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Archive for November, 2008

To all our American Friends during your thanksgiving day, from API

Posted by African Press International on November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! We wish you a wonderful Day…We thank God for giving Us the opportunity to have you all in Our lives. We know He brought us all together for a purpose!

Have a wonderful day, and let’s pray for the hand of God to be upon the release of the tape; may his will be done, and regardless of what happens We are thankfuil for his grace and mercy and unconditional love.

God bless you all!
API and Chief Editor Korir

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Somalia: Talks resume amid continuing violence

Posted by African Press International on November 27, 2008

Nairobi (Kenya) – Talks aimed at ending the conflict in Somalia have resumed in Djibouti, amid reports that dozens of civilians died in weekend violence in Mogadishu.

Sources said representatives of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and a faction of the Eritrea-based Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS), led by Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, began the latest talks on 22 November.

The most important points under discussion were the agreement on a Justice and Reconciliation Commission and power-sharing.

Ibrahim Habeb Nur, Minister of Public Works and Housing, a member of the government delegation, told IRIN the two sides agreed on the need to set up “a commission that deals with crimes committed”. He said they had also set up a six-member committee to devise modalities of power-sharing. “The committee on power-sharing is now meeting and is expected to present its report soon.”

A power-sharing deal is expected to lead to a government of national unity, according to a local journalist.

Neither the armed wing of the Islamic Courts, the Al-Shabab group, nor the Asmara faction of the ARS, led by Sheikh Hassan Dahir, was involved in the Djibouti talks. An observer at the talks, who requested anonymity, told IRIN that the negotiations were going well but without the involvement of the armed groups waging the war inside the country, implementing any agreement “is almost impossible”.

“Neither the TFG nor the ARS-Djibouti can stop the fighting in Mogadishu. They have to find a way to convince the armed groups,” he added.

The violence erupted as a deadline for the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops from designated areas of Mogadishu expired on 21 November.

Ahmed Abdisalam, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Information, told IRIN the fighting was “a deliberate attempt” to undermine the peace process. “There are groups that do not want peace and will do whatever it takes to undermine the whole process.”

The withdrawal, he added, was under way and would be completed. “The 21 November date is only a starting point. No one expects it to happen in one day. The whole process was supposed to take 30 days.”

Abdisalam, who was on his way to Djibouti, said talks were going well and the two sides were getting closer. Appealing to those outside the talks to come aboard, he said: “Eighteen years of fighting did not resolve our problems, why not give the talks a chance.”

But a spokesman for the Islamic Courts accused the Ethiopians of refusing to leave. “The same day they [Ethiopian troops] were supposed to withdraw, they try and expand the areas of their control,” said Sheikh Abdirihin Isse Adow.

“All we did is defend our people,” he added. “From where we stand they don’t look like they are going anywhere, and so long as they are here we will continue our struggle to liberate our country.”

According to sources in Mogadishu, at least 40 people died over the weekend and 70 were injured.

Ethiopian forces entered Somalia in December 2006 and ousted the Union of Islamic Courts, which controlled much of southern and central Somalia.

Fighting between them, Somali forces and insurgents began in early 2007, forcing an estimated one million Somalis out of their homes. According to the UN, 2.6 million Somalis need assistance. That number is expected to reach 3.5 million by the end of the year.
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API/Source.UN Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN) – November 24, 2008.

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DR Congo: Sabotage suspected as Kabila army battles Nkunda

Posted by African Press International on November 27, 2008

Kinshasa (DR Congo)- Government forces battling with Laurent Nkundas forces in the eastern Congo have been sabotaged from within, leading to a series of losses to the rebels.

Sources close to the government told The EastAfrican that the integration of former rebel forces into the national army following the 2002 Sun City agreement that led to the formation of a government of national unity brought former friends of Nkunda into the army.

It so happened that most of the personnel deployed in the east to stop Nkundas advances are former soldiers in the Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD), which was backed by Rwanda and Uganda in its drive to oust the late Desire Kabila in 1998.

The sources said some commanders had been leaking information about the armys position and strength to Nkunda.

RDC initially led by the late Ernest Wamba dia Wamba was formed by Uganda and Rwanda after they grew dissatisfied with the government, and took over Goma, marking the beginning of the Second Congo War in 1998. It was the strong suspicion of sabotage that led President Joseph Kabila last week to appoint Gen Didier Etumba as the new chief of general staff to replace of Gen Dieudonne Kayembe.

The reshuffle came soon after Prime Minister Adolf Muzito toured eastern Congo where he discovered a major misappropriation of funds meant for the army. The rebels who joined the government army had little military training and are finding the going tough against the battle-hardened Nkunda forces.

At the same time, it is difficult for the government forces to man the borders of the vast country, maintain national security and fight the war against Nkunda at the same time.

As a result, Nkundas National Council for the Defence of the People (CNDP) has been enjoying a series of successes before withdrawing from Kanyabayonga and Rwindi following appeals from the international community and the summit of the Great Lakes region held in Nairobi early this month.

Despite the pullback by Nkundas forces, Congo watchers doubt the ceasefire will hold, given that Kinshasa is still reluctant to initiate direct negotiations with him. Even though UN special envoy Olusegun Obasanjo has announced that President Kabila and Nkunda are ready for dialogue without preconditions, the word from Kinshasa is that the government maintains that Nkunda should join the 22 other rebel groups in the Amani programme.

Kinshasa has always maintained that Kabila was elected democratically in 2006 and anybody who is dissatisfied with the way the country is governed must channel their grievances through the Amani programme. Kinshasa is suspicious of Nkunda given that he has been shifting positions about the cause of his rebellion.

Initially, he argued that his aim was to protect the Tutsi population in the east against attacks from the Interahamwe in Congo. He then said that he was fighting to end bad governance and threatened to match to Kinshasa to oust Kabila. Last week, Nkunda added another dimension by stating that he is fighting against Kinshasas cosy relations with China.

Given the mistrust, it will be interesting to observers to see how Kinshasa will react to Kundas proposal through Obasanjo that he and his soldiers be integrated into the Congolese army as part of the settlement.

The question is whether President Kabila will be comfortable with Nkunda in the Congolese army, in case he instigates a mutiny from within.

Nkunda refused to integrate his forces into the army after the Sun City agreement.

It appears that Kinshasas hopes now lie in the push by France for the Security Council to double the number of UN forces to act as a buffer between the protagonists. Sources close to the government said the French have been pushing Angola to deploy troops in eastern Congo to block any chances of Nkunda marching on to Kinshasa.
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API/Source.East African (Kenya) – November 24, 2008.

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Africa at large: Canada a mining superpower

Posted by African Press International on November 27, 2008

Pambazuka (South Africa) – The time when Canada’s presence on the African continent was primarily characterised by numerous missionaries and food donations is well and truly over! In countries such as Congo, Mali and Tanzania, when it is learned that you are from Canada, you are immediately asked if you work for the mining, a perception entirely consistent with reality. Canada is now a superpower in the African mining sector, a position the country intends to maintain and develop using all means at its disposal.

The salient presence of Canadian mining is relatively new in Africa and is rooted principally in the programmes of liberalisation of the sector from the early 1990s. These programmes have been driven by the World Bank, which from 1992(1) had begun defining the extractive sector as the main engine of development for many countries.(2) The privatisation of state enterprise promoted as a means of encouraging the entry of foreign investment has opened the door to foreign companies. At the head of this development, especially with regard to the smaller exploration companies known as juniors, are Canadian companies. These companies have an immense commercial presence in Canada: of the 1,223 mining companies listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, the largest in the country, more than 1,000 are juniors!(3)

Currently, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources Canada (NRC), only the Republic of South Africa, with over 35% of assets and investments, is just ahead of Canada in the African mining industry. But with South Africas assets concentrated on its own territory, Canada dominates the rest of the continent.

The data compiled by the NRC demonstrates the speed with which the value of Canadian mining assets in Africa has grown over the last twenty years: at US$ 233 million in 1989, this figure grew to $635 million in 1995, and $2.8 billion in 2001, growing further to $6.08 billion in 2005, and $14.7 billion in 2007.(4) This total value is estimated to reach $21 billion by 2010.

In 2001, Canadian companies had operations in 24 African countries, a figure that had risen to 35 by 2007.

And 91% of Canadian investments were concentrated in eight countries, with the order of countries importance being the following: South Africa (25.6%), DR Congo (17.8%), Madagascar (13.8%), Zambia (9.9%), Tanzania (9.5%), Ghana (6.5%), Burkina Faso (4.7%) and Mauritania (3%).

It remains to be seen whether Chinese investment projects in the region will threaten Canadas position of overall dominance.

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API/Source.Pambazuka, by Denis Tougas – November 24, 2008.

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Zimbabwe: Country dispairs as crisis accelerates, says Annan

Posted by African Press International on November 27, 2008

Johannesburg (South Africa) – The crisis in Zimbabwe is worse than what The Elders had imagined, the trio announced in Johannesburg on Monday.

“We were expecting a gloomy situation, but the situation is far beyond what we could have imagined,” said one of the Elders, Graca Machel at a press briefing in Johannesburg.

The Elder’s delegation comprised former United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan, former United States president Jimmy Carter and Machel, an international advocate for women’s and children’s rights.

The three had planned to visit Zimbabwe during the weekend on a humanitarian mission, but were refused entry. They continued their assessment of the country’s humanitarian crisis in Johannesburg by meeting political leaders, aid agencies and business and civil society representatives from Zimbabwe.

According to The Elders there was not enough food to meet immediate needs and an acute shortage of seeds and fertiliser meant the harvest in April next year would only produce a fraction of what was needed.

“The number of people reliant on food aid from the United Nations and other agencies has increased from 2.6 million in October to 4.9 million in November,” said Machel.

Half the population of 10.2 million people would need food aid by January. The trio said four major hospitals – two of them in Harare – had to close their doors to almost all patients because of lack of medicines and basic supplies like water.

“Hundreds of women needing caesarean sections or other assistance to give birth safely are being turned away. Staff numbers are also falling as people make their search for food a priority.”

School attendance had fallen sharply from over 85 percent in 2007 to just 20 percent. Universities did not open at all this term.

Said Annan: “We knew when we planned the trip that the situation in Zimbabwe was serious, but what we have learnt in the past few days is shocking.

“It is not just the extent of Zimbabwe’s humanitarian crisis, but the speed of deterioration in the past few weeks that is worrying. The scale, depth and urgency of the situation are under-reported.” The Elders said the economic conditions and shortage of cash, mass migration and displacement were part of the crisis the country was facing.

Said Carter: “The signing of the September 15 agreement raised hopes in Zimbabwe and around the world, but failure to implement it in good faith and create a good workable power-sharing government is leading to despair and accelerating the crisis.”

The power-sharing deal was signed between the ruling Zanu-PF party and two factions of the Movement for Democratic Change.

He said regardless of the challenges all parties should make the welfare of the people their first priority and “put an end to unnecessary suffering of millions”.

Machel said there was no solution to the humanitarian crisis before solving the political situation. The trio made a “strong” appeal to the Southern African Development Community to be more assertive and urgently deal with the situation in Zimbabwe.

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API/source.Sapa (South Africa) – November 24, 2008.

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Press conference, on Zimbabwe humanitarian situation, by Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator

Posted by African Press International on November 27, 2008

Addressing a press conference today at United Nations Headquarters in New York, Catherine Bragg, Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator in the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), described the situation in the southern African country as “acute” and expected to worsen towards the end of the year. Currently, there were slightly less than 4 million people who were considered food insecure and in need of food assistance. That number was going to rise as the “hunger season” approached, traditionally between January and April. Without massive international assistance, the situation is going to get much, much worse.

Her appeal came on the heels of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s statement on Zimbabwe yesterday and the launching of the consolidated appeal for that country earlier in the week.

She told correspondents that what was prevailing in Zimbabwe today was not just a food insecure situation; it was also a multisectoral humanitarian situation. There was now an outbreak of cholera in the country, which had spilled over into the country’s neighbours, as well. The number of victims of cholera had now reached almost 9,000 — the highest the country had ever recorded — and the number of persons who had died of the outbreak had reached 366 as of yesterday, which she said was a “very high mortality rate”.

She told correspondents that the number of cholera incidents at the moment, as well as the high mortality rate, was directly traceable to the fact that many communities now had depleted their ability to provide clean water, because of the lack of chemical treatment. Thus, there was now an urgent need for water and sanitation. It was also directly traceable to the collapse of the health system, due to insufficient health personnel, as well as insufficient medical supplies.

Also, she said, at the moment there was a breakdown both in health services and in education. There was now less than 20 per cent school attendance, in a country that used to have over 90 per cent attendance. That was largely because of teachers not being paid, or being paid insufficiently to cover even one day of transportation to the school. So, they simply did not show up. Further, students sometimes were unable to attend school because some schools in the country were demanding payments in food, which, of course, the students did not have.

“So, we’re very concerned about this very, very low level of school attendance at this point”, she said, adding that, in light of that dire situation, this week the United Nations had launched the consolidated appeal for 2009 for a total of $550 million, the highest appeal ever for Zimbabwe. Last year’s appeal had been just under $400 million and had been “very well subscribed”, and was, at this point, 75 per cent funded. However, that 75 per cent funded was for the original number. OCHA’s calculation, because of the changing circumstances and the fast-deteriorating situation, was that there would be a shortfall until the end of the year of roughly $2 million, before getting into what was needed for 2009. About 60 per cent of the $550 million was for food.

Continuing, she appealed to donors for continued generosity to deal with what she said was a “very serious situation” and also assured them that their aid was going through. “We are able to reach the 3 million beneficiaries who were in need of aid at the moment”, she said. “That is not to say that the operating environment is not challenging. In fact, it is very challenging. With hyper-inflation, the Government is sometimes accessible, and sometimes it is not; sometimes cooperative, and sometimes not.”

Responding to a correspondent’s question, Ms. Bragg confirmed the United Nations had completed a detailed and comprehensive study of the humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe and that was what the consolidated appeal had been about. The consolidated appeal was not just a funding appeal, but was actually a strategic overview of the situation, as provided by the participating organizations — the United Nations and the non-governmental organizations. A total of 35 such entities participated in the consolidated appeal process in the case of Zimbabwe.

Asked to elaborate on the general state of the health sector in the country, she said, in the last few weeks alone, there had been closures of major hospitals, because of the lack of medical personnel. Many of those personnel simply did not go to work, either because they did not get paid or they just could not afford even the transportation to get to work. There was also “quite a brain drain” of health-care workers leaving Zimbabwe itself and a severe depletion of medical and health-care supplies.

To a journalist who wanted to know what was responsible for the depletion of medical supplies in the country, Ms. Bragg answered: “Because of the breakdown in the whole economy, the government expenditure is, in fact, insufficient to support any of the basic social services. And that’s just one of the symptoms of it.”

Asked what the United Nations system was doing on the cholera outbreak, in light of reports indicating a lack of chemicals to purify water in the country’s major cities, she said the United Nations was part of a task force within Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Health set up to coordinate the response to the cholera situation. Also, because of the hyper-inflation now buffeting the country, the United Nations had recently managed to negotiate “the dollarization” of the humanitarian operation, thereby avoiding the foreign currency exchange rules of the Zimbabwean Reserve Bank, which tied all currency transactions to the local currency. That somewhat protected against wild fluctuations in the cost of delivering aid, she said.

Asked if anyone had indicated readiness to fund the end-of-the-year funding gap, she said that many donors were ready to fund the gap between now and the end of the year. No actual pledges had been received for 2009, because the appeal had only been launched last week, as part of the global appeal, and only two days ago, locally, in Harare for Zimbabwe. With the exception of China, which pledged a contribution whose details she did not readily have, no other donor had done so since the Harare launch meeting two days ago.

Given the political situation in the country, did she think there was “donor fatigue” within certain traditional donors to respond to the humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe? another correspondent asked. Ms. Bragg replied: “I would think that the fact that the 2008 appeal has been subscribed to 75 per cent, making it one of the top three appeals we have globally, indicated that, in fact, donors are quite able to distinguish between humanitarian needs and any political development and their own political viewpoint. I would imagine that that would go forward as well.”

She added that OCHA had been talking to many donors about the funding situation in 2009, not just for Zimbabwe, but globally as well, and OCHA’s reading at this point was that the level of contributions would probably be maintained, rather than being diminished. That was largely because, for most of the donors, their budgets for 2009 had already been allocated.

For information media not an official record

Source: United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI) – Date: 26 Nov 2008

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Why Wait to Have Sex in Marriage? A man’s perspective

Posted by African Press International on November 27, 2008

A POST SEND IN BY MERCY NJUGUNA

I honestly never understood really why my folks used to advise me not to have sex before marriage?I was so stumped and i thought that all their blubber was just a bunch of mumbo jumbo.Since i was a child,friends and relativs remarked that i was a boy with a very strong will.So i was so determined to prove that their philosophy was flawed.

Yo i got so burned and now I REALLY REGRET EVERY SEXUAL ENCOUNTER I HAVE EVER HAD.I at times feel so cheap though i have gotten over my mistakes.I now want to share you the meditations of my life and hope that someone out there will learn from my mistakes.I am just 23 but i believe i possess some wisdom collected from my mistakes.

So why wait? Really why Wait to Have Sex in Marriage?

Some wait for sex… but why?! There’s a saying that goes, “The best plan is to profit by the folly of others.” That’s what this article is about. I want to share with you a few things I’ve learned — the hard way — concerning girls and relationships. Specifically, I’ve jotted down ten reasons why I’m now waiting until marriage to have sex.

1. I now know that sex isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

During my sexpades in high school and a bit in campus,I remember having an experience that I referred to as a “love hangover.” After being with a girl, the next morning I always felt an emptiness.I was soooooo sooooo empty and almost suicidal. Media told me sex was the in thing and that i would get fullflillment.WHAT A BUNCH OF LIARS!!!That’s something you won’t see on TV or in the movies, but it happens a lot. There was emptiness, even regret, afterwards.

The “love hangover” was a strange occurrence for me. Mainly because sex was my “god.” As a male, it’s what I thought about morning, noon and night. So you would imagine that having sex would have been completely fulfilling — the crowning achievement in the worship of my “god.” And yet, there was always a lack of fulfillment afterwards.

Has that been your experience, too? Have you ever had a “love hangover”? If you have, you should stop and consider, “Why is that? Why is it that sex, if it’s so important to me, leaves me with an empty feeling?”

I remember being confused by this emptiness. I then concluded: “I just need more [sex], that’s all.” (We often think this way about stuff we hope will fulfill us, then doesn’t. For example, we get the car we’ve always wanted, but then it’s just “okay” after awhile. Instead of realizing that a car can’t really satisfy us, we usually make the error of thinking, “Well, I guess that wasn’t the right car. A different one will give me lasting fulfillment.”;)

But the emptiness continued. So, finally, I came to the conclusion that premarital sex wasn’t all it’s cracked up to be. It gets too much hype. It’s not what the movies make it out to be. If it were, it would be completely fulfilling. There wouldn’t be any “emptiness.”

2. I now want to be more honorable toward women.

I’ve found that girls often don’t fully understand what’s going on when it comes to sex. That is, their perspective on the whole thing is very different from a guy’s. Often a girl will justify sex by saying, “But I love him,” even if she doesn’t really want to go through with it. Why does that happen? It’s been said that, “Girls use sex to get love; guys use love to get sex.”

This is how it works: the girl is picturing marrying the guy some day; the guy is picturing everything he wants to do with the girl before he goes back to tell his buddies about it. And while something inside her is telling her it’s the right thing to do, something inside the guy is telling him just the opposite, yet he proceeds. Why? For the physical pleasure no doubt, but also, I think, for another reason: it makes him feel like a man. But there is a great irony in that, for what is manly about deceiving a woman?

Something I’ve discovered is that, when you honor a woman, you are honoring yourself. Why? Because someday you will have regret, and the regret will last much longer than the pleasure. In the movie Rob Roy, the main character says, “Honor is a gift a man gives himself.” When you honor a woman by doing what you know to be right in your heart (that is, what’s in her best interest), you honor yourself and insure that you will have no long-lasting regrets to live with.

3. That’s somebody else’s wife.

Here’s what I mean: most of the girls I’ve been with are now married to other men. When I put myself in the shoes of those men, I wish that I hadn’t done what I’ve done. In fact, I might even like to punch myself in the nose for it.

And so it goes without saying that when I get married, I’m not going to like the idea that someone else has had his way with my wife. What about you? Do you like the idea of someone else being with your wife? If you have a girlfriend now and feel that way, think of how much stronger that feeling will be with your wife someday.

You can even take it a step further. That girl is someone’s daughter. What if she were my daughter? Or what if she were my sister? Would I want some guy like me taking advantage of her? I now see girls from a different perspective. They’re someone else’s future wife, someone else’s daughter, sister, etc.

4. Sex has killed my best relationships.

For example, I now have a college sweetheart and now things are so thicjk between us and fear we might break up and be heart broken just because we had sex before marriage.I really love her and i pray day and night that we do not break up.I LOVE HER SO MUCH, the girl of my dreams. With her, there was never a dull moment. We totally “clicked.” We waited for awhile, then, through my initiation, we started having sex.

Sex soon became the focus of our relationship. I stopped wanting to get to know her on any other level. And so, instead of growing closer together, we actually started drifting apart.

That’s what I mean by “sex killed my best relationships.” People can relate on many different levels — emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually. But when my girlfriend and I started relating mostly physically, it short-circuited the other parts of our relationship. As a result, the relationship as a whole started to go south. We might still be together today if we (I) had waited.

I’ve seen this happen with countless relationships, not just others of my own, but those of many other people. And I think there’s a reason for this, which I’ll explain next.

5. Sex before marriage ruins the other

parts of the relationship.

For me, two things happened once I had sex with a girl. As I look back on it, I can say that they happened literally every time, although I was unaware of these dynamics at the time.

The two things were this: 1) I lost respect for the girl (even though I didn’t want to); and 2) she began to mistrust me (even though she didn’t want to).

I don’t know why this happened, I just know that it did. Maybe it’s just built into “the system.” But one thing’s for sure: I’m not alone. I’ve seen it happen over and over again. I know many people having marital problems because they engaged in premarital sex. They go into the marriage with lack of respect and lack of trust, two absolute necessities for the health of any marriage.

I know a newlywed couple who have sex less than once a month because of this–he doesn’t respect her, she knows it, and she doesn’t trust him, so she doesn’t want to give herself to him. It’s very sad, and more common than you might think. But nobody talks about this kind of thing in public. And the movie and TV portrayals of couples having sex before marriage never present it either. It’s like no one wants to acknowledge that it’s happening, even though it is.

6. Waiting to have sex with my wife

will mean better sex in my marriage.

Why? Because we’ll go into the marriage with me having more respect for her and her having more trust in me. One thing I’ve learned: if a girl doesn’t trust a guy, she doesn’t want to give herself wholly to him. Deep down, she doesn’t really enjoy being with him.

This is how it works. Since “girls use sex to get love, and guys use love to get sex,” a couple will have sex before marriage. The girl does this to hold on to the relationship. The guy does it because he wants it even more than the relationship itself. Then, after the marriage, the woman has what she wants: a commitment from the man. So she doesn’t need to use sex to get him anymore.

And, because she may be harboring resentment because he had sex with her before they were married, she is now not interested in sex. And the guy — who doesn’t treasure his wife because of the sex before marriage — still wants sex but not as a total bonding experience with his wife. It’s just sex, which she figures out. So, there is a lousy sex life in the marriage.

I’m not making this stuff up. Now that I’m out of college and many people around me are getting married, I’m seeing it happen all the time. The antidote: waiting for marriage to have sex will give the man a greater respect for his wife and the woman a greater respect for her husband. And consequently they’ll have better and more frequent sex because they respect each other more and love each other more deeply.

7. Not having sex with other women will mean better sex in my marriage.

Sex is a mysterious thing that causes a deep bond between people, even if we call it “casual.” The problem is this: the more I bond with other girls, the less I’ll be able to bond with my future wife. It’s like a piece of skotch tape — the more you use it on different surfaces, the less it sticks to things. After awhile, it won’t stick to anything.

If I bond with other girls before I get married, I won’t be able to bond as well with my wife someday. I won’t cherish her as much as I could have, and consequently I won’t love her as much as I could have. Each day that passes that I’ve remained faithful to my future wife means that my relationship with her will be better.

It’s a funny thing: our culture decries adultery, yet it freely condones premarital sex, even with multiple partners. That’s ironic. Because, if you take the element of time out of the equation, premarital sex is adultery. We can imagine how adultery would greatly injure a marriage relationship, maybe premarital sex actually has nearly the same result. It injures the potential bond between a man and a woman.

8. I don’t have to sleep with a woman to know if we’re “sexually compatible.”

Sex is meant to compliment a relationship, not be the most important aspect of it. That’s what I’ve found out. It’s supposed to be the icing on the cake when all the other aspects of your relationship are working well.

I’ve come to understand that the sex will be good if the rest of the relationship is good. That’s why I know I don’t have to sleep with my future wife to find out if we’re sexually compatible. If we get along in every other area, the sex will be fine.

Something else needs to said here. Another thing I think I’ve “discovered” is this: when you place sex as the determining factor of the relationship, it will probably result in poor sex. Think about it. If you put your sexual relationship under a microscope, always judging it and judging the relationship by it, it’s doomed to fail. It’s like being in prison. You’re locked in to something that is supposed to be freeing, not incapacitating.

But, when you focus on the other parts of the relationship, and the sex isn’t the focus, then you’re freed up to have a more enjoyable sex life, with no pressure of having to make it always spectacular. (Because it won’t be.) And yet, I don’t think that as a college-age adult I was capable of not focusing on sex, that is, unless it wasn’t present at all. That’s why I think it’s best to wait altogether.

Do you feel me?!!!!Does someone out there feel me?!!!!or am i walking alone.I thank God for His abudant grace that has kept me still standing!!!!!

Love you all.

Keep loving and you will be a success in

this life and you will be proud of yourself!!!

Posted in AA > News and News analysis | 3 Comments »

US Ambassador to Kenya is a threat to the country: Acting like a small king of Kenya.

Posted by African Press International on November 26, 2008

US envoy visits Raila over land

us-ambassador-and-railaUS ambassador Michale Ranneberger and Prime Minister Raila Odinga addressing a press conference. PHOTO/ FILE

By NATION ReporterPostedMonday, November 242008at20:38

US Ambassador Michael Ranneberger on Monday held a closed-door meeting with Prime Minister Raila Odinga, a day after our sister paper, Sunday Nation, reported on a land dispute he was involved in.

The Ambassador arrived at Mr Odingas Parliament office at 3pm but had to wait for 30 minutes as the Premier was in another meeting.

Details of Mr Ranneberger and Mr Odingas meeting, which was also attended by Mrs Deloris Jordan, the mother of a former NBA basketball star, were not made public.

According to the story, the US envoy and Mrs Jordan were reported to be at the centre of a land tussle in which they want the Sh1.2 billion parcel near State House, which was bequeathed to Nairobi City Council by a Lady Northey, allocated to a private organisation for a hospital.

The US Ambassador was reported to have written to President Kibaki on September 12, 2008, requesting that the land, measuring 5.96 acres, be allocated to Nairobi Womens Hospital.

The letter was written a month after Mrs Jordan and Dr Sam Thenya, the hospitals chief executive, had visited the President at his office.

Sources who attended the meeting said the President had asked Dr Thenya and Mrs Jordan to look for alternative land.

The coveted piece of land will reportedly be gazetted soon be as a national monument because of its significance.

__________________

API/Source.nation.ke

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Kenyan MPs will not be taxed, says the MPs in a parliament vote.

Posted by African Press International on November 26, 2008

Parliament votes against taxation

Written By:Daniel Waitere,Posted: Tue, Nov 25, 2008


Parliament Tuesday unanimously passed the finance bill 2008 but minus the clause that would have allowed the taxman to collect money from their fat pay cheques.

Out of the 222 sitting Mps only two Kangundo members, Johnstone Muthama and Ndaragwa Mp Jeremiah Kioni have voluntarily offered to have their allowances taxed.

In one of those rare but predictable moments by the honorable members, the Mps came together to pass the finance bill without the clause that allows for the taxation of their allowances.

Acting Finance Minister John Michuki succeeded in having the Finance bill 2008 passed but not after yielding to members’ persuasion to amend clause 39 of the bill that would have essentially subjected their allowances to taxation.

Michuki tactfully avoided moving the amendment instead letting the chairman of the parliamentary finance committee Chris Okemo to move the controversial amendment that has seen an outpouring of criticisms leveled against Mps for failing to honor their fiscal obligation like the rest of Kenyans.

Earlier during the day members resolved to oppose any move to tax their allowances at a speaker’s Kamukunji held at parliament Old chambers.

Only Kangundo member Johnstone Muthama disowned their resolutions.

Muthama and Ndaragwa legislator Jeremiah Kioni have voluntarily written to the clerk and the speaker of the national assembly directing that their allowances be taxed

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api/SOURCE.KBC.KE

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Update on the Michelle Obama tape, the airing date and the Imam’s birth dacument on Mr Obama

Posted by African Press International on November 25, 2008

Four things had to be done in order to be sure the Michelle Obama tape is aired and the Imam’s document on Mr Obama is delivered to genuine officials without API experiencing the same problems that has obstructed us every time we have chosen the airing date.:

1. To get reliable MBOs who would not give in to demands from those against the release of the tape.

2. The cleaning of this WordPress site so that our enemies do not use the information on the site to attack API in their efforts to discredit the tape.

3. To get a new website that the enemies will not influence. One website owned and paid for by API.

4. Organize to create a reliable link in a new web site to enable trusted readers to link in andlisten to the tape because of their unwavering support the gave to API when the enemies were busy scaling API down to the ground.

Those readers who have followed what we have been doing in the past 4 days do know that we are almost ready to ring the celebration bell.

The Michelle Obama tape seems to have given hope to many Americans who disagree with Mr Obama. This only makes us in API to be even more determined to release it now that we seem to be overcoming the obstacles that were put before us by our enemies who made sure we were shut down three times., leaving us with no Internet site to release information in connection with the tape

Those who were against the release went a long way to block US, but now it is our turn to be the masters. We are finalising our release plan of the tape and the delivering of Imam’s document to the authorities. API has worked hard for a number of days now in closing all the loopholes so that the tape may come out before or by thanksgiving day if nothing dramatic takes place.

The tape release by the MBOs – the two Media Broadcasting Outlets, one in the US and the otherto focus on the Canadians,chosen will do the airing simultaneously. API will arrange a link in the new website www.africanpress.in so thatall registeredreaders may link in and listen to the tape a few hours before the public airing by the MBOs.

The Link in our website will be coded in such a manner that it will not be possible to download without a special code. This is done in order to avoid people downloading and sending it around before the MBOs have aired the tape. The coding system is also meant to keep away the detractors who would like to get the information and distort it before it is aired in full.

After the airing of the tape, the coding will be removed so that all the readers will get the opportunity to download it.

The releasedepends on the completion of our new website and we think we are able to complete and have it ready any time from now. Our detractors will not be able to stop us this time, because we have done our homework well.

During the launching of the new website, API will also transfer this WordPress site to the new web site’s host. Our new host supports WordPress and this makes us happy because we will be able to continue using WordPress templates in our new site where we will get the opportunity to have comment box and other necessary templates.

By Chief Editor Korir

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The story of a Kenyan Bishop who predicted Barack Obama election victory

Posted by African Press International on November 25, 2008

  • By Leo Odera Omolo

To many readers, this story could sound like a fiction, but it is indeed a true report about a Kenyan priest who accurately and precisely prophesied the election victory of the US President-elect two years ago.

Bishop, Dr. Washington Ogonyo Ngede, the head of the powerful church in Kenya made the prediction in August 2006 when the former Illinois Senator visited Kenya. Few people believed him as the time, and even some of his foes described him as a man of seized by pipe dream.

And while addressing a huge congregation outside his ultra-modern Church, located near Nyalenda peri-urban area on the main Kisumu-Nairobi road one afternoon, Bishop Ngede told his audience to the disbelief of many, that he had a dream for them. He had said that God has whispered to him that the then youthful US Senator with the Kenyan family background is destined for much bigger things..

The Bishop earned the wrath of his foes who maintained that his predictions were mere wishful thinking and that an African-American citizen stands no chance of clinching the US presidency in the near future. But the Bishop his ground repeating the same message in his weekly sermons in the church and before huge crowds usually gathering for his open-air crusades.

The prediction came only a few days after Senator Barrack Obama jnr had visited Kisumu City where be and his wife Michelle Obama had gone for an HIV/Aids test and made an extensive tour of his Alego-Kogelo ancestral home. The Bishop was one of the members of the Obama Local Welcome committee.

On the eve of November 3rd and 4th, Bishop Ngede led a team of close to ten Bishops, priests, pastors and clergymen from all denominations of churches who converged at the Kogelo Village home of Mama Sarah Obama, the US President-elect step grand mother and kept night prayers vigil for two consecutive nights until the results of the US Presidential race were announced resulting in Barrack Obama Jnr resounding victory over his rival Sen John MCain.

Highly respected and credited for his spiritual healings, the soft-spoken Kenyan priest said he was looking for funds to enable him and a large number of Kenyan archbishops, bishops, priests and pastors to charter a plane load full of eminent people and high priests from Kenya to attend Obama’s installation ceremony in Washington on January 20,2009.

The Kenyan Bishop had also predicted the election victory of Hon. Raila Amolo Odinga in the highly disputed presidential election results, which resulted in Kenya being engulfed in fire. Following post-election violence between January and March this year. The Bishop still maintains that Raila had won the presidential race against the incumbent President Mwai Kibaki with landslide majority of close to one million votes. But the Prime Minister’s was deliberately robbed of what the Bishop terms as his God’s given victory due to hidden satanic powers of corruption.

He told this writer that his Church headquarters in Kisumu that he was a happy man because all his dreams have come true. He also said that he was very happy that Kenya was now peaceful following the formation of a grand coalition government between the Kibaki’s PNU and Raila Odinga’s ODM parties.

The Bishop predicted that the grand coalition would last until the next election in 2012 despite of some teething problems. We are praying to our Almighty God to bring peace and tranquility and to help our nation heals from the brink of bloody tribal clashes.

Bishop Ngede’s message was that Kenyan politicians should consider themselves a true nationalist and stop preaching destructive parochial and ethnic gospel of hatred. Kenya, he added, is a land of plenty. There is sufficient room for every Kenyan to work hard and prosper. If Kenyans turns to a God-fearing society, which is devoid of political marginalization of those conceived to be political foes. Let our leaders work together. They bshould talks less and work harder; he added.

Born in 1942 at Kawese village in Mayanye sub-location, East Kolwa, Location East Kisumu district, Bishop Ngede took his early education at Kadiju Primary School. He later moved to Rabuor Secondary School.

He joined the then Lonrho East Africa at its subsidiary of Westland Motors as a motor vehicle mechanic and was briefly trained in Tokyo, Japan on how to handle Toyota vehicles. Upon his return he was promoted to supervisory and later joined the management of the same firm.

He and other faithful founded the Power of Jesus Around the world Church in 1964. This is the largest indigenous church with well over 1400 fully paid pastors spread all over East Africa. The church has grown threefold ever since its inception in 1962 attracting thousands of followers in Nyanza and all other parts of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania and even to a far field as the DRC Congo

He was made a full church minister in 1977 after a series of training in theology in the US and Canada. He also attended an advance course at the Advance School of Ministry in Sandiego, Califonia He later underwent further studies at Victory BIBLE college International, Canada and later at the Jackson Ville Theology Seminary in Florida, USA.

In April 1995, Bishop Ngede and his other colleague defused what was considered as a volatile and fluid situation pitting the government of the then President Daniel Arap Moi and members of the radical Luo community. It was heading for head-on coalition between the government and the locals when the Bishop brokered for peace.

In the company of the then Nyanza Provincial Commissioner, the group consisting of ArchBishop Mathews Ajuoga of the Church of Christ.in Africa Anglican Bishop, the Rt. Rev Francis Abiero Mwai and Bishop Joseph Ogutu of St. John Gospel Everlasting Church and others visited Moi at his Kabarak home in Nakuru and discussed wide-ranging issues relevant to peaceful co-existence of all Kenyans.

The visit resulted in the formation of the now defunct Nyanza Church and State Cooperation on Development. This was followed by a series of presidential tours of the hitherto marginalized region. Moi later performed the official opening ceremony of the ultra modern Church of the Power of Jesus Around the World in Kisumu City which was constructed with multimillion dollars..

The Bishop who is very close to the Prime Minister Raila Amolo Odinga is also credited for having brokered peace between the Prime Minister and the retired President Daniel Arap Moi in 1999 and 2000, which resulted in the brief merger between KANU and the NDP into a coalition government before the 2002 general elections.

Speaking to this writer at the weekend, Bishop Ngede said that Obama victory and his eventual accession to the throne of one of the most powerful nation on earth would benefit Africa. Many American tourists, and others who wished to know the President-elect family background would be streaming into the country, and we must be prepared to expect a big influx. Other African nations also stands to benefit.

Bishop Ngede said he would continue praying for peace and tranquility not only for the US and Kenya, but for the whole world so that the mankind can live in peace and harmony.

ENDS

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Male Circumscision to stop HIV – Kenya

Posted by African Press International on November 25, 2008

Male Govt launches male cut as HIV preventive measure

Written By:Catherine Achienga

The Ministry of Health has officially launched voluntary male circumcision as part of its comprehensive national HIV prevention strategy.

One billion shillings has been set aside to facilitate acquisition of materials for the programme over the next two years.

Six districts in Nyanza province have been earmarked to kick start the Programme before it is rolled out to other parts of the country.

Years of simultaneous studies carried out in Uganda, South Africa and Kisumu in Kenya proved male circumcision reduces HIV infection in men by 60%.

The findings are endorsed by the World Health Organization.

The ministry of health on Monday took the bull by the horns and officially endorsed voluntary male circumcision to be integrated as part of its existing prevention programmes by giving national guidelines as well as a launching a clinical manual.

However the ministry is quick to caution against the notion that male circumcision is the answer to the rapid spread of HIV.

In addition family health international has received a 1.5 trillion shillings grant from the Bill Gates Foundation to establish a male circumcision consortium over the next 5 years.

The consortium will be charged to conduct further research and training activities on the safest and most effective ways to provide voluntary male circumcision as a preventive measure to HIV. Adoption of male circumcision as a preventive measure will see Kenya make great strides in its war against the epidemic.

—————

API/Source.kbc.ke

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Kenya’s vice President meets UK Parliamentarians

Posted by African Press International on November 25, 2008

Musyoka meets visiting UK legislators

Written By:VPPS,

Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka says Kenya will make far reaching Constitutional and Electoral reforms to ensure that democratic space is enshrined in the country for generations to come.

Mr. Musyoka said the country will also implement the Truth and Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) Act to help deal with historical injustices and bring about national cohesion.

The Vice President made the remarks on Monday at parliament buildings when he met a delegation of six British legislators of the House of Lords and Commons led by Mr. Nigel Evans of the Conservative Party.

He said the government understands the plight of the Internally Displaced People (IDPs) and every effort is being made to source for resources both locally and internationally to help complete the resettlement process.

On taxation of Members of Parliament, the Vice President said he was working with the MPs to come up to a consensus on how to handle the issue of taxation.

The Vice President acknowledged that MPs are currently being taxed on their basic salary of Ksh 200,000 at the rate of Ksh 53,000 per month and the bone of contention was on taxing their additional allowances.

Mr. Evans said the delegation which is in the country for a week visited the IDPs in Naivasha on Sunday.

He said the British Parliamentarians will continue to dialogue with their Kenyan counterparts to strengthen Democracy and Parliamentary reforms.

Speaking when the delegation visited Jikaze Self Help Group Satellite Camp in Maai-Mahiu, Evan said the UK government will continue to support the Kenyan government in ensuring that all IDPs in the country were resettled.

Evans said the British Parliament will continue to highlight the plight of Kenyan IDPs to the International community to ensure their needs are met.

The IDPs have come together and purchased 17 acres of land at Mai Mahiu using Ksh 35,000 given to them by the government.

Naivasha DC Birik Mohamed said the government in conjunction with other stakeholders was working round the clock to address various issues facing the satellite camps such as lack of water, health and other amenities.

The DC said the influx of IDPs from other parts of the country early this year had put a strain on various sectors including education, water and health in the district.

The IDPs through their spokeswoman Christine Ndinda appealed for more assistance to help them rebuild their lives.

Evans was accompanied by fellow parliamentarians Oanagh Sollivan, Mark Oater, Lord Dhalakia and John Sandwich.

Elsewhere, parliament may soon endorse a draft amendment clause in the standing orders of the house to allocate time for the Prime Minister to respond to member’s queries and issue government statements.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga said the bill which when entrenched into the constitution would compel the parliament to devote a 45 minute time frame for the premier make uninterrupted speech would be tabled on the floor of the house in two weeks time.

Odinga informed a press conference attended by a delegation of visiting Members of parliament from United Kingdom that the bill would entrench the premier’s position in the August house since the reintroduction of the post.

He said the grand coalition government was pursuing a reform agenda on institutional framework towards promotion of good governance and democracies to ensure that historical upheavals were addressed.

He assured the delegation led by conservative House of Commons member Nigel Evans that the long awaited new constitution would be realized next year since the constitution of Kenya Amendment Bill was ready for the exercise.

Odinga said the only hurdle dogging the ratification and subsequent implementation of the partly prepared document was the polarity arising over the choice of a parliamentary system and a presidential system of governance.

The premier said prime areas of concerns that needed consensus among the divergent political schools of thoughts were the devolution of power although the issue was partly resolved after the formation of the grand coalition system.

Odinga expressed confidence that the current administration had made remarkable strides in entrenching radical reforms in the land tenure systems adding that recommendations factored in the Kriegler and Waki reports would be fully implemented.

He said the government was “soon setting up a truth and reconciliation commission to address the historical discrepancies and injustices” that have bedeviled the nation to ensure that tenets of democracy and fairness were upheld.

————

API/Source.kbc.ke

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Obama’s win to boost Kenya’s image: Modi

Posted by African Press International on November 25, 2008

Written By:Claire Wanja/ Rediff India

gujarat20chief_modi
Caption: Modi observed that Kenya was a safe destination for investment

The victory of Democratic nominee Barack Obama will have its impact on Kenya, feels Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Modi, who toured Kenya and Ugandalast week, said at a meeting: “Each and every Kenyan feels Obama belongs to them. This simple feeling can generate tremendous energy to the Kenya society to work even harder, boost conference services and the country’s political image. The feeling of being Kenyan now has a high value and can change the country.”

Asserting that Kenya stood to benefit if it “generated these emotions into a powerful force that will provide a breakthrough for development of Kenyan society,” the Gujarat chief minister said that the two countries could work together to boost small-scale industries, infrastructure development, energy, Information and Communications Technology and mineral exploration.

Modi observed that Kenya was a safe destination for investment and that Business Processing Outsourcing was one of the areas it could partner with India.

…………

API/Source.kbc.ke

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MAJOR SPLIT IN THE EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY IS IN THE OFFING OVER THE PROPOSAL FOR THE FREE MOVEMENT OF PEOPLE AND OTHER ISSUES

Posted by African Press International on November 24, 2008

api-correspondent-leo-odera-omoloNews Analysis By Leo Odera Omolo

A major sharp disagreement and split has emerged between several members states of the East African Community an economic unit bloc bringing together countries like Burundi, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

The split emerged over the issues currently being negotiated under the Common Market for Eastern African region.

The differences pitting Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burindi on one hand and Tanzania on the other.

Four of the EAC countries are now pushing for the fast tracking of amendments to the EACs Treaty that set up the EAC to allow for majority rule to be used in decision-making instead of consensus. As currently provided in the Treaty.

The latest move was sparked off by what is widely seen as Tanzanias double-speak on its commitment to the integration of the EAC as well as the countrys apparent refusal to agree with other partners states on critical provisions of the Draft Common Market Protocol such as free movement of persons, rights of establishment and residence, and permanent residence..

If the Treaty is amended to replace consensus with majority rule in decision making then Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi can move on with integration process even when Tanzania disagree with some decisions.

Tanzania, according to Kenyan participants at the Zanzibar meeting held two weeks ago, is reluctance overe the integration process and this became apparent during the fith round of negotiations on the EAC Common Market held in Zanzibar two weeks ago.

At the meeting Tanzania is reporte by a source among the participants to have consistently opposed nearly all the proposals by the other four member countries that citizens of the EAC countries be allowed to use their respective national identity cards as travel documents in the region instead of passports.

Tanzania is also reported to have told its partner states that it was opposed to the move and flatly refused to allow the inclusion of a clause that would allow East African citizens to acquire, access and use land in any member state.

Tanzanian government representatives had told the meeting in Zanzibar that it was committed to the integration process, but they had asked other partner states to go Slow on the EAC integration process.

The disagreement have forced the Council of Ministers of the EAC to extend the deadline for the conclusion of the integration in the EACs Common Market Protocol from December 2008 to April 2009.

Tanzania is expected to state its position on the bracketed issues by January next year.

Article 7 of the Treaty says that if a country is not ready to continue with the integration process, it can be allowed to pull out and rejoin the bloc later on at its own volation.

During the Zanzibar meeting, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi proposed to retain Article 6[5and6} of the Common Market Protocol as the basis for allowing East African citizens to use their national identity cards to travel within the EAC region.

The four countries argued that acquiring national passports is cumbersome and not easily accessible to the majority of the citizens.

They also argued that since all partner states are obliged to issue national identity cards in line with the Council decision of September 13 2004 and September 28, 2007, these will be available to all community nationals and should be used to facilitate their free movements within the Common Market.

The four nations further argued that the national identity cards will ease movement of people across borders previously used temporary movement permits which they are charged for each crossings sometimes forcing people to engage in illegal border crossings..

However, the Council of Ministers that elevating national identity cards to travel documents will not stop the use of the national of East Africans official passports.

But Tanzania, on it part, vehemently opposed the proposal, saying national identity cards are not internationally recognized as the standard travel documents.

They also argued hat the Treaty under Article 104 {3}[b} provides for partner states to maintain common standard travel documents.

Tanzania further dstated that there was no need to use IDs as travel documents as there already in place an East African passport which is acceopted as a common Market standard travel document in East cAfrica region as a whole.

Sources says Tanzania had stressed that given the size of the country and its porus borders, it could not allow the use of national identity cards as the standard travel documents for the public security.

Kenyans participants also reported that there was a tug-of-war between the four partner states and Tanzania over the clause thast allows citizens to acquire land and reside in any partner states.

These contentious issues are viewed by observerds as posing a serious thgreat to the existence of the EAC.

Ends

leooderaomolo@yahoo.com

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