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Obama renews promise to visit Kenya

US President Barack Obama addresses a news conference in Pretoria, South Africa, June 29, 2013. By Jim Watson (AFP) SOWETO, South Africa (AFP) - US President Barack Obama on Saturday renewed his promise to visit Kenya, after bypassing his late father's homeland on his current African tour.Obama said the "timing was not right" for a trip at this time, but that he still intended to keep his word to go there before he leaves the White House in January 2017."I am going to be president for another three and a half years," Obama said at a town hall meeting in Soweto that was broadcast to several African nations, including Kenya."If, in three years and seven months, I am not in Kenya, then you can fault me for not following through on my promise," Obama told a young woman speaking from Nairobi, who asked him why he was not going to Kenya.At a press conference in Pretoria earlier, Obama said that the new government of President Uhuru Kenyatta was finding its feet after an election in March, and "still working out issues with the international community".He was referring to a looming trial for Kenyatta and Vice President William Ruto at the International Criminal Court for their alleged roles in deadly violence that killed more than 1,000 people after 2007 polls."The timing was not right for me as president of the United States to be visiting Kenya when those issues need to be worked on," Obama said.But the US leader said he had visited Kenya multiple times before he was president and expected to return."My personal ties to the people of Kenya, by definition are going to be strong and will stay strong," he said.Obama's Africa tour started in Senegal, and he is currently in South Africa. ...

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Obama says ‘timing not right’ for Kenya trip

US President Barack Obama addresses a news conference in Pretoria, South Africa, June 29, 2013. By Jim Watson (AFP) PRETORIA (AFP) - US President Barack Obama said on Saturday the "timing was not right" for him to travel to Kenya, his father's homeland, during his current Africa tour, but he expected to go there many times in the future.Obama said the new government of President Uhuru Kenyatta was still finding its feet after an election in March, and that Nairobi was "still working out issues with the international community".He was referring to a looming trial for Kenyatta and Vice President William Ruto at the International Criminal Court for their alleged roles in deadly violence that killed more than 1,000 people after 2007 polls."The timing was not right for me as president of the United States to be visiting Kenya when those issues need to be worked on," Obama said.But the US leader said he had visited Kenya multiple times before he was president and expected to return."My personal ties to the people of Kenya, by definition are going to be strong and will stay strong," he said.Obama's Africa tour started in Senegal, and he is currently in South Africa...

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Ten dead in grenade attack on Kenyan camp for displaced

Boys fetch water from a puddle at a refugee complex in Kenya, on October 16, 2011. ...

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As Obama heads to Africa, Kenya eyes ICC trial impact

US President Barack Obama attends the G8 summit near Enniskillen, Northern Ireland on June 18, 2013. ...

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Kenya’s cricket warriors: from lions to Lord’s

A Maasai cricketer hits a shot during a match between Maasai Warriors and the Ambassadors at Laikipia park, June 6, 2013. By Carl de Souza (AFP/File) OL PEJETA, Kenya (AFP) - With lions lurking in the long grass, the barefoot Maasai warrior gallops into a sprint and swings his spear arm -- delivering a fast-paced cricket ball straight at the wicket.Dressed in flowing red skirts and draped in colourful bead necklaces, the warriors from the legendary Kenyan tribe are one of the world's most unusual and unlikely cricketing teams."It is a sport that at first seemed very strange to us," said Robert Kilesi Piroris, 28, Maasai warrior and cricket player."But today the game brings us and the community together, and we love it," he added, speaking as he waited to bat in a friendly match, on a pitch mown out of the rolling grass savannah of northern Kenya, with giraffe strolling past in the distance.It is doubtful you could find a place more different from the birthplace of the sport on the manicured grass of Britain's famous Lord's Cricket Ground.But that is exactly where the Maasai hope to go, after they were invited to join an international competition at the renowned field in August, at the Twenty20 cricket "Last Man Stands World Championships" in London."We can show the world that we may look different to those dressed in cricket whites but can still play the game," said captain Sonyanga Ole Ngais.The team needs to raise funds, drumming up support and sponsorship for the trip, but has already shown its ability to take an international tour, playing in South Africa in 2012 in short format Twenty20 games there.Freddie Grounds, a major in the British army which trains troops in the Laikipia region of Kenya, joined in the match to make up numbers on a visiting Indian team playing against the Maasai."It's an amazing experience and sight to see them play here," said Grounds, but added that it would be nothing compared to the sight of the warriors playing at Lord's."Lord's is the spiritual home of cricket... ...

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Kenya cricket warriors: from lions to Lord’s

A Maasai cricketer during a T20 match between the Maasai Warriors and the Ambassadors at Laikipia park on June 6, 2013. By Carl de Souza (AFP/File) OL PEJETA, Kenya (AFP) - With lions lurking in the long grass, the barefoot Maasai warrior gallops into a sprint and swings his spear arm -- delivering a fast-paced cricket ball straight at the wicket.Dressed in flowing red skirts and draped in colourful bead necklaces, the warriors from the legendary Kenyan tribe are one of the world's most unusual and unlikely cricketing teams."It is a sport that at first seemed very strange to us," said Robert Kilesi Piroris, 28, Maasai warrior and cricket player."But today the game brings us and the community together, and we love it," he added, speaking as he waited to bat in a friendly match, on a pitch mown out of the rolling grass savannah of northern Kenya, with giraffe strolling past in the distance.It is doubtful you could find a place more different from the birthplace of the sport on the manicured grass of Britain's famous Lord's Cricket Ground.But that is exactly where the Maasai hope to go, after they were invited to join an international competition at the renowned field in August, at the Twenty20 cricket "Last Man Stands World Championships" in London."We can show the world that we may look different to those dressed in cricket whites but can still play the game," said captain Sonyanga Ole Ngais.The team needs to raise funds, drumming up support and sponsorship for the trip, but has already shown its ability to take an international tour, playing in South Africa in 2012 in short format Twenty20 games there.Freddie Grounds, a major in the British army which trains troops in the Laikipia region of Kenya, joined in the match to make up numbers on a visiting Indian team playing against the Maasai."It's an amazing experience and sight to see them play here," said Grounds, but added that it would be nothing compared to the sight of the warriors playing at Lord's."Lord's is the spiritual home of cricket... ...

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First Swahili Edition Of Human Development Report Launched In Kenya

A Swahili summary edition of the 2013 Human Development Report was launched here today by the United Nation Development Programme, marking the first time that UNDP's flagship report has been available in the most widely spoken African language.The launch was hosted by Pwani University on Kenya's Indian Ocean shore, in the heart of the coastal region where Swahili originated. Swahili is now spoken by an estimated 150 million people and is an official national language in four countries: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo...

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Kenyan MPs scrap pay rise, get luxury cars instead

Kenyan police try to intercept protesters with an effigy of a pig on June 11, 2013 in Nairobi. By Tony Karumba (AFP) NAIROBI (AFP) - Kenyan lawmakers have backed down over a pay rise they had voted themselves, but settled for hefty bonuses including a luxury car and pension benefits instead, according to official documents seen Wednesday.Last month Kenyan lawmakers voted themselves a pay rise, overturning cuts ordered by the national salaries commission and reinstating their paychecks, among the highest legislative salaries in the world.They voted to ignore the commission's orders -- and defied pleas from President Uhuru Kenyatta -- to boost their monthly pay back to 851,000 shillings ($10,000, 7,500 euros).Activists have staged dramatic protests outside parliament demanding that lawmakers cut their pay, including one demonstration in which they released live pigs and wallowed in animal blood.On Tuesday, demonstrators danced with a giant papier-mache pig and waved fake banknotes and placards with the slogan "MPigs".But the Salaries and Remuneration Commission has said after "fruitful and productive" talks, lawmakers have since agreed to obey orders for a salary cut of almost 40 percent to around 532,000 shillings ($6,200, 4,600 euros).Lawmakers agreed on the deal after negotiating a five million shilling ($58,000, 44,000 euro) one-off grant for a car.The grant was deemed a "more viable option" than providing chauffeur-driven vehicles for all 416 MPs, the commission said.

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Kenyans protest ‘greedy pig’ lawmakers after salary hike

Kenyan police try to intercept protesters with an effigy of a pig on June 11, 2013 in Nairobi. By Tony Karumba (AFP) NAIROBI (AFP) - Dancing Kenyan demonstrators paraded a giant papier-mache pig doused in animal blood outside parliament Tuesday to protest wage hikes for newly elected lawmakers.A few hundred placard-waving "Occupy Parliament" protesters then smashed the pig at the gates of parliament, pouring animal blood over it and themselves and chanting slogans demanding MPs cut their pay.Protestors also waved fake banknotes and placards with the slogan "MPigs"."I'm your employer!" one banner read. ...

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7,000 Veterans of the Kenyan Land and Freedom Army Reject British Offer

Although the British government offered a formal apology and modest compensation for the crimes committed against the people of Kenya during the war of independence between 1952 and 1960, many of the veterans of the struggle say that the existing list of victims is not complete. ...

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