent global food prices sky-high and led to hunger in Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia. In recent days, several ships carrying grain have left Ukrainian ports under the new deal — but most of those shipments were animal feed and went to Turkey or Western Europe under previous contracts.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the ship named Brave Commander will carry its wheat to the Horn of Africa nation of Djibouti, where it will be unloaded and sent on to Ethiopia.

“The wheat will go to the World Food Program’s operations in Ethiopia, supporting the Horn of Africa drought response as the threat of famine stalks the drought-hit region,” he said. “It is one of many areas around the world where the near-complete halt of Ukrainian grain and food on the global market has made life even harder for the families already struggling with rising hunger.”

The ship was expected to take on more than 23,000 metric tons, according to Ukraine’s Infrastructure Ministry — still only a tiny portion of the 20 million tons of grain languishing now in Ukraine. It docked in the port city of Yuzhne late Friday, the ministry said.

Ethiopia, along with neighboring Somalia and Kenya, is facing the worst drought in four decades in the Horn of Africa. Thousands of people across the region have died from hunger or illness this year. Forecasts for the coming weeks indicate that for the first time, a fifth straight rainy season will fail to materialize. Millions of livestock, the basis of many families’ wealth and food security, have died.

“Millions of households will struggle to cope with these shocks” in Ethiopia, according to a new assessment by the Famine Early Warning Systems Network. “Food assistance needs are at record levels, with up to 15 million people in need of food assistance.”

While one shipment won’t solve the crisis, the World Food Program still heralded it as an “important step” in getting Ukrainian grain out of the country to the worst-affected countries. Ethiopian officials did not respond to requests for comment.

Yet on Ukraine’s front lines, the fighting was incessant, especially in the eastern region of the Donbas, where much of the fighting has been centered as the war approaches the six-month mark. The town of Kramatorsk was hit by 11 rockets overnight. Seven people were killed and 14 others were wounded in and around the town, which remains cut off from gas, running water and electricity.

“Three quarters of the population of the region have already been evacuated, because incessant shelling by the Russian army doesn’t leave civilians any choice — it’s either to die from wounds, or from hunger and cold in winter,” Donetsk regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko told Ukrainian television.

The threat of a nuclear accident also loomed in southern Ukraine, where shelling has hit near Europe’s largest nuclear plant.

Shelling near the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant continued overnight. Russian forces fired more than 40 rockets at the city of Marhanets, which is across the Dnieper River from the power plant. Three people were wounded in the most recent shelling, including a 12-year-old boy. The neighboring city of Nikopol was shelled as well, said Valentyn Reznichenko, the governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region.

The U.N. nuclear chief warned late Thursday that “very alarming” military activity at the nuclear plant could lead to dangerous consequences.

International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Rafael Grossi urged Russia and Ukraine, who blame each other for the attacks at the nuclear plant, to immediately allow nuclear experts to assess damage and evaluate safety and security at the sprawling nuclear complex. He said the situation at the plant “has been deteriorating very rapidly.”

He pointed to shelling and several explosions at Zaporizhzhia last Friday that forced the shutdown of its electrical power transformer and two backup transformers, forcing the shutdown of one nuclear reactor.

Ukrainian Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky said authorities were drafting plans to evacuate residents from towns and villages near the plant.

“There is a high-level threat, so there are plans for any possible development, including release of radiation,” Monastyrsky said Friday. “We all have seen the Russian shelling of the plant. It’s horrible.”

He said Russian forces have stationed weapons at the plant and have denied Ukrainian nuclear workers access to some areas in the complex.

“It’s hard to even imagine the scale of tragedy if the Russians continue their action there,” he said. “We have become convinced that there is no restraining factors. There is a deliberate stand declared by the Russian authorities that they are ready for any action, regardless of consequences.”

—-

Associated Press writer Edith M. Lederer at the United Nations contributed.

41 Dead in Fire at Mass in Cairo Copt Church: Officials


Aug 14, 2022 09:56 PM

Emergency personnel work at the site of a fire at the Abu Sefein church that has killed over 40 people and injured at least 14 others, in the densely populated neighborhood of Imbaba, Cairo Egypt, Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022. Photo: VCG

More than 40 people were killed in a blaze that broke out during a Sunday mass in a Coptic Christian church in a suburb of Egypt's capital Cairo, church officials said.

The blaze started for unknown reasons at the Abu Sifine church in the capital's northwestern, working-class district of Imbaba. 

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi declared on his Facebook page, "I have mobilized all state services to ensure that all measures are taken."

Fire services later said the blaze had been brought under control.

The Egyptian Coptic Church reported "41 dead and 14 injured" citing "sources in the Ministry of Health," in a statement posted on its Facebook page.

The prosecutor's office said it had opened an investigation and sent a team to the scene to establish the cause of the blaze.

Copts are the largest Christian community in the Middle East, making up at least 10 million of Egypt's 103 million people.

Sisi, the first Egyptian president to attend the Coptic Christmas mass every year, recently appointed a Coptic judge to head the Constitutional Court for the first time in history.

Sisi said Sunday he had "presented his condolences by phone" to Coptic Pope Tawadros II, who has been the head of Egypt's Christian community since 2012.

Accidental fires are not uncommon in Cairo. Egypt has suffered several deadly fires in recent years.

In March 2021, at least 20 people died in a blaze in a textile factory in an eastern suburb of Cairo. 

In 2020, two hospital fires claimed the lives of 14 COVID-19 patients.

Chinese Medics Boost Treatment of Non-communicable Diseases in South Sudan

By Xinhua

Aug 14, 2022 09:19 PM

Joyce James, a 48-year-old homemaker, has not been taking high-energy beverages since January and instead opted for low sugar drinks due to diabetes-related complications.

James' health condition has of late improved after visiting the Juba Teaching Hospital where doctors affiliated with the ninth batch of the Chinese medical team diagnosed her condition and prescribed a free treatment regimen.

"My message to patients is that when you feel pain after the treatment, you need to return to Chinese doctors for treatment and you will see improvement," James told Xinhua in the capital Juba.

Yang Jie, a Chinese physician who treated James, said high blood sugar is caused by sugary food and beverages. "Each week we have two days of clinical work and on each day, we receive about 40 patients and the common diseases we are treating are high blood pressure, diabetes, stomach complications, and ulcers," Yang said.

The non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure that have spiked in South Sudan are linked to lack of physical exercise, smoking, and harmful consumption of alcohol.

John Otoo, 54, was among several patients who received treatment from Yang after enduring upper abdomen and joint pains for months.

He hailed the treatment he received from the Chinese doctor, adding that his earlier attempts at seeking treatment from private health clinics failed to improve his condition.

"I went to a certain clinic and I was given some drugs but the treatment did not succeed and that is why I came here to see the Chinese doctors," Otoo said.

Sabina Kiyang Michael, an assistant working alongside Yang at Juba Teaching Hospital, said she has acquired extensive knowledge on the treatment of diabetes and high blood pressure in her six-year experience working with various Chinese medical teams.

Since the independence of South Sudan in 2011, Chinese medical teams have been offering free medical services as well as capacity building for local health workers and medical students.  

GT Voice: US Cannot Afford to Engage in a 'Chip War' Against China

By Global Times

Aug 14, 2022 10:03 PM

It is disturbing for global supply chains to see the US apply increasing administrative intervention in normal market competition when it comes to advanced technology areas such as semiconductors. 

The US announced new export controls on four emerging and foundational technologies that support the production of advanced semiconductors and gas turbine engine, according to an interim final rule released on Friday by the US Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS).

While the BIS didn't name China directly, observers generally believe that the move is mainly aimed at further decoupling semiconductor supply chains of China and the US, marking the first semiconductor-related move after US President Joe Biden signed the CHIPS Act into law.

For the CHIPS Act and US-promoted "chip alliance," they are all about boosting the US chip manufacturing capabilities while politicizing the semiconductor industry to exclude China from the global industrial chain.

No one can ignore the strong intention the US is now showing to wage a "chip war" against China, especially after Washington threw a set of punches designed to strangle China's technological development. 

The semiconductor industry has become a recent focus of the China-US geopolitical competition, which is provoked by the US. But the coercive approach of forcing companies or economies to take sides between China and the US is problematic and poses a serious threat to the security of the global supply chain. This is because chips are the product of global collaboration, and the formation and development of the semiconductor industrial chain is the result of the interaction based on market rule.

If the US is intended to decouple itself from China in a "chip war," it will have to rope in other allies to form a technological iron curtain that effectively end up splitting the current global supply chain into two. Yet, it is highly questionable whether the US has the ability to pull the whole world into its "chip war." In fact, even the long-brewing CHIPS Act has faced questions on its effectiveness and sustainability, not to mention other export control measures.

More importantly, the US may want to curb the development of China's semiconductor sector by imposing various restrictions, but this may only lead to more supply chain disruptions. As the US becomes increasingly accustomed to abusing various export controls and restrictions, it is actually sabotaging its own supply chain by inviting more risks.

If Washington is determined to keep the so-called "chip war" going, it must be ready for China to fight back.

China uses a large number of chips to manufacture end products like electronics and auto parts, and a large amount of the final products are exported to the rest of the world, including the US. If the US continues its suppression on the supplies of semiconductor-related products and technologies to China, it may eventually contribute to disruption in the manufacturing sector, which will not only affect China but also weigh down the US supply chain. 

Given the scale and capacity of Chinese manufacturing, there is no other country that can replace China's role, which is why a decoupling from China for US semiconductor supply chain is impossible.

Trump's Legal Jeopardy Could 'Misguide US Midterm Elections' into Partisan Conflict Rather Than Solving Urgent Economic Problems

By Yang Sheng

Aug 14, 2022 10:30 PM

A vehicle carrying former US President Donald Trump leaves the office of the New York Attorney General in New York City on August 10, 2022. Donald Trump on Wednesday declined to answer questions under oath in New York over alleged fraud at his family business, as legal pressures pile on the former president whose house was raided by the FBI just two days ago. Photo: VCG

Former US president Donald Trump is facing serious legal jeopardy after the FBI search of his residence Mar-a-Lago in Florida found classified documents, with observers saying that as the investigation develops, it is likely to strangle the possibility that Trump can run for election again. Democrats might take a sigh of relief as they might have chance to eliminate their biggest threat in domestic politics once and for all.

But the case will misguide the Americans away from US economic problems such as inflation toward partisan struggles, proving once again that the US political system is in serious crisis and dysfunction as it has failed to effectively handle issues that matter to people's livelihood but it will further tear the society apart by escalating partisan struggle. US media even said that signs of "civil war" are emerging, while analysts said that US democracy is facing catastrophe as voters might only have to make choice between "the incompetent and the guilty." 

The US Justice Department removed 11 sets of classified documents from Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence while executing a search warrant this week for possible violations of the Espionage Act and other possible crimes, according to court documents unsealed and released on Friday, CNN reported.

On Saturday, CNN, which holds a hostile attitude toward Trump, reported that one of Trump's attorneys signed a letter in June asserting that "there was no more classified information stored at Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence," according to "two sources familiar with the matter." The letter raises fresh questions about the number of people who may have legal exposure in the ongoing investigation into the handling of classified materials from Trump's time in the White House.

Fox News, a conservative US media outlet, reported that the FBI seized boxes containing records covered by attorney-client privilege and potentially executive privilege during its raid of Mar-a-Lago, according to "sources familiar with the investigation," adding that the Justice Department opposed Trump lawyers' request for the appointment of an independent, special master to review the records.

Impact to midterm elections

Chinese analysts said that based on the reports from US media and the hard evidence released, the case has now received attention from both the left and the right as well as the swing voters, while the attention  upon the issues that do not favor Democrats like the incompetence of President Joe Biden's administration in handling inflation, and the business scandal about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her son in their provocative trip to Taiwan, has been covered up or shifted away.  

Polling from YouGov, an international research data and analytics group, conducted on Tuesday found that 62 percent of Americans thought it was either "a very big problem" (45 percent) or "somewhat of a problem" (17 percent) that Trump allegedly held onto classified documents after leaving office.

Lü Xiang, an expert on US studies and research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Sunday, "Trump is unlikely to escape unscathed from the case this time, and he's still under pressure from New York State's investigation over his tax and loan issues, while many Republican politicians have been muted in their support and criticism of the investigation after the hard evidence found in Mar-a-Lago."

The possibility that the Democrats will keep control of the House and Senate after the midterm elections later this year is rising, because Republican candidates who sought Trump's backing to boost their popularity are now facing huge difficulties, Lü said.

But Trump could still minimize the damage if he and his lawyers can effectively challenge the investigation from the "procedural justice" and appeal to the Supreme Court, but that will take a very long time and will not finish before the midterms. If there are no other unexpected major changes, Democrats are now favorite to keep control of Congress, analysts said.  

Catastrophe of US democracy 

Diao Daming, an associate professor at the Renmin University of China in Beijing, told the Global Times on Sunday that this is another proof of the catastrophe of US democracy. "We all know neither Democrats nor Republicans can effectively respond the US people's demands over the economy and livelihoods, but some still believe that maybe they could at least focus the discussion on economic matters during the election. Now, Trump's case will make the partisan struggle dominate the election, and the US is actually offering the voters only two choices - the incompetent and the guilty." 

More importantly, the case will further tear US society apart and some US media outlets even reported that the signs of "civil war" are emerging. The New York Times reported that the reaction to the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago went far beyond the usual ire and indignation among the Trump supporters. Pro-Trump influencers, figures in the media and even some Republican candidates for office employed the language of violence to rally opposition.

"Tomorrow is war," Steven Crowder, a conservative commentator with nearly 2 million Twitter followers, wrote on the site within hours of the FBI's search. "Sleep well."

"This means war," The Gateway Pundit, a pro-Trump outlet, wrote in an online post that was quickly amplified by a Telegram account connected to Steve Bannon, Trump's onetime political adviser. Hours later, on the podcast "Bannon's War Room," Joe Kent, a Trump-endorsed House candidate in Washington, was asked by the host for his assessment of the search.

"This just shows everyone what many of us have been saying for a very long time," Kent said. "We're at war."

Lü said, "Trump's supporters will never believe the FBI investigation against Trump is a pure legal case. Just as Trump claims, his supporters will only believe this is a persecution and witch-hunt launched by the Democrats and the Biden administration. No matter how and what the mainstream US media and the Democrats say, it's impossible for them to convince Trump supporters, a huge amount of US voters, to peacefully accept the result if Trump has been sentenced to prison or has been banned from running for election again."

During a recent meeting at the White House, a group of historians warned Biden that the US is facing threats like those the country saw in the pre-Civil War period, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday.

Historian Michael Beschloss, who has made the case that US democracy is in existential danger, was reportedly among the academics who spoke to Biden. Though he sounded the alarm about the threats America's democracy is facing at present, Beschloss also says that a civil conflict in the US would be unlikely to resemble the devastating war of the 1860s, the Business Insider reported. 

Beschloss said in a social media post on Thursday that "if any kind of civil war faces Americans (may God forbid), it is unlikely to be two armies fighting over one paramount issue (slavery), as in 1861-1865, but sporadic, mounting bursts of violence against our federal government as it tries to enforce rule of law." 

As researchers who track extremism have sounded the alarm about an escalation of violent rhetoric from the far-right, including talk of another "civil war" and threats against federal law enforcement, by Thursday, an attempted attack on an FBI field office in Cincinnati appeared to underscore the real danger behind those threats, particularly given a digital trail of ominous posts that were left under the name of the suspect, NPR reported.

Lü said that while the US is governed by Democrats, the Trump supporters are unlikely to launch another massive attack like the Capitol Hill Attack in 2021, as the armed law-enforcement forces like National Guard are on high alert and Trump's supporters are not very well organized, although it is possible they could make scattered and small attacks all over the country in the long term. This would still be harmful for the US.  

China Witnessing Strongest Heat Wave in Six Decades; Long-lasting High Temperatures to Become New Normal in the Future: Meteorologists

By GT staff reporters

Aug 14, 2022 10:43 PM

Aerial photo taken on August 2, 2022 shows tourists enjoying seaside time in Zhujiajian scenic spot in Zhoushan, east China's Zhejiang Province. Zhujiajian scenic spot has provided various seaside entertainments for tourists to boost tourism during the summer vacation amid heatwave. Photo: Xinhua

As several regions in China are sweltering under temperatures above 40 C, the country's meteorological authorities have continued to issue high temperature alerts for 25 consecutive days, and meteorologists believe the summer of 2022 has witnessed the strongest heat wave in six decades. They also predicted the long-lasting heat wave will become a "new normal" in the future due to aggravating global warming.

The lasting sizzling temperature has resulted in drought in many parts of China, including the main grain producer Henan; and pushed electricity usage to a limit. Experts believe the heat wave will be a stimulus for the Chinese government to gear up preparation for the "new normal" by speeding up the pace in embracing industrial upgrading, new and renewable energies; and boost investment in infrastructure and modern agriculture. 

China Meteorological Administration (CMA) on Sunday issued a red alert - the highest in China's four-tier weather warning system for extreme heat - for certain parts of Northwest China's Xinjiang region, North China's Shaanxi and East China's Jiangsu provinces, marking the agency's day 25 of consecutive heat warning this year, media reported. 

Zhushan, a city in Central China's Hubei Province, was recorded as the hottest Chinese city with temperature surpassing 44 C on Saturday. Jiangsu issued a warning on Sunday saying that surface temperature of some parts of the province will exceed 72 C. 

According to media's calculation, more than 10 provincial-level regions, including Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Anhui provinces, are living with temperatures ranging from 40 C to 42 C this weekend. 

Some tourist spots also closed due to the high temperature. Operator of the 71-meter tall Giant Buddha of Leshan, one of the most important cultural treasures of China, in Southwest China's Sichuan Province announced on Sunday that it will close the feet area of the statue to tourists, because of high temperature. 

Management of Chishui waterfall in Zunyi City, Southwest China's Guizhou Province, said on Saturday that it has closed the waterfall spot, because the upper stream of the waterfall has dried up due to high temperature. It did not state when it'll reopen. 

A nucleic acid tester surnamed Cheng, in Southwest China's Chongqing, which is also experiencing temperature around 40 C these days, told the Global Times that they now take shift frequently so to avoid being exposed in the heat wave for too long. "Sometimes the nearby supermarket owners will give us watermelon and ice cubes to cool ourselves down," she said. 

This year's heat wave is the strongest in China ever since the country started meteorological observations in 1961, and the longest, Sun Shao, a senior research fellow from the Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, told the Global Times on Sunday. 

Sun said that compared with the record-breaking 2013 heat wave in China, which lasted 62 days, this year's heat wave started pretty earlier. "We already saw 62 days of heat wave until Sunday, and its scope of influence and the highest temperature already surpassed those of 2013," said Sun, noting the heat wave is likely to extend another week. 

He attributed the reason for such abnormal weather to atmospheric circulation patterns, especially the abnormalities of Western Pacific subtropical high (which exerts important influences on anomalous weather and climate in East Asian monsoon region).

Impacts on food, energy

The high temperature also resulted in drought in many parts of China, including Henan, one of the biggest food producers in the country, and many provinces alongside the Yangtze River. About 20 percent of Hubei is now experiencing drought, according to media report. 

The Henan provincial government issued a notice on Sunday asking local governments to closely monitor the drought, and to divert water in a scientific manner. It also asked officials to exploit new water sources for people in drought areas. 

Henan tops China's list of wheat planting, and its production occupies one-fourth of the national production, according to a report from China's Ministry of Agriculture in 2021. 

The CMA held a video meeting on Sunday to deploy work on coping with the drought in the southern parts of China, and flood prevention in the northern parts of China. 

Sun warned that because the heat wave started earlier this year, grain yield in some places, such as Sichuan, may subject to heavier blow than in 2013, and the drought situation in lower stream of the Yangtze River region will likely become worse as high temperature extends. 

The expert advised to adjust temperature of farmlands by water, and use irrigation water to keep grains well watered. 

Globally, the sizzling temperature is dragging down food production. Throughout Europe, July's heat wave hit during a crucial pollination window for maize crops, threatening to reduce overall harvests and increase import needs. 

Grist, an environmental news publication, reported in July that as heat waves hit Europe and Asia this week, "heatflation" could lead to increased global food prices.

Yet Chinese experts whisked off concern of food shortage in China, saying China has stable grain reserves, and it is a big food producer, which can realize self-reliance on food.

China's National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration said on Sunday that the country's main producing areas have purchased more than 46 million tons of wheat, and the overall purchase progress has exceeded 70 percent.

The high temperature is also pushing usage of electricity to a limit. According to statistics from State Grid Corporation of China, electricity sales in Shanghai, a metropolis with a population of 24 million, increased 38.41 percent in July, compared with the same period last year, and the figure rose to 40.24 percent in the first week of August. 

Many places, including East China's Zhejiang Province recently announced plans to restrict enterprises with high power consumption.

The Global Times learned from a cinema in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang, that it has been ordered to shut down air conditioning under a power restriction order on Sunday. 

"We received the notice [to shut down air conditioning] along with many other cinemas," said an employee of the cinema, noting that the power restriction order has been put on many industrial and commercial facilities in order to ensure residential electricity usage.

Experts said that the demand of electricity keep soaring due to high temperature, which pushes high the electricity consumption at peak hours; governments' measures to guide users to shift away from peak time usage of electricity can relief the pressure of peak demand. 

Cope with "new normal"

Meteorologists also predicted such constant heat wave will become a "new normal" in the future. Chen Lijuan, an expert at National Climate Center told media on Saturday that it is not solely a weather problem. "Against the backdrop of global warming, heat wave will be a 'new normal.' The high temperature starts early, leaves late and lasts long, this will become more and more obvious in the future," Chen noted.

Tian Yun, former vice director of the Beijing Economic Operation Association, told the Global Times that such "new normality" poses challenges to China's economic development, such as the production industry, which relies heavily on energy, and it brings the problem of inflation closer, as demand for energy keeps rising. 

In order to cope with those challenges, the government needs to speed up the pace in embracing industrial upgrading, new and renewable energies; and boost investment in infrastructure, suggested Tian.

Zhang Jianhua, head of the National Energy Administration, said in late July that China's development of non-fossil energy has continued unabated, noting that the share of non-fossil energy in China's total energy consumption is expected to grow at an average rate of 1 percentage point a year from now to 2030.

Lin also suggested that it is important to introduce new technology in agriculture, such as building subsurface irrigation, drought relief facilities, and combining agriculture with modern technology, such as big data and AI, to weaken the weather's impact on crops.

Be Wary of Japan Opening Pandora’s Box of Militarism Revival Again

By Global Times

Aug 14, 2022 06:42 PM

This August 15 marks the 77th anniversary of Japan's defeat and unconditional surrender in World War II (WWII). However, 77 years later, more and more countries in the Asia-Pacific region are witnessing Japan's expanding military, and are concerned that Japan may go back to militarism.

On Saturday, Japan's industry minister Yasutoshi Nishimura became the first member of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's cabinet to visit the Yasukuni Shrine, in which 14 WWII Class-A war criminals with heinous crimes are honored.

In fact, influenced by the conservatization at home, Tokyo has been trying to enhance the country's military capabilities in various ways in recent years.

In addition to seeking a significant increase in military spending, Tokyo has been attempting to revise its pacifist constitution, which would transform its Self-Defense Forces into military forces in a true sense that it can use force even when not being attacked. On the other hand, Japan has been easing its weapons export restrictions and breaking the Three Non-Nuclear Principles of not possessing, producing, and permitting the introduction of nuclear weapons.

Spurred by the US Indo-Pacific Strategy, Japan seems to be gradually abandoning the pacifist path. Once the Pandora's box of strengthening Japan's military power is opened, the consequences would be unimaginable and pose a severe threat to regional peace and stability.

But Japan is still trying desperately to avoid facing up to the heinous crimes its military committed against many countries in the Asia-Pacific region during WWII.

"The war of aggression launched by Japanese militarism has inflicted untold sufferings in the victimized countries in Asia, and left people there with indelible painful memories. Over the past decades, the international community has been watching whether Japan will show a sincere and correct understanding of that history. Several decades on, Japan still owes an explicit explanation to its Asian neighbors, including China," said Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson of China's Foreign Ministry, on the 80th anniversary of Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor in December last year.

Instead of showing enough self-reflection to the world, particularly to the victims of its aggression in WWII, Tokyo keeps distorting and whitewashing its historical mistakes. What's more absurd is that Japan, as an aggressor of the war, tends to act as a "victim" due to the two atomic bombs dropped on its territory to end the war. All these shameless attitudes and actions have undoubtedly left neighboring countries extremely wary of the Japanese government's ambition for a stronger military force.

According to Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, Japan is repeating the same mistakes because it doesn't recognize its historical problems. "Japan doesn't have the courage to take responsibility for its horrifying, wicked conduct in WWII. Such a coward-like behavior proves how diffident the country is in itself," he said.

Washington has also played the role of an accomplice in Japan's indifference to acknowledging its historical mistakes and the current act of playing with fire. Due to a geopolitical short-sightedness, the US has put its strategic goals over the need to hold Japan accountable for all its inhumane practices in WWII.

Song believes that since Washington wants to unite Tokyo to confront Beijing, it has chosen to turn a blind eye to Japan's refusal to introspect. Instead, it connives at Japan's attempts to turn back the wheel of history. Moreover, the US is actually breeding evil, as there are even voices in the US urging Japan to arm itself.

In the face of Tokyo's growing militarization ambition, countries in the Asia-Pacific region should spare no effort to prevent Japan from continuing down the wrong path. They need to urge Japan to accept the truth of history and truly learn its lessons from its past aggression.

At the same time, we should also warn Tokyo to stop following Washington's lead to provoke Beijing and disrupt the regional situation. China is not the country it was 77 years ago, and Japan's provocations will only lead it to be hoisted by its own petard.

US Keeps Provoking Tensions in Straits with Lawmakers' Sneaky Visit, to Face 'Firm Countermeasures'

By GT staff reporters

Aug 15, 2022 01:23 AM

The army of the Eastern Theater Command of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) conducts long-range live-fire drills in the Taiwan Strait, Aug 4, 2022. The Eastern Theater Command on Aug 4 conducted joint combat exercises and training around the Taiwan Island on an unprecedented scale. (Photo by Hong Wei/Xinhua)

Just 12 days after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island of Taiwan, a delegation of US lawmakers made a sudden visit to the island on Sunday, further proving that the US is the one that makes repeated provocations and keeps tensions from easing, said Chinese experts.

They stressed that China will definitely impose sanctions on the visiting lawmakers as a countermeasure, as the country has always been firmly opposed to any collusion between the US and Taiwan secessionists.  

No forces should ever underestimate China's determination to safeguard its national sovereignty and territorial integrity, analysts said, warning anyone against stirring up trouble.

The People's Liberation Army's military drills encircling the island of Taiwan have sent a loud and clear-cut warning signal, but some US politicians are still "playing with fire" to serve their own political interests, so the international community can see clearly who is the troublemaker that always ignores warnings and keeps worsening regional peace with endless provocations, and sooner or later, they will be "burned" and punished, they noted. 

A US congressional delegation arrived in the island of Taiwan on Sunday and will meet with Taiwan regional officials from Sunday to Monday, the Taiwan authorities announced on Sunday. 

The official account of the Voice of Straits, a mainland state media outlet focusing on cross-Taiwan Straits news, said on Sunday that "according to sources from the Chinese military, the PLA Eastern Theater Command is likely to conduct strong and powerful military operations in the waters and airspace around the island of Taiwan as countermeasures to the latest visit to the island by US lawmakers." 

The five-member delegation is led by Democratic Senator Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts as part of a visit to Asia. 

Markey is a seasoned China hawk, who often chides China on human rights issues. In March 2020, he co-introduced a bipartisan resolution with Senator Rick Scott calling on the International Olympic Committee to move the 2022 Winter Olympics out of China.

After Pelosi left Taiwan, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) conducted week-long drills in the Taiwan Straits, and said last week it will later conduct regular combat readiness security patrols. 

The Taiwan authorities said that it had detected 22 PLA aircraft and six naval ships in and around the Taiwan Straits on Sunday, once again crossed the so-called median line.

The latest visit is closely influenced by Pelosi's visit nearly two weeks ago. It shows that the US has ignored China's stern warnings and will have to face severe punishment due to its egregious provocations, Zhang Tengjun, deputy director of the Department for Asia-Pacific Studies at the China Institute of International Studies, told the Global Times on Sunday.

However, the delegation's visit, which was only made public at the last minute when they arrived in a sneaky and stealthy manner, exposed their diffidence in triggering anger from the Chinese mainland, said Zhang.

The latest US move can be seen as defiance of China's stern response, including military drills, an expert specializing in China-US relations told the Global Times on condition of anonymity on Sunday. "It can be seen that the US has become stuck in the mind-set of making trouble and sabotaging China-US ties so as to make itself a so-called lead player in the Western Pacific region."

The delegation's visit comes after Pelosi exposed the key stance of the US on the Taiwan question, which is to egg on Taiwan separatists and falsify the essence of the one-China principle, said the above-quoted expert. 

"This visit serves another example of the US trying to get its way in global security affairs, and insists on creating crises as well as turbulence globally," said the expert. 

After Pelosi's visit, the US Congress and other administrative institutions are vying for the dominant right on Taiwan-related issues. Meanwhile, the Congress is using the Taiwan question to make political gains, which not only complicates its own domestic politics, but also casts a great shadow on China-US relations, said the anonymous expert. China will surely retaliate against the visiting US lawmakers, such as imposing sanctions similar to those against Pelosi. The country will make them know that those who play with fire will perish by it and the US must pay the price for its own mistake, said Zhang.

On the Taiwan question, Henry Kissinger, the 99-year-old former US secretary of state, expressed, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, his worries that the US and China are maneuvering toward a crisis, and counseled steadiness on Washington's part, the US media reported on Friday. "The policy that was carried out by both parties has produced and allowed the progress of Taiwan into an autonomous democratic entity and has preserved peace between China and the US for 50 years," he said, noting that "one should be very careful, therefore, in measures that seem to change the basic structure."

On August 5, China announced eight countermeasures in response to Pelosi's highly provocative visit to the island of Taiwan, including canceling China-US theater commanders' talks, defense policy coordination talks, the military maritime security consultative mechanism and suspending cooperation on illegal immigration repatriation, drug control and climate change.

Chinese Foreign Ministry also announced on August 5 to sanction Pelosi and her immediate family members because she disregarded China's serious concern and firm opposition and insisted on visiting China's Taiwan region.  

On August 12, the ministry further announced plans to sanction Lithuanian deputy minister of transport and communications Agnė Vaiciukevičiūtė, who visited the Taiwan region, which trampled on the one-China principle, seriously interfered in China's internal affairs, and undermined China's sovereignty and territorial integrity. Vaiciukevičiūtė is the first foreign official sanctioned over a provocative Taiwan visit since Pelosi was sanctioned last week.

Many international media outlets predicted the Pelosi visit would drag China-US relations to a new low. The Economist said it marks the "beginning of a perilous new era of hostility between China and America."

Zhang said that the congressional delegation's visit won't bring bilateral ties down much, as it has already reached a new low level, and the level of the delegation pales in comparison with Pelosi. 

The expert believes every countermeasure that China has taken since Pelosi visited the Taiwan region was clearly received by the US, both in its military and diplomatic approach. The suspension of mutual dialogue between the two countries also hit the US at its sore point. 

But sadly, under the chaotic policies of the Biden administration, more and more selfish politicians are daring to kidnap the national interests of the US, and ultimately let the whole country pay for them, analysts said.

Saturday, August 13, 2022

GUINEA TO PROSECUTE EX-PM OVER ALLEGED EMBEZZLEMENT

Guinea will prosecute former prime minister Ibrahima Kassory Fofana over the alleged embezzlement of more than $4 million in public funds intended for economic, political and social programmes, the justice ministry said.

AFP 

CONAKRY - Guinea will prosecute former prime minister Ibrahima Kassory Fofana over the alleged embezzlement of more than $4 million in public funds intended for economic, political and social programmes, the justice ministry said.

Fofana is also being investigated for allegedly embezzling more than $40 million in COVID aid.

"I hereby order you to initiate legal proceedings against Mr Ibrahima Kassory Fofana... for alleged embezzlement, money laundering, corruption and complicity," Justice Minister Alphonse Charles Wright said in a letter to the prosecutor general Thursday.

He said the accusations related to payments of 41 billion Guinean francs ($4.7 million) and $400,000 made in 2020.

Wright also ordered proceedings against Fofana's former special adviser, Ansoumane Camara, and several former officials at the National Agency for Economic and Social Inclusion (ANIES), a government agency, over the same accusations.

Fofana served as prime minister under ex-president Alpha Conde from May 2018 until September 2021, when the army ousted the elected government in a coup.

The former premier has been detained since April over fraud.

On 15 July, authorities announced they would investigate him over alleged embezzlement.

At the time, Wright, who was then-prosecutor general, said Fofana was accused of embezzling $46.2 million in financial aid intended to help battle the coronavirus pandemic.

A junta led by Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, a former special forces commander, seized power on 5 September, accusing former president Conde of corruption and authoritarianism.

It has promised to combat endemic graft in the impoverished West African state but has also insisted it would not launch a witch hunt. A number of former officials have been detained.

In late July, anti-government protests left five people dead.

COSATU YOUNG WORKERS FORUM CALLS ON ANC TO ADDRESS SOCIAL ILLS

A group of about 100 people have marched to the Union Buildings in commemoration of International Youth Day on Friday.

A group of about 100 from the Cosatu Young Workers Forum marched to the Union Buildings in commemoration of International Youth Day on Friday 12 August 2022. Picture:@_cosatu/Twitter.

Kgomotso Modise

JOHANNESBURG - The Cosatu Young Workers Forum has called on ANC leadership, to address social ills listed in their memorandum, or to make way for younger leadership.

A group of about 100 people marched to the Union Buildings in commemoration of International Youth Day on Friday.

They have given the presidency 14 days to address their concerns.

"Our government must start taking us serious, or they must shift out of power and allow young and fresh blood to take over," said national secretary Siyabonga Mkhize.

The issue of age has been a recurring theme at the Cosatu Young Workers Forum, with young leaders accusing the older guard of being detached from South Africa's reality, and failing to run the country.

A substantial memorandum was handed over to officials from the National Energy Regulator and the Labour Department.

"This year's month of youth was celebrated by elders only in government whose children are living well, better compared to the normal child in the in this country under the current situation," said national secretary Siyabonga Mkhize.

The Cosatu Young Workers Forum has declared Friday's march a success saying the turnout was impressive for a first march.

'WE WANT TO TURN THE VAAL INTO A TRADE CANNABIS HUB IN GAUTENG' - MAKHURA

Makhura made the comments at the presidential imbizo on Friday where local and national government met with Sedibeng residents to reflect on service delivery.

FILE: Makhura admitted Sedibeng remains a troubled region and vowed to drive the Vaal's economic regeneration programme. Picture: © Eric Limon/123rf.com

Nokukhanya Mntambo

JOHANNESBURG- Gauteng Premier David Makhura said that cannabis may hold the key to unlocking economic potential in the Vaal.

Makhura made the comments at the presidential imbizo on Friday where local and national government met with Sedibeng residents to reflect on service delivery.

Unemployment in the metro is the highest in Gauteng, at 64 percent.

Makhura admitted Sedibeng remains a troubled region and vowed to drive the Vaal's economic regeneration programme.

“This cannabis production and cannabis processing, particularly for medicinal use...we have growers here in the Vaal. We want to turn the Vaal into a trade cannabis hub in the Gauteng province. We have met with them, we have already engaged with those cannabis growers, they are there," he said.

Burkina Junta Says Army to Win Back Areas Lost to Insurgents

Security has not improved since Damiba's January coup, with jihadist attacks multiplying in the past few months, targeting soldiers and civilians

Africa News with AFP

Burkina Faso's army will deploy a new strategy to push back jihadist insurgents and recapture lost territory, the defence minister said Friday.

The landlocked Sahel state is in the grip of a seven-year-old insurgency that has claimed more than 2,000 lives and forced some 1.9 million people to leave their homes.

Burkina Faso's insurgency has been concentrated in the north and east, led by assailants suspected to have links with Al-Qaeda or the Islamic State group, but other regions have not been spared.

In January, disgruntled colonels led by Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba ousted elected president Roch Marc Christian Kabore, accused of failing to resolve the security crisis.

Defence Minister General Barthelemy Simpore told a press conference the army would reorganise fighting units to take back areas from rebels and allow displaced people to safely return home.

The aim was to "reduce the armed terrorist groups' ability to move and protect areas that are not yet at risk", he said.

"When complete, the operational reorganisation" will enable "the recovery of control over all the areas in the grip of terrorists".

The minister did not provide details on what the military reorganisation would look like in practice.

But he said government administration and "territorial integrity" would be restored.

The state does not have control over more than 40 percent of Burkina's territory, according to official data.

Security has not improved since Damiba's coup, with jihadist attacks multiplying in the past few months, targeting soldiers and civilians.

Between August 4 and 10, around 40 people including 20 soldiers were killed in several attacks blamed on armed jihadists in northern Burkina Faso.

Sierra Leone President Accuses Opposition of Insurrection

In an address to the nation, PresidentJulius Maada Bio accused his opponents of attempting to overthrow his government in a 'pre-meditated' insurrection

Africa News with AFP

The president of Sierra Leone blamed deadly protests this week on opposition parties, claiming Friday night that his political rivals had attempted to overthrow his government in a "premeditated" insurrection.

On Wednesday, a demonstration organised by women to draw attention to inflation and the rising cost of living descended into clashes between security forces and young men demanding President Julius Maada Bio resign.

Violence erupted in several parts of the country, with the authorities imposing an internet blackout in response.

Six protesters and four police officers were killed, according to police and hospital sources, but no official toll has been given.

While shops and businesses in the capital Freetown have reopened, the government has imposed a curfew between 7:00 pm and 7:00 am and troops patrol the streets.

In an address to the nation on Friday evening, Bio, a general turned politician who was elected in 2018, said the opposition had been stoking tensions "for some time".

"This was not a protest against the high cost of living occasioned by the ongoing global economic crisis," he said. "The chant of the insurrectionists was for a violent overthrow of the democratically elected government."

He specifically cited members of the All Peoples Congress, his party's main political rival and the country's former ruling party, as well as the People's Progressive Party (PPP).

"The peace, security and stability of this nation were shattered by persons whose insurrection was pre-meditated, well-planned, financed and executed with shocking brutality," he said.

Shortly after the president's address, the APC released its own statement calling for adherence to rule of law, though it did not directly respond to the allegations.

"We urge all stakeholders to de-escalate tensions and avoid inflammatory rhetoric (or) unfounded pronouncements," it said.

"As a party, we continue reaffirming and reinforcing our commitment to sustainable peace and national cohesion."

Bio promised an investigation into the unrest and state funerals for the security officers who were killed.

Sierra Leone has had a reputation for relative stability since the end of a civil war that ran from 1991 to 2002 and left about 120,000 dead.

But the economy, heavily dependent on minerals, has struggled to rebound, and the population of eight million lives in one of the poorest nations in the world.

The UN's Human Development Index ranks Sierra Leone 182 out of 189 countries.

Efforts at rebuilding were set back by an Ebola epidemic in 2014-2016, a fall in world commodity prices and the coronavirus pandemic -- all of which have disrupted trade and investment and hit exports.

In July, the country slashed three zeros off its currency hoping to restore confidence in the inflation-hit leone.

Kenya TV Stations Stop Broadcasting Election Results Estimates

Vote counting in Kenya

Africa News

 12/08 - 17:48

As counting continues in Kenya, TV stations have stopped broadcasting estimates of Tuesday's election results.

The day after the polls, Kenyan television stations began broadcasting partial, fluctuating and sometimes contradictory results based on their own counts.

The estimates suggested a scenario of a tight race between two of the four presidential candidates: Raila Odinga, who received the support of the President for the election, and William Ruto, the outgoing Vice-President.

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEBC) is due to announce by the final results of Tuesday's presidential election by August 16th, which will determine the successor to Uhuru Kenyatta, who has been in power since 2013, and of five other concurrent parliamentary and local government elections.

According to the Electoral Commission, the turnout on Tuesday was just over 65%, down from 78% in the August 2017 elections.

The IEBC is under particular pressure this year after the Supreme Court annulled the last presidential election in 2017 for "irregularities".

IEBC Reviews Verification Procedure to Hasten Tallying

He noted that some RO's had been at the National Tallying centre for three days and had not been cleared.

In Summary

• IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati said that they had observed that the process was taking between 3 to 4 hours to clear one returning officer.

IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati addresses the press.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission has revised the verification of the votes to make the process quick.

Speaking on Saturday, IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati said that they had observed that the process was taking between 3 to 4 hours to clear one returning officer.

He noted that some ROs had been at the National Tallying centre for three days, and had not been cleared. 

"We review as follows, ROs on queue to hand over original results to National Returning Officer immediately after this announcement," Chebukati directed.

He added, "The ROs go to the ICT desk for verification of forms 34As against transmitted forms 34As."

He noted that some 265 ROs had reported at the National Tallying Centre.

Out of this, 141 ROs have been processed, while 124 ROs are still on the queue.

Chebukati said that presidential agents will be given copies of forms 34As and Forms 34Bs for their own use.

"We believe this will fasten the process," he said.

Odinga Ahead in Kenya's Presidential Race, Official Results Show

By Duncan Miriri

Various political parties' delegates and officials from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) meet at the IEBC National Tallying centre at the Bomas of Kenya, in Nairobi, Kenya August 13, 2022. REUTERS/Monicah Mwangi

NAIROBI, Aug 13 (Reuters) - Veteran opposition leader Raila Odinga led Kenya's presidential race, official election results showed on Saturday, pushing Deputy President William Ruto into second place.

With just over 26% of votes counted, Odinga had 54% and Ruto had 45%, according to results provided by the Kenyan election commission and displayed on a large screen at a national tallying center in the capital, Nairobi.

East Africa's wealthiest nation and most vibrant democracy held presidential, parliamentary and local elections on Tuesday.

Ruto and Odinga are in a tight race to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta, who has reached his two-term limit. Kenyatta fell out with Ruto after the last election and has endorsed Odinga.

Election commission chairman Wafula Chebukati blamed party agents, who are allowed to scrutinise results forms before they are added to the final tally.

"Agents in this exercise cannot proceed ... as if we are doing a forensic audit," he told a news briefing on Friday.

"We are not moving as fast as we should. This exercise needs to be concluded as soon as possible."

Representatives from Odinga and Ruto's coalitions did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Reuters news agency and other media outlets have been tallying results forms from 291 constituencies posted on the election commission website. These have not yet been verified, and this tally is running well ahead of the official one.

As of 1200 GMT, Reuters had tallied 237 forms, which showed Ruto in the lead with nearly 53% of the vote, compared to just over 46% for Odinga. Two other candidates had less than 1% between them.

Nineteen other forms could not be included in the count because they were unreadable or were missing information.

The forms Reuters is tallying are preliminary and the results subject to change. After the forms are uploaded to the commission's website, Kenyan election law requires that they are physically brought to the national tallying center, where party representatives can examine them for any discrepancies.

The process was designed as a safeguard against the kind of rigging allegations that have triggered violence after previous polls. More than 1,200 people were killed after a disputed 2007 election and more than 100 killed after a disputed 2017 election.

The winning candidate must receive 50% of the national vote plus one, and at least 25% of the vote from 24 of 47 counties.

The commission has until Tuesday to declare a winner.

Kenya Presidential Election: Raila Odinga Slightly Ahead in Early Results

Odinga has 52.54% of the vote against 46.76% for William Ruto, as country waits for final count

Election officials verify the vote-tallying at the electoral commission's centre in Nairobi on Saturday

Election officials verify the vote-tallying at the electoral commission’s centre in Nairobi on Saturday. Photograph: Ben Curtis/AP

Agence France-Presse in Nairobi

Sat 13 Aug 2022 11.03 EDT

Kenya’s one-time opposition leader Raila Odinga is slightly ahead in the race for the presidency against the incumbent deputy president, William Ruto, partial official results showed.

Odinga has 52.54% of the vote against 46.76% for Ruto, according to figures issued by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission in the early afternoon based on results from about 30% of polling stations.

Kenyans are still waiting for final results five days after the country, considered one of the most dynamic democracies in Africa, went to the polls on Tuesday.

Odinga, 77, is making his fifth stab at the top job with the support of his longtime foe, the outgoing president, Uhuru Kenyatta, who has already served two terms and cannot run again.

Ruto, 55, has been deputy president for almost a decade but was left out in the cold after a pact between Odinga and Kenyatta in 2018 that stunned the nation.

Archie Bland and Nimo Omer take you through the top stories and what they mean, free every weekday morning

The election commission on Friday acknowledged that the vote tallying was moving too slowly after appealing for the nation to be patient. It denied that its results portal had been compromised, insisting its systems were secure.

Kenyans had been left confused when television stations that had been providing rolling coverage of the election suddenly stopped broadcasting provisional results on Thursday.

The election is being seen as a test of the stability of the east African powerhouse, which has seen past votes marred by rigging and deadly violence.

Although the long campaign was acrimonious and marred by disinformation, polling day passed off largely peacefully, with independent observers saying the vote was orderly although not without challenges.

The winner of the presidential race needs to secure 50% plus one vote and at least a quarter of the votes in 24 of Kenya’s 47 counties.

William Ruto Set to Control Senate After Bagging 24 Seats

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Kenya Kwanza presidential flag bearer William Ruto.

Kenya Kwanza Presidential candidate William Ruto at a media briefing at his Karen Residence on August 6, 2022.

Francis Nderitu I Nation Media Group

By Onyango K'Onyango Reporter

Nation Media Group

UDA presidential Kenya Kwanza leader William Ruto is set to control the Senate after bagging a majority of the seats across the country in the just concluded election, whose tallying of the presidential results is underway.

DP Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza Alliance (KKA) has gotten 24 senators compared to 23 of Azimio La Umoja One Kenya under the stewardship of Raila Odinga.

United Democratic Alliance (UDA) has bagged the seats majorly from President Uhuru Kenyatta’s political bastion of Mt Kenya and Dr Ruto’s backyard of Rift Valley.

Dr Ruto has also gotten one senate each from Kakamega, Marsabit and Tana River Counties.

“It is now official; Kenya Kwanza controls the Senate. Thank you Kenyans for the trust,” Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen posted on his Twitter handle.

This is a bit down from the number Jubilee had after the 2017 General Election when it claimed 27 out of 47 available seat and is assured of more nominated senator slots, based on its performance in this election.

Unlike in the previous election, Mr Odinga’s side has increased its Senate numbers by two because it had 20 in the last Parliament.

Before the election, Dr Ruto had exuded confidence that he will control both the National Assembly and the Senate whether or not he wins the presidency.

UDA fielded 261 National Assembly candidates out of 290 constituencies countrywide, complemented by addition of candidates fielded by affiliate parties under the Kenya Kwanza Alliance.

Dr Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza allies, Musalia Mudavadi of Amani National Congress (ANC) and Moses Wetang’ula of Ford Kenya, had respectively sponsored 71 and 34 candidates for National Assembly.

For the 47 Senate seats, UDA had 38 candidates. It also had 43 candidates for county Woman Rep race.

onyangokonyango@gmail.com

National Meeting of Reviewing Emergency Anti-epidemic Work Held

Brilliant Victory Gained by Great People of DPRK

Respected Comrade Kim Jong Un Makes Important Speech at Meeting

All the people of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) are dynamically opening up a new phase of the comprehensive development of socialism and the building of the state anti-epidemic capacity full of confidence and optimism about sure victory, successfully securing the favorable situation in the war against the malignant pandemic under the leadership of the great Party Central Committee.

In the course of putting an end to the severest pandemic-brought health crisis ever since the foundation of the country, the leadership and fighting efficiency of the Party and justice and scientific accuracy of the state anti-epidemic policy have been proved more clearly, the politico-ideological superiority of the Korean-style socialist system and the organizing ability and the might of unity peculiar to it fully displayed, and the people’s trust in the Party Central Committee and their revolutionary faith and fighting will further deepened.

A national meeting of reviewing the emergency anti-epidemic work, convened by the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) and the Cabinet of the DPRK, took place in the capital city of Pyongyang on August 10.

Kim Jong Un, general secretary of the WPK and president of the State Affairs of the DPRK, guided the meeting.

When the respected General Secretary appeared at the platform of the venue of the meeting, all the participants broke into enthusiastic cheers for him, peerless leader, who has vigorously led the Party, state and people to the final victory of the great anti-epidemic war with his tireless and devoted efforts and noble love for the future, out of his heavy duty for taking care of the destiny of the country and the people.

Attending the meeting were Kim Tok Hun, member of the Presidium of the Political Bureau of the WPK Central Committee, vice-president of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK and premier of the Cabinet, Pak Jong Chon, member of the Presidium of the Political Bureau and secretary of the WPK Central Committee, and Ri Il Hwan, Pak Thae Song, Kim Yo Jong, Ri Chang Dae, Pak Su Il, Kim Yong Hwan and other senior officials of the Party and the government, officials in the anti-epidemic and public health sectors, the Party representatives and members of the Party guidance teams dispatched to border areas, commanding officers of the army units performing the blockade duty, members of the emergency anti-epidemic commands at all levels, the volunteers who contributed to the emergency anti-epidemic work, and officials of the relevant departments of the Party Central Committee.

Ri Yong Gil and officials in the emergency anti-epidemic sector of the Ministry of National Defence were present at the meeting.

The national anthem of the DPRK was solemnly played.

The respected Comrade Kim Jong Un made an important speech at the historic meeting that declares victory in the top emergency anti-epidemic campaign.

After making a general analysis of the present anti-epidemic situation since the operation of the top emergency anti-epidemic system, he, on behalf of the Party Central Committee and the government of the DPRK, solemnly declared the victory in the top emergency anti-epidemic campaign for exterminating the novel coronavirus that had made inroads into our territory and protecting the lives and health of the people. He also offered warm congratulations and greetings of thanks to the people and the service personnel of the People’s Army across the country who successfully concluded the great anti-epidemic campaign.

Affirming that the priceless victory gained by us constitutes the victory of our Party’s anti-epidemic policy, the victory of our state’s counter-crisis strategy, the victory of the tenacity and the single-minded unity peculiar to our people and the great victory brought by the advantageous Korean-style socialist system, he highly praised the workers in the anti-epidemic and public health sectors across the country and army medics for having dedicated all their strength, wisdom and sincerity to the hard and active work for bringing earlier the victory in the top emergency anti-epidemic campaign for protecting the security of the state and the people’s well-being from the grave health crisis.

Analysing and reviewing the invaluable successes, experience and lessons gained and drawn in the efforts for ceaselessly carrying out this year’s plans in agricultural, constructional and key industrial sectors and for maintaining smooth progress in the overall state work under the emergency crisis situation, he clarified the principles and important tasks to be fulfilled in further consolidating the victory in the top emergency anti-epidemic campaign, maintaining the steel-strong anti-epidemic barrier and intensifying the anti-epidemic work until the end of the global health crisis.

Calling on the participants to creditably guarantee the security of the state and the people and dynamically accelerate the great historic cause for the comprehensive development of Korean-style socialism with firm conviction and optimism in our struggle and future, he wished all the most esteemed and beloved people good health and all the families across the country well-being.

When the General Secretary of the WPK concluded his speech, all the participants raised thunderous cheers of “Hurrah!” repeatedly, recollecting in tears the great exploits and devoted service he has made for his people to bring about a shining victory to be etched in history, steering the great and acute anti-epidemic war in the van with his death-defying will for the people’s happiness and well-being.

The meeting heard a report made by Kim Tok Hun, member of the Presidium of the Political Bureau of the WPK Central Committee, vice-president of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK and premier of the Cabinet.

Then, Ri Chung Gil, department director of the WPK Central Committee who is commander of the state emergency anti-epidemic headquarters, Kim Yong Hwan, chief secretary of the Pyongyang Municipal Committee of the WPK who is commander of the Pyongyang Municipality emergency anti-epidemic division, Ri Yong Gil, minister of National Defence who is deputy commander of the emergency anti-epidemic division of the Ministry of National Defence, Ri Song Hak, vice-premier of the Cabinet, and Kim Yo Jong, deputy department director of the WPK Central Committee, took the floor.

Saying with pride that our country had checked the inroads of the malignant virus for two years and three months to hit a new record in the history of the anti-epidemic work despite the global health crisis and that it restored the complete stability in the anti-epidemic work in a short period, the reporter and speakers stressed this is a miracle unprecedented in the world’s public health history.

They recalled that the Political Bureau of the Party Central Committee led by the respected Comrade Kim Jong Un, in its capacity as the de facto general headquarters for the anti-epidemic work, had led the anti-epidemic war to a great victory by focusing all the manpower, materials and sci-tech forces of the country on this work after turning it into a sacred war for the protection of the people just since the outbreak of the most serious emergency that the malignant virus made inroads into the country.

Noting that the remarkable success in the great anti-epidemic war is the brilliant victory of the Party Central Committee’s outstanding and seasoned guidance and of the people remaining faithful to the Party’s idea and leadership, they extended warmest thanks in reflection of all the people’s unanimous desire to the General Secretary who has reliably defended the security of the country and the people’s well-being in the unprecedented health crisis.

They expressed their resolutions to demonstrate the dignity and might of our state to the full by thoroughly carrying into practice the new orientation of the anti-epidemic policy and tasks set forth by the Party Central Committee and putting spurs to the struggle for the comprehensive development of Korean-style socialist construction, keeping in mind the unshakable faith that only victory and glory are always in store on the road of following the General Secretary.

The national meeting of reviewing the emergency anti-epidemic work, held under the guidance of the respected Comrade Kim Jong Un, served as a grand gathering of the victors who demonstrated once again the power and spirit of heroic Korea vigorously advancing toward the bright future of Korean-style socialism in the tempest of history, closely rallied in one mind behind the great Party Central Committee, and as an important occasion for opening up a new development stage in building up the state anti-epidemic capacity.

KCNA

2022-08-11

21st Plenary Meeting of 14th Standing Committee of SPA of DPRK Held

The 21st Plenary Meeting of the 14th Standing Committee of the Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA) of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea took place at the Mansudae Assembly Hall on August 7.

Choe Ryong Hae, member of the Presidium of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, first vice-president of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK and chairman of the Standing Committee of the SPA, presided over the plenary meeting.

Attending the meeting were Kang Yun Sok and Pak Yong Il, vice-chairmen of the SPA Standing Committee, its Secretary General Ko Kil Son and other members of the SPA Standing Committee.

Present there as observers were officials concerned from the SPA Standing Committee, the Secretariat of the Cabinet, commissions, ministries and national agencies.

Put on the meeting as agenda items were the issue of convening the SPA of the DPRK and issues of adopting the law on medicines, the law on the prevention of violation of the order of procedure, the law on self-guard and those of revising and supplementing the law on aerospace development.

First, a decision of the SPA Standing Committee on convening the 7th session of the 14th SPA of the DPRK was adopted with unanimous approval.

Next, there was a report on the gist of the relevant laws and the draft amendments examined at the SPA Legislation Committee.

The law on medicines stipulates the principled matters arising in using medicines in protecting and promoting the people’s health from A to Z through the establishment of a strict system and order in the production, examination, storage, supply, sale and use of medicines.

Reflected in the law on the prevention of violation of the order of procedure is the legal demand for strengthening the order of procedure such as rationalizing the order of procedure in economic management and the whole of society and making institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens obey the law obligatorily.

The law on self-guard stipulates the articles for positively contributing to defending the social system and protecting the people’s life and property by establishing the all-people self-guard system and providing the conditions for self-guard and strengthening guidance and control over it.

Revised and supplemented in the law on aerospace development in a detailed way were the basic principle of aerospace development and the norms related to the procedure and method of implementation so as to ensure the activities of aerospace development more effectively by law.

The session studied and examined the agenda items and adopted the decrees of the SPA Standing Committee “On Adopting the Law of the DPRK on Medicines,” “On Adopting the Law of the DPRK on the Prevention of Violation of the Order of Procedure,” “On Adopting the Law of the DPRK on Self-guard” and “On Revising and Supplementing the Law of the DPRK on Aerospace Development.”

2022-08-08