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UK records 53,945 new cases and 141 more deaths in highest daily infections figure
On 17 July – six days after the Euro 2020 final – 54,674 new cases and 41 deaths were recorded. On Thursday, 53,945 new cases and 141 deaths were reported. The UK has recorded 53,945 new cases of coronavirus – the highest daily figure since mid-July following the European football championship. The last time more cases were reported was on 17 July, when 54,674 new COVID-19 cases were recorded, six days after the tournament’s final at Wembley. Public Health England previously said that England’s deep run in the competition – losing to Italy on penalties in the final – was linked to more than 9,000 new cases of COVID. Thursday’s data also showed 141 more deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test – compared to 41 on 17 July. This time last week, 147 deaths and 47,240 new cases were recorded. Meanwhile, another 26,028 people have had their first COVID vaccine, taking the UK total to 51,020,285. Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street, London, to attend Prime Minister’s Questions at the Houses of Parliament. Picture date: Wednesday December 1, 2021. And 32,356 more have had a second dose, meaning the number who have now been double jabbed is 46,431,662. Also, another 407,851 booster or third vaccine doses have been administered, meaning 19,015,975 – or 33.1% of the population aged over 12 – have had their extra shot. It comes as health officials announcement that a new COVID treatment – Xevudy, or sotrovimab – has been approved for use in the UK. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said trials showed the drug reduced the risk of hospitalisation or death by 79%. It was developed by London-based GlaxoSmithKline in conjunction with Vir Biotechnology in California – and the makers say preclinical data shows the drug “retains activity against key mutations of the new Omicron variant”. – skynews.
COVID-19: Stranded British travellers face spending Christmas in quarantine hotels
A shortage of rooms designated for isolation on return from red-list countries means Britons having to extend their stays abroad – adding to costs and stress. British travellers in South Africa face the prospect of spending Christmas in quarantine hotels as there are not enough rooms to accommodate the number of people currently trying to return. Many also face costs amounting to thousands of pounds as they are forced to re-book flights and extend their stays around the limited room availability. One woman has been told there are no rooms free until 22 December and other families who have found themselves stranded have described the sudden change of rules and quarantine hotel booking system as “chaotic” and “not fit for purpose”. They accuse the government of being totally unprepared to support those caught out by the changes. Labour’s shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper called on the government to address the situation urgently. South Africa and nine other countries in southern Africa were re-added to the travel red list this week to try and tackle the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid19. Direct flights from South Africa were initially banned a week ago. Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street, London, to attend Prime Minister’s Questions at the Houses of Parliament. Picture date: Wednesday December 1, 2021. Travellers arriving from red list countries have to isolate in designated quarantine hotels for 10 days at their own expense. But many are now saying they cannot get a booking on the day their flights are due. Passengers can be fined £4000 for arriving in the UK from a red list country without a quarantine hotel booking already in place. “It’s been awful, just awful” says Teresa Martin who is from South Africa originally and travelled out to spend time with her elderly mother who she has not seen for two years. She was supposed to return on 8 December but her husband, who called the booking management company on her behalf from the UK, has now been told there is no availability until 22 December. It will mean she would have to spend Christmas and New Year in a quarantine hotel. “The trip itself has been emotional already” she said. “This turbulence of the booking and the flight changing and then arranging, finding out where you get your PCR tests and driving 10 miles to go and book it. It takes its toll.” She has the added extra worry that if she has to stay in South Africa that long she may run out of medication she takes for rheumatoid arthritis. On top of the stress and emotion families are also facing huge bills. A 10-day stay in a quarantine hotel costs £2,285 for one adult in one room, with an extra £1,430 per adult and £325 per child aged 5-11 in the same room. Many are also having to pay to rearrange flights to try and match with the days where there is hotel availability, plus pay for extended hotel…
Nairobi best city in Africa, 12th globally
Muindi Mbingu Street in Nairobi’s CBD. Expatriates have ranked Kenya’s capital Nairobi the best city to work in on the continent, jumping 50 places from last year, due to ease of settling and finding houses. The Expat City Ranking 2021 shows Nairobi also ranks 12 out of 57 cities surveyed in the world, an improvement from 62 out of 66 in 2020. Nairobi beat other African cities — Cape Town (41), Cairo (52), and Johannesburg (55). The survey carried out by a global network of expatriates, InterNations, shows the expatriates picked the city due to ease in getting settled at fourth position globally, after Malaga, Mexico City and Kuala Lumpur based on friendliness of locals, feeling welcomed and local language. The city was also ranked sixth globally in the finance and housing index based on overall satisfaction with their financial situation, disposable income and affordability and ease of finding houses. “All three African cities featured rank among the bottom 10 in the quality of urban living and urban work life indices — except for Nairobi, which lands in 34th place in the latter index. Nairobi also outperforms the other cities when it comes to the ease of getting settled, as well as finances and housing,” the survey stated. The ranking surveyed 12,420 respondents in 57 cities. InterNations, the largest community of expatriates, has more than four million members in 420 cities. The latest survey analysed five areas of expatriate life — quality of urban towns, getting settled, work-life balance, finance, housing and cost of living, to reveal the likely city of choice for expats to move to in 2022. This year’s ranking has been a turnaround from a similar one in November last year when Nairobi was faulted for the quality of the city and poor public transportation infrastructure despite attractive local climate and weather. Last year, the expatriates had shown dissatisfaction with their safety, political stability and local economy pushing Nairobi among top-bottom cities, among Johannesburg, Paris and Milan. This year’s improvement in ranking comes despite intense ongoing construction in the city including the Nairobi Expressway that has disrupted traffic since the start of the year. As a result, 36 percent of expats were unhappy with the local transportation infrastructure poor maintenance of roads. The Expat City Ranking 2021 quotes that four in five expats in Nairobi representing 78 percent said the local residents were friendly compared to 69 percent globally. About 62 percent find it easy to make new friends against 48 percent globally. “Expats in Nairobi agree. 74 percent are happy with their social life, 17 percentage points more than the global average 57 percent,” it added. About 82 percent of the expats have no trouble finding houses compared to 60 percent globally. Close to half the respondents representing 49 percent find housing affordable compared to 42 percent globally. One in five expats globally (19 percent) are dissatisfied with their financial situation, this is only the case for nine percent of expats in Nairobi. However, Nairobi ends…
Land appreciation rates have in recent times appreciated due to a number of factors such as population growth, how the economy is performing in terms of job creation, growth of infrastructure, positive government policies etc.
COVID-19: Some Omicron cases have ‘mild’ symptoms – WHO
This is faster than the “weeks” the WHO had predicted last week it would take to assess the data available on the strain after designating it a “variant of concern”, its highest rating. Some Omicron cases are experiencing “mild” symptoms and experts should have more information about the transmission of the new COVID variant within days, an epidemiologist at the World Health Organisation has said. This is faster than the “weeks” the WHO had predicted last week it would take to assess the data available on the strain after designating it a “variant of concern”, its highest rating. At least 23 countries, including the UK, have now reported Omicron cases and the WHO expects that number to rise. Speaking at a news conference, Maria Van Kerkhove said one of the possible scenarios was that Omicron may become more transmissible than Delta but experts do not yet know about its severity. She said the WHO had seen reports of Omicron case symptoms ranging from mild to severe disease. “There is some indication that some of the patients are presenting mild disease,” she told reporters. Traders looks at financial information on computer screens on the IG Index trading floor in London, Britain February 6, 2018. And she said there was a suggestion of increased hospitalisations across South Africa, one of the first nations to detect it, but she pointed out that this could be down to more cases there. The organisation said earlier this week preliminary evidence raised the possibility the COVID variant has mutations which could help it evade an immune-system response and boost its ability to spread from person to person. It comes as a key group of UK scientists warned Omicron could trigger a surge in COVID infections bigger than previous waves in the country with a risk it may overwhelm the NHS. Experts on the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG), which advises the government, held an extraordinary meeting last week to consider the new COVID variant, known scientifically as B.1.1.529, following its detection in South Africa. What are the symptoms of Omicron? According to a note of their meeting, which was observed by both a key Department of Health official and England’s deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam, the group concluded the introduction of Omicron to the UK “might have very serious consequences”. Nine more cases of Omicron have been detected in England, taking the total to 22, according to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA). The people who have tested positive and their contacts are all isolating. Work is taking place to identify any links to travel to southern Africa. Omicron cases have now been identified in the East Midlands, East of England, London, South East and North West. THE BREAKDOWN OF OMICRON CASES BY LOCAL AUTHORITY IN ENGLAND Barnet: 2 Bexley: 1 Brentwood: 1 Buckinghamshire: 1 Camden: 2 Haringey: 1 Lancaster: 1 Lewisham: 2 Liverpool: 1 Newham: 1 North Norfolk: 1 Nottingham: 1 South Cambridgeshire: 1 Sutton: 1 Three Rivers: 1 Wandsworth: 1…
The book is entitled “Illegal Dreams”: An immigrant’s quest for a better life and the desperate passion to make the dream a reality. Illegal Dreams Synopsis They had to travel abroad by hook or by crook; they bribed and corrupted and swam and stowed and prostituted and defrauded but travel they had to. Like most other illegal immigrants who escape frustration, war, hunger, poverty…they were prisoners in a cycle of mediocrity perpetuated by governments that don’t perform. The drudgery at home is too much to bear. Lured by prospects of luxury and abundance only seen in films, they land in Britain and elsewhere by whatever means. Without a second thought, some will hang on an aircraft’s undercarriage if it comes to that. But soon they realise that their chase after happiness in the purported land of riches is a chase after waterfalls. What they thought was a big break is a mirage. The checks are mainly all in place to stop their kind. Returning home is out of the question – especially not empty handed; it would be a disgrace, a scandal. Only losers returned poor from Europe, America and other developed countries. Staying is none the easier. They have to keep ducking into alleys every time they spot a cop. But survive they must. For those in the UK, having a colonial connection with Britain, they are all the Queen’s abandoned children and they’ll hang around home if only to get the crumbs falling from her table. Illegal Dreams is a story of man’s inherent pursuit of happiness. It tells of immigrants’ shattered dreams, their hopes and fears, their frustrations, their survival tactics round the various checks and authorities, taking advantage of gaping holes in the system that should be obvious. The story also tells of social conflicts and racial tensions that sometimes bare their ugly fangs. You can get your copy of this book through these links to the book on Amazon, Amazon UK: Amazon US: Illegal Dreams: An immigrant’s quest for a better life and the desperate passion to make the dream a reality   Amazon Australia:
US pizza chain Papa John’s to open 60 outlets in Kenya and Uganda
A Papa John’s pizza restaurant in New York City. The third-largest pizza delivery restaurant in the world Papa John’s International Inc’s plans to open 60 fast food outlets in Kenya and Uganda from next year, it announced Tuesday. The American Louisville, Kentucky – based pizza chain said it will open the outlets in a partnership deal with Kitchen Express, a subsidiary of AAH Limited, the majority shareholder of Hass Petroleum Group, which operates 140 petrol stations in ten African countries. Under the deal, Papa John’s which runs 5,500 restaurants in 50 countries, will open outlets at Hass’s properties in Kenya and Uganda starting with Nairobi. “Establishing ourselves in Sub-Saharan Africa for the first time presents a great opportunity for Papa Johns to deliver on our…promise and continue our global momentum as a brand,” said Amanda Clark, Papa Johns chief development officer in a statement. For Hass, the deal will help it to grow its non-fuel business. Oil marketers are increasingly seeking to attract small consumer-focused businesses to their properties, a model that is meant to bring them rental income besides boosting fuel sales. In 2019, another Oil marketer Vivo Energy, which trades under the Shell brand name, said it would take a 50 percent stake in KFC in East Africa, in a deal with the owners of the fast-food franchise Kuku Foods East Africa Holdings. “We are excited to partner with Papa Johns as it continues its expansion around the globe,” said Abdinasir Ali Hassan, chairman of Kitchen Express and Hass Petroleum Group in a statement. Papa John’s was in the spotlight in 2018 after the founder and chairman of the pizza chain John Schnatter resigned, hours after being forced to apologise for using a racial slur on a conference call. Schnatter was ousted as CEO from his company in 2018 after he made controversial comments regarding national anthem protests by NFL players, and later that same year he was recorded using the n-word racist slur during an internal sensitivity-training conference call. By setting up in Kenya, Papa John’s which has seen rapid growth in international markets in recent years will be taking on rival international brands that have already opened in Kenya like US-based fast-food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), McDonald’s and Burger King. Sandwich chain Subway, ice cream seller Cold Stone Creamery, Japanese firm Toridoll and Domino’s Pizza have recently opened more stores in Kenya. These global players are turning to emerging markets such as Africa for growth, attracted by rising disposable household incomes, fast economic growth and a young population, according to a study by McKinsey & Co. Nairobi’s position as a hub for multiple multinationals has also attracted global restaurant chains. In August, Papa John’s said that its international unit will open 220 locations in Latin America, Spain and Portugal. It also acquired 60 locations in the UK. –
Thirty-one die after dinghy sinks in English Channel off Calais 
Emergency services were at Calais harbour on Wednesday night Thirty-one people have drowned near Calais while trying to cross the Channel, France’s interior minister has said. Gerald Darmanin, speaking from the northern French town, also said five women and a girl were among those killed. Two people were saved from the water and four suspected people-smugglers have been arrested, he added. The deaths occurred after an inflatable dinghy capsized near Calais this afternoon, with fishermen reporting more than a dozen bodies motionless in the sea. Mr Darmanin described the boat as “very frail” and “like a pool you blow up in your garden”, according to a translation. One UK patrol boat, one French lifeboat, and three helicopters have been involved in search and rescue efforts, which were continuing this evening. Prime Minister Boris Johnson chaired a meeting of the UK’s emergency COBRA committee in response. He said he was “shocked, appalled and deeply saddened” and that human traffickers were “literally getting away with murder”. It is the worst-ever incident involving migrants in the Channel, according to French maritime authorities. President Macron has promised “everything will be done to find and condemn those responsible” and that “France will not let the Channel become a cemetery”, according to France’s BFM TV. Migrants onboard a Border Force rescue boat wait to disembark at Dover harbour, after having crossed the channel, in Dover, Britain, November 24, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls Image: Another group of migrants arrived at Dover harbour earlier on Wednesday Fisherman Nicolas Margolle said he had seen two small dinghies – one with people onboard and another empty. He said another fisherman had called rescuers after seeing the empty dinghy and 15 people motionless in the water. Conditions on the Channel were described as cool but calm, which may explain why there were a number of crossings on Wednesday. Other migrants were brought ashore at Dover and Dungeness. Mr Darmanin told reporters that 255 had made it across the Channel and 671 were stopped. He also said 580 police had been patrolling the shore in the region. The Dover Strait is the world’s busiest shipping lane and more than 25,700 people have made the dangerous journey to the UK this year. That’s three times the total for 2020, according to data compiled by PA news agency. The migrant crisis has become an increasingly tense subject for the UK and France. The government has accused the French of not doing enough to stop people, despite giving them millions in extra funding to deal with the problem. Home Secretary Priti Patel said “the tragedy was the starkest possible reminder of the dangers of these Channel crossings organised by ruthless criminal gangs”. In a statement, she said the government’s new immigration plan would “address many of the long-standing pull factors encouraging migrants to make the perilous journey”. Migrants are brought ashore onboard a RNLI Lifeboat, after having crossed the channel, in Dungeness, Britain, November 24, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls Image: More migrants were brought ashore by the RNLI at Dungeness on Wednesday “We…
How many more people could die of coronavirus in UK and how will EU countries fare?
Judging by a study from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the number is smaller than for several European countries. The first is that while the death toll from the pandemic is not mounting at anything like the rate it was in spring 2020 or last winter, it is, nonetheless, creeping higher. The latest figures, released on Tuesday by the Office for National Statistics, showed the death toll in the UK had reached 167,646. Given that many of the worst-case scenarios early in the pandemic had talked of tens of thousands of deaths, even now this figure remains shocking. Of course, the vast majority of those deaths happened in the first two waves – just under 57,000 in the first one, and almost 95,000 in the second – but there have been 16,163 deaths since May, despite Britain having a high level of vaccination. Cases are rising again in much of Europe – sharply in the case of countries like Germany, the Netherlands and Austria, with the latter going back into a full lockdown as a result. Some have warned that the UK could face another cruel winter of COVID-19 deaths and are pushing for more restrictions; the government insists it sees nothing in the data so far to push it from its “Plan A”. So the question is of more than passing importance: how many people would die if the UK really did face another wave of the virus? How does this compare to other countries around Europe? Working out an answer is less simple than you might have thought, for not only do you need to weigh the levels of vaccination here and in other countries, you also need to look at age breakdowns and at the proportion of each country which has been infected in the past. Happily, a group of epidemiologists at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) have just done that. There are many provisos: it doesn’t ponder the efficacy or waning of different vaccines; it doesn’t adjust for the risk of new variants of the disease. It is an illustration of what could happen if everyone in the population were exposed to COVID right now – not a prediction of what is going to happen. Even so, the findings from the LSHTM study are strikingly encouraging, for the UK at least. It found that there could be 10,479 more deaths in England. Consider: this is less than the 12,540 that have died since May, and infinitesimally smaller than any of the previous waves of deaths. Their model looked at England rather than the UK because of the availability of data, but it’s likely that the rest of the UK would see broadly similar results. Population-adjust the figures, and compare them to the rest of the Europe, and the news is similarly reassuring. The level of “maximum remaining COVID-19 deaths” in England is, at 19 per 100,000 of the population, the lowest in Europe. People traveling in a tube underground train…
UK urges all its nationals to leave Ethiopia immediately
A man holds the Ethiopian national flag as new military recruits who are joining the Ethiopian National Defence Force attend the send-off ceremony in Addis Ababa on November 24, 2021. Britain on November 24, 2021 urged its nationals to leave Ethiopia as soon as possible By AFP – London Britain on Wednesday urged its nationals to leave Ethiopia as soon as possible, citing the potential for fighting to move closer to the capital. “The conflict in Ethiopia is deteriorating quickly,” Africa minister Vicky Ford said. “In the coming days, we may see fighting move closer to Addis Ababa, which could severely limit options for British nationals to leave Ethiopia,” she said. “I am urging all British nationals — whatever their circumstance — to leave immediately while commercial flights are readily available and (the airport) remains open.” Britain has been advising its citizens to leave Ethiopia since November 9 due to the worsening conflict between the government and the rebels. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office travel advice currently warns that the fighting “has potential to escalate and spread quickly and with little warning”. Unvaccinated travellers London has temporarily suspended the requirement for travellers unvaccinated against Covid-19 to test before their arrival in Britain to help those wishing to leave. The announcement came after Ireland said Ethiopia had expelled four of its six diplomats in the country due to the country’s previous comments on the conflict. Last month, Britain announced a further £29 million ($37 million) in aid funding for people affected by the conflict in northern Ethiopia. London has also called for an urgent ceasefire to allow humanitarian aid through and for Addis Ababa to lift an effective blockade of relief to the Tigray region. It also joined more than 40 countries in condemning the expulsion of leading UN representatives from Ethiopia. –
A Kenyan mother in UK requesting for help to repatriate the body of her son in France to Kenya
The late Joel Aduma Kwoba a Kenyan student who passed away in France It is with great sadness that we announce to you the untimely and sudden passing of Joel Aduma Kwoba in France. He was the son of Deo Okumu and Lydia Kasera of Kent, UK. Joel was discovered by the police a month later after his demise. His neighbours realised a strange smell coming from his flat and phoned the authorities. Arrangements are being made to have the body ferried to Kenya. We will be making further announcements on the burial and other arrangements in due course. We appreciate your prayers, well wishes and support during this difficult season for the family. Family and friends who wish to send contributions can do so through: Account name: OWINO E A Sort Code: 16-24-64 Account Number: 10928662 Mpesa +254113035169 – Elizabeth Auma Omondi Please give your name as reference. For more information please contact the mother Lydia on +44 7703416739. Thank you and be blessed.
Businesses set to advertise on M-Pesa in new upgrade
A mobile phone user makes an M-Pesa transaction. Businesses will soon be able to advertise on the M-Pesa app as Safaricom upgrades the mobile money platform to offer more capabilities beyond payments and cash transfers. The move will open a new revenue line for the telco besides enhancing the attractiveness of the financial service. It will be following other technology firms like Amazon which offers advertising as part of its online retail business. The planned advertising feature comes after the telco’s parent company Vodacom Group signed an agreement with China’s Ant Group which runs the popular mobile and online payment platform Alipay that has more than one billion users. Vodacom is implementing the Alipay app in South Africa and some of its features such as advertising will be built into the M-Pesa platform for rollout in Kenya and Tanzania. “In the case of Kenya and Tanzania in time we will start to get merchants to expose their products into the M-Pesa app through the mini app capability,” Vodacom’s chief executive Shameel Joosub said at a conference call last week. “The concept is that of course the more learnings and the more stuff we can develop in South Africa we will then look to agree with Alipay to expand some of those services into the international markets on a case-by-case basis.” The full Alipay app has a wide range of capabilities ranging from financial services, entertainment, shopping, merchant services and direct marketing. Most of these features are best suited for smartphones, with Vodacom saying it will use the learning experience in South Africa that has greater uptake of the high-end phones. For Safaricom, advertising will be the latest expansion of the M-Pesa service which has grown to become its single biggest revenue earner. Started as a person-to-person cash transfer service, the platform has now grown to offer payments, credit, international remittances and business analysis and support. The telco recorded a 12.1 percent net profit jump in the half year ended September, helped by revenue growth as the company reinstated charges on M-Pesa transactions of less than Sh1,000. Safaricom’s net profit in the period stood at Sh37 billion, up from Sh33 billion a year earlier. Sales increased 17.5 percent to Sh146.3 billion, with the mobile money platform M-Pesa leading the revenue growth. M-Pesa, which overtook voice last year to become the single largest business line, posted the highest revenue growth of 45.8 percent to Sh52.3 billion. Charges on the mobile money platform for transactions of less than Sh1,000 were suspended to offer financial relief to customers and reduce handling of cash in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Zero-rating of the transactions lasted from March 16, 2020 to December 31, 2020. –
Regulator allows same day trading at NSE
An investor looks at the trading screen at the Nairobi Securities Exchange. It will now be possible to buy and sell shares on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) on the same day in what promises to unlock trading at the bourse. This is after the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) gave the NSE its approval to initiate day trading. The rollout of day trading will go live on November 22 this year as part of NSE’s strategy to enhance market liquidity. Day trading refers to the practice of purchasing and selling a security within a single day or trading session or multiple times over the course of the day. To complement this milestone, the NSE Board approved an incentive structure whereby investors who participate in day trades will receive a discount on the second leg of the transaction which will be levied at 0.114 percent compared to normal trades which are levied at 0.12 percent. “This benefit will be enjoyed by the investor directly through their trading accounts. The NSE has since championed the requisite infrastructure enhancements to ensure that this is achieved,” NSE said in a statement on Tuesday. The bourse said this milestone is a culmination of its investment in technology whereby the NSE commissioned a new trading system in October 2019 that enabled separation of the trading and post trading activities. “The separation effectively enables the introduction of new products including Covered Short Selling and Day Trading which will revolutionise the capital markets and strengthen NSE’s position as the preferred investment hub in the region.” NSE boss Geoffrey Odundo said day trading is a welcome move for local investors who have previously lobbied for activation of intra-day trading, as they seek to take advantage of intra-day price movements and increase their profit margins. “Day trading will allow investors to trade on one position, two or three times per day. This will significantly increase our turnovers and attract more investors to the bourse, further entrenching the NSE as an innovative and transformational Exchange in the region,” NSE Chairman Kiprono Kittony said. The NSE 25 Share Index hit a 12-month high of 4,075 points in August this year, recording a record market capitalisation of Sh2.9 trillion. The increasing market activity is an indicator that the companies listed at the Exchange are growing steadily and a reflection of the positive future outlook across the various sectors in the economy. During Tuesday’s trading, the market turnover retreated to Sh333 million from the previous sessions Sh488 million. The number of shares traded stood at 9.2 million against 12.8 million posted the previous session. –
Is the Stock Market Going to Crash Again?
The next market crash is inevitable. Prepare while you can. Key Points Market crashes and job losses often go hand in hand. Cash can be a relatively cheap insurance policy against being forced to sell at the lows during a crash. Understanding what the companies you own are worth can help you figure out which ones to buy or sell regardless of what the market is doing. The market will crash again. That is inevitable. The only real question is when will it happen? Let’s be clear: there are lots of reasons to believe the market could crash soon. Skyrocketing inflation , stretched valuations , and a critical labor shortage each could pose risks to the market on their own. Put them all together in a situation like we have today, and the danger certainly seems to multiply. Just because the market could crash soon doesn’t mean it will, however. If it somehow manages to keep climbing, would you really want to be sitting on the sidelines, watching the purchasing power of your money evaporate to inflation? That combination of factors makes now one of the toughest times in most of our investing lifetimes to know what the best course of action should be. That might actually mean that there is no single best path forward and that the right approach could be to build a balance across the five options discussed here. No. 1: Get out of (expensive) debt If the market’s massive run has left you in the position where you could pay off your debts, maybe that provides a good opportunity to actually do so. If not your entire debt burden, perhaps you could pay off everything but your fixed-rate, low interest mortgage? It might seem crazy to pay off debt when interest rates are so low and the market has seen such huge recent rises, but that could very well be the best time to do so. After all, if interest rates rise, that could both increase your debt service costs and cause at least some of your stocks to drop, catching you with a double-whammy. When you add in the fact your debt service costs need to be paid even if your stocks are way down, you get a situation where reducing or eliminating debt looks like a smart move. No. 2: Build a cash buffer In a world where inflation is running over 6%, having a lot of cash sitting around earning less than 1% might seem crazy. When viewed only on that basis, it is. When you recognize that market crashes and job losses often go hand in hand, having a decent cash buffer can be viewed as an insurance policy. At least for a little while, it can keep you from being forced to sell at the low due to lost income and buy you time to find alternatives. That said, with inflation running as hot as it is and cash returns failing to keep up, it might not be a good idea to…
AG shuts 2,000 firms for failure to disclose owners
Attorney-General Paul Kihara. More than 2,000 companies were closed down by the Attorney-General in the year ended June 2021 for failing to disclose their owners. Latest data from the Registrar of Companies show 2,540 entities were closed in the year, more than 1,255 in the previous year. Attorney General in October last year ordered public and private companies to provide personal information of shareholders who own more than 10 percent or exercise control in a firm, failure to which they would be charged Sh500,000 fine for the company and each defaulting official. Companies are struck off from the registry on directors’ order after shutting operations, bankruptcy, or if they don’t declare their beneficial directors after enforcement of the policy. “2,540 entities were struck off the register in 2020. This was an influx. This was occasioned by enforcement of the beneficial ownership information disclosure requirements since the BOI e-register was operationalised on October 13, 2020,” Business Registration Service stated. Over 6,000 firms have been closed since July 2017. The firms were to state their secret owners including their names, phone numbers, residential address, national ID or passport copies, occupation, the date they became, and cease to become owners. The rules were put in place to curb money laundering, financing of terrorism, unmask illicit wealth, corruption, and reveal the true identity of investors owning large blocks of shares in both private and listed companies, who will also be of interest to the taxman. About 148,908 private companies had declared the information in mid-June ahead of the deadline in July 31. Public companies listed at the Nairobi Securities Exchange are yet to declare as their e-registrar is yet to be operationalised. The Registrar is also undertaking a link-a-business procedure for companies established before 2016 under the previous manual system with hardcopy files at the registry in order to declare the shareholding and file annual returns. Firms that fail to link also risk closure. The business names registered in the year to June rose 38.7 percent to 101,674 compared to 73,302 in a similar period last year, while private companies increased by 15.4 percent to 50,932 from 44,128 over the periods. The increase has triggered layoffs and fears of job losses after economic fallout from pandemic that forced companies to undertake cost-cutting measures mid declined revenues. The listings were also driven by Kenyans targeting supplying the national government, county governments and State corporations with goods and services. –
Get travel documents from embassy, court orders Miguna
Dr Miguna Miguna is based in Canada. The High Court has ordered lawyer Miguna Miguna to obtain emergency travel documents from the Kenyan Embassy in Canada, Germany or wherever he is, within 72 hours. Justice Hedwig Ong’undi, while restating that the lawyer is a Kenyan citizen by birth, also ordered the Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs Raychel Omamo to ensure the order is complied with and that the lawyer should be allowed to return to Kenya. “Once he is in possession of the travel documents and presentation of the same to Air France, the airline is directed to allow him to board the next immediate flight to Nairobi,” ordered the judge. Upon landing, she said, the immigration officers should allow him to enter Kenya using his national identity card for identification. Mr Miguna was deported to Canada in March 2018 after swearing in ODM party leader Raila Odinga as the ‘people’s president’. He has twice tried to return to Kenya but the same has failed because of the “red alerts” which he said were issued by the Kenyan government blocking international airlines from flying him to Nairobi. Visa requirement Justice Ong’undi rejected an argument by Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho that Dr Miguna requires a visa to travel back. But she ruled that it is not an excuse to ignore the travel laws and regulations. Later, after the arrival, he should apply for a passport in Nairobi and be issued with the same in seven days, the court stated. It was also held that both the exiled lawyer and the government have an obligation to observe the citizenship immigration regulations. The judge noted that a fortnight ago, the lawyer was advised to visit the Kenyan high commission in Ottawa, Canada and obtain an emergency certificate to enable him to travel to Kenya. The advice was relayed to Dr Miguna through the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) in a response to its request dated November 10, 2021 to the Ministry of Interior to facilitate his safe return. Passport deposited in court In the letter, Immigrations Director-General Alexander Muteshi said the directorate is not in possession of Dr Miguna’s passport as the same was deposited in court pursuant to a court order issued by Justice Luka Kimaru. “With regard to him (Miguna) being issued with a passport, we reiterate that we are not in a position to issue one, as Mr Miguna has not made an application for replacement which is a statutory requirement under Section 28(1) of the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act of Kenya,” reads the letter. Justice Ong’undi said there was no evidence that Dr Miguna had applied for new or renewal, visited the Ottawa embassy or his Canadian passport had been endorsed as required by the regulations. –
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Meet Belgian Billionaire Who Gifted 21-Year-Old Kenyan Girlfriend Ksh102M
Merc De Mesel is a household name in the cryptocurrency and investments world having amassed a wealth of monumental magnitude. He has been a bitcoin billionaire for years having started trading in the virtual currency in 2008. In a video shared on social media, Mesel explained that he gifted his 21-year-old Kenyan girlfriend Ksh102 million after following the right procedures which include filling paperwork with the bank. But after the money hit his girlfriend’s accounts, detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) raided their home and apprehended them, accusing him of funding unlawful activities. Mesel expressed optimism that the matter will be resolved amicably, explaining that he has been with the Kenyan lover for a long time. He narrated that on the day police raided their home, his girlfriend was heavily pregnant. “As investors with every exchange and every bank, you need to do this constantly and there is a trace on where the money is coming from. It’s from my investments and my brokerage,” the bitcoin investor stated. “I knew there were more unlawful activities in Africa than Europe but without any notice, summon or question by police, suddenly being apprehended in my home, seizing my laptop, phone and passport, taken away handcuffed, as well as my pregnant girlfriend, I did not expect. Turns out we were believed to be part of a money-laundering scheme due to a bank gift I had made to my girlfriend, and for which we had submitted the requested paperwork to the bank. We are not feeling safe anymore in Kenya.” Mesel grew up in Belgium, Europe, the northern Dutch part of Belgium called Flanders. He got into investments in 2008 and he invested heavily in cryptocurrencies and stocks and he usually holds his investments for many years. The Belgian in an interview noted that he thinks often about his investments, and look at them from different sides, what could go wrong and why an investment may not pan out. “I try to see objectively the pros and cons, the real risks and potential rewards. I also try to be in touch with my feelings, and what they tell me about a person or investment,” he stated. Mesel’s girlfriend is being sought by the Assets Recovery Agency (ARA), who moved to court seeking orders to freeze the account where he transferred the Ksh102 million as a gift to her. ARA told the court that the money was wired suspiciously and that there was a need to establish whether the funds were proceeds of unlawful activities. The agency told the court that the account was opened on August 2, 2021, and the money was wired two days later. “There are reasonable grounds to believe that the funds held in the account in the name of the respondent, are illicit funds in which the respondent is involved in a money-laundering scheme designed to conceal and disguise the nature, source location and movement of the funds,” the ARA stated in court documents. According to the agency,…
Tens of thousands demonstrated in Vienna after the Austrian announced a nationwide lockdown
Demonstrators in Vienna protest against COVID restrictions in Austria Tens of thousands demonstrated in Vienna after the Austrian government announced a nationwide lockdown and said vaccinations would become mandatory by law next year. Protesters have clashed with police in Vienna, as large crowds demonstrated on the streets of several European cities against the introduction of new COVID-19 restrictions. Tens of thousands have been voicing their anger in the Austrian capital after the government announced a nationwide lockdown and said coronavirus vaccinations would become mandatory by law next year, blaming the country’s high infection numbers on those who have failed to take up the jab. Police said several protesters were detained, but did not give exact numbers. Later, demonstrators threw bottles and beer cans and fired pyrotechnics at police, who used pepper spray to disperse crowds. a day after an “orgy of violence” during rioting in Rotterdam left several people injured, thousands more gathered in central Amsterdam, despite organisers calling off the protest in the aftermath of last night’s events when police opened fire on protesters. Today’s demonstrators left Dam Square and walked peacefully through the city’s streets, closely monitored by officers. And a few hundred people also marched through the southern Dutch city of Breda to protest COVID-19 restrictions. Demonstrations against virus measures also took place in other European countries including Switzerland, Croatia and Italy, with thousands taking part. In Belfast city centre, hundreds gathered to reject the planned introduction of coronavirus certification for nightclubs, bars, restaurants and a range of other settings from 13 December. Under the compulsory scheme, people wanting to gain entry will have to show evidence of COVID-19 vaccination, a negative lateral flow test result, or proof of a coronavirus infection within the last six months. And in central Hull, around 200 anti-vaxxers marched through the streets, demanding that carers looking after the elderly and vulnerable should not be forced to have the jab. In Vienna, people gathered at the public space of Heldenplatz, while about 1,300 police officers were on duty. They used loudspeakers to tell demonstrators that masks were required, but most did not wear them. Protesters waved Austrian and other flags and carried signs with slogans like “no to vaccination”, “enough is enough” or “down with the fascist dictatorship”. Many of the signs focused on the newly-announced coronavirus vaccine mandate: “My Body, My Choice,” read one. “We’re Standing Up for Our Kids!” said another. Among those taking part were far-right supporters, with the opposition Freedom Party vowing to combat new restrictions that are being brought in to try to combat a surge in COVID-19 cases. Party leader Herbert Kickl, who announced earlier this week he had tested positive for coronavirus and had to isolate at home, made an appearance via video. He denounced what he called “totalitarian” measures from a government “that believes it should think and decide for us”. The nationwide lockdown will start on Monday and will initially last for 10 days, before being re-assessed, and will last a maximum of…