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Capitol invasion: US Embassy thanks Nigerians, says criminals will pay



The United States Embassy has thanked Nigerians for their solidarity over the invasion of the Capitol Building in Washington D.C.

US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, conveyed the gratitude in a statement on Friday.

Leonard noted that the US Congress has completed its constitutionally mandated count of the Electoral College vote and affirmed the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

The envoy stressed that the Democrats will be sworn into office “and a peaceful transfer of power will occur on January 20, 2021”.

“Lawlessness and rioting are always unacceptable. The criminals who stormed the U.S. Capitol will be held accountable in accordance with the rule of law in the United States.”

“Our heartfelt gratitude to the many citizens of Nigeria who sent messages of support during Wednesday’s difficult hours”, it read

Leonard added that the enduring friendship and partnership between the America and the people of Nigeria will endure and thrive “as we work to perfect our union and our democracy”.

President Donald Trump’s supporters invaded the Capitol in an attempt to stop the confirmation of Biden and Kamala’s victory.

They went berserk soon after the Republican vowed “never to concede”.

The unprecedented incident attracted local and international outrage.

Biden described the attackers as “mob of thugs”.

The death of a police officer has increased the death toll to five. An investigation is underway.

Trump finally bowed and has promised an “orderly transition”.

“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th,” he said.

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, among others have called for his impeachment.

Some White House officials, Transport Secretary Elaine Chao, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, have resigned.

Resignations are expected to grow in the coming days.

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New KNEC Exam Model Raises Concerns



  • Teachers from various schools have raised concern over the performance of students due to the new model used by the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC).

    The examination body began school assessment on Monday, January 18 and ended on Friday, January 22.

    In administering its examination for learners in Grade One to Three and Five to Seven, KNEC used a blend of multiple choice and essay-based questions.

    Students in a class before the Covid-19 pandemic.
    Students in a class before the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Speaking to The Nation, some teachers noted that a majority of the students were not accustomed to the new model as they were used to the multiple-choice questions.

    “Learners in Grade One to Three did not have a big problem answering the quizzes but for those in Class Five, Six and Seven, the assessments were a bit difficult,” one teacher explained.

    Teachers noted that most students could not remember what they studied before schools closed last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

    According to the teachers, students from public schools and the private informal sector were mostly affected due to this new model since their respective schools did not engage them in digital learning during the nine-month break.

    The same model had raised concerns last year when Grade Four and Eight were assessed.

    KNEC will prepare a report on the performance of students countrywide after teachers upload the results on the KNEC portal.

    The examination body began its school-based assessment in a bid to establish the extent to which students were affected during the pandemic period.

    According to KNEC CEO Mercy Karogo, the tests were drawn from previous classes and what the students learned in term one.

    Grade Seven were assessed in all subjects whereas Grade Five and Six were assessed in Maths, English, Kiswahili and Science. Grade One to Three were tested on the elementary basics of Maths, English and Kiswahili.

    Education PS Belio Kipsang consults with KNEC acting CEO Mercy Karogo at an education forum in 2019
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    Kenya Railways Announces Delays Over Theft



  • Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) has announced delays after recording vandalism cases of the ongoing rehabilitation of various railway lines.

    A report by Business Daily on Monday, January 25, indicated that three metre-gauge lines that were under rehabilitation would take longer to be completed than earlier expected.

    KRC Managing Director Philip Mainga confirmed that the completion of the three railway lines, Nakuru-Kisumu, Gilgil-Nyahururu and Longonot-Malaba, will suffer setbacks after various equipments such as sleepers, nuts and clips were stolen by vandals.

    Nakuru-Kisumu (216 Kilometers) and Gilgil-Nyahururu (78 Kilometers) were scheduled to be completed by March 2021 while Longonot-Malaba (465 Kilometers) was set to be done by September 2021.

    An image of Railway
    A section of the Nakuru-Kisumu railway line that is under rehabilitation.

    “It’s unfortunate that vandals have been coming behind our back to steal railway parts. We call upon the public to stop engaging in illegal activities along our railway line,” stated Mainga.

    He further noted that the vandalism had been extended to existing railway lines including the Nairobi-Mombasa line as well as that of Nairobi-Nanyuki.

    He also disclosed that several individuals had been arrested in connection with the vandalism and were charged with sabotage, theft and destruction of infrastructure.

    KRC has, in the recent past, been faced by numerous challenges including encroachment on its land hence hindering proper development.

    On Wednesday, January 20, it was reported that defiant cartels in Nairobi had vowed not to vacate from the land.

    Reports indicated that unauthorised people have continued to occupy KRC’s land located between Addis Ababa and Bamburi Road.

    It was believed that the cartels were colluding with Nairobi County Government officials to have their structures remain untouched by KRC.

    Kenya Railways issued the warning after noticing that the activity on encroached land had increased after the station revamped some of its lines.

    The corporation further indicated that those found encroaching on the property will get a 10-year prison term if found guilty.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta flagging off the first train at Nairobi Central Station on November 10, 2020.
    President Uhuru Kenyatta flagging off the first train at Nairobi Central Station on November 10, 2020.
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    Bheki Cele laughs-off ‘death threats’ – and has a message for his haters



    Throughout this 10-month lockdown drama, perhaps no-one has filled the role of pantomime villain better than Bheki Cele. The Police Minister has come under scrutiny for failing to condemn police brutality, while gleefully enforcing bans on alcohol and cigarettes respectively. As for his 21:00 bed-time on New Year’s Eve? That was the icing on the cake.

    Bheki Cele ‘unmoved’ by alleged death threats

    Minister Cele certainly isn’t in this job to make friends – but concerns have been raised about his self-declared enemies. On the same day Jackson Mthembu passed away last week, the top cop soon trended on Twitter – as hundreds of grief-stricken users cruelly suggested ‘it should have been Bheki’.

    Such utterances would be enough to upset anyone, and rightly so. But does Bheki Cele care? Does he hell. When you have the hat collection this guy does, you’re long past letting public opinion dictate your feelings. The minister, who appeared on Power 98.7’s PowerZone on Sunday night, shared a message to defuse his fiercest critics:

    “I have already laughed off people on Twitter wishing and threatening me with death after the passing of Minister Jackson Mthembu. [I have grown] a thick skin over the years – and such jabs come with the job.”

    Bheki Cele

    Bheki Cele praises cops, slams Mpumalanga Minister

    Meanwhile, Cele also launched into a defence of the police response to lockdown so far. He praised the vast majority of officers for ‘acting professionally’, and once again banged the drum for the ongoing alcohol ban in South Africa:

    “SAPS have conducted themselves professionally during the lockdown. Of the 185 000 officers in SA, only a handful are working outside the law and bringing the organisation into disrepute. South Africans are excessive when it comes to consuming liquor, this is why SAPS have their hands full when enforcing the alcohol ban.”

    Bheki Cele

    Mpumalanga Premier faces wrath of SAPS

    The late-night radio appearance came just hours after Bheki Cele declared SAPS would investigate Mpumalanga Premier Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane- who appeared at Jackson Mthembu’s funeral without a mask.

    “There is definitely a case. SAPS must find out if police at the funeral verbally warned the Premier as per regulations. The action taken against the Premier should be based on the outcome of the probe – and must show that no one is above the law. The investigation into the matter must reveal why no action was taken when [The Premier] failed to wear a mask.”

    Bheki Cele Protection Status

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