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Archive for February 22nd, 2012

CBS Amazing Race producer found dead in Uganda

Posted by Administrator on February 22, 2012

A freelance producer for reality TV show The Amazing Race has been found dead in his hotel room in Uganda after what was  suspected to poisoning but now believed to be an overdose on cocaine.

Father-of-two Jeff Rice and his assistant were apparently poisoned after refusing to give up their belongings to local thugs, FoxNews.com reported.

A source told the news site that after refusing to give in to the men, Rice and his female assistant ‘ended up very sick with poisoning of some kind’.

Loss: Production facilitator Jeff Rice (left, pictured with his brother), who worked for TV show The Amazing Race, has died after he was poisoned in UgandaLoss: Production facilitator Jeff Rice (left, pictured with his brother), who worked for TV show The Amazing Race, has died after he was poisoned in Uganda

His wife Sally Blackman added that the woman, whom she did not name, remained in critical condition in hospital.

‘They were not attacked but [evidence] points towards being poisoned,’ she told FoxNews.com.

‘His production assistant was also discovered in a coma and has been hospitalised in Uganda. She has not shown any improvement as yet.’

Uganda police are investigating the incident and no further details are available at this time, she added.

Rice and his assistant were part of a team that helped create challenges across Africa for the CBS show, The Amazing Race.

They were not working on the show at the time of the suspected poisoning, but they had helped with the current season, which hit screens on Sunday.

Success: Rice, with Ghanaian footballer Asamoah Gyan, ran company SB ProductionsSuccess: Rice, with Ghanaian footballer Asamoah Gyan, ran SB Productions

Rice, originally from the United States, had worked in Los Angeles, California for five years before moving to Durban in South Africa.

He married Blackman in 2001 and they went on to have two children, now aged seven and one. He had planned to travel home this week to celebrate his daughter’s second birthday.

‘Jeff was a dedicated father who made the most of his time with his family when back home in South Africa,’ his wife told FoxNews.com.

‘He has left a huge void, not only in the film industry, but with his family he has left behind. We will miss his smiles and constant humor.’

In 1999, Rice and Blackman founded SB Productions, which produces and facilitates films, adverts, documentaries and television shows.

Grief: U.S. adventurer and TV personality Josh Gates expressed his shockGrief: Adventurer and TV personality Josh Gates expressed his shock

Tragedy: Adventurer Josh Gates tweeted a picture of him and Rice. He wrote: 'A photo with Jeff Rice in Madagascar. I can't believe you're gone, buddy'Tragedy: Adventurer Josh Gates tweeted a picture of him and Rice. He wrote: ‘A photo with Jeff Rice in Madagascar. I can’t believe you’re gone, buddy’

Its website describes Rice as ‘the ideas man… His mind is always churning’.

‘Jeff has an incredible calm nature and a wicked sense of humour,’ it writes. ‘Having played baseball as a kid, he is always ready for the next curve ball. Jeff has the knack for putting together great teams.’

Enlarge Creative: His company website describes Rice as 'the ideas man' Creative: His company website describes Rice as ‘the ideas man’

He also ran the production company Maverick Entertainment, which had employed the assistant.

His wife said it had been his intention for the company to work throughout Africa.

‘He loved the African people and was driven to share in all the various cultures,’ she said.

Among other projects, Rice worked on Animal Planet’s Whale Wars and the South African version of The Biggest Loser.

As a facilitator, Rice would have been hired by the production company to make arrangements with local officials before teams arrived for filming.

Friends of the late producer flocked to Twitter to express their shock at his untimely death.

American TV personality and adventurer Josh Gates wrote: ‘Floored by the loss of my dear friend and adventurer, Jeff Rice. You were, quite simply, the real deal. I’ll never forget you.’

Gates tweeted a picture of the two men, writing: ‘A photo with Jeff Rice in Madagascar. I can’t believe you’re gone, buddy.’

Work: Rice helped producers on The Amazing Race, which follows teams as they travel around the world for a prize of $1 million. He worked on its latest seasonWork: Rice helped producers on The Amazing Race, which follows teams as they travel around the world for a prize of $1 million. He worked on its latest season

Rex Williams, from Syfy’s Destination Truth, wrote: ‘Lost my great friend, Jeff Rice. I can’t tell you how saddened we are. He was a true adventurer.’

The Amazing Race, which first aired in 2001 and is in its 20th season, shows teams of two racing around the world for a prize of $1 million.

This season of the show, which garners some of the network’s biggest ratings, features teams racing across five continents and 22 cities.

The show’s production company, Jerry Bruckheimer Films, had ‘no knowledge’ of the incident. CBS did not comment on Rice’s death.

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2104604/American-producer-hit-CBS-reality-Amazing-Race-poisoned-death-Africa-gang-local-thugs-confrontation.html

RELATED STORY: Jeff Rice Autopsy: Amazing Race Freelancer Had Cocaine in His System, Blood Coming From Nose


Posted in Africa | 4 Comments »

Kenyan leaders pay tribute to Michuki

Posted by Administrator on February 22, 2012

The Late Cabinet Minister John Michuki

Kenyan leaders have mourned Environment minister John Michuki who died of a heart attack aged 80 Tuesday night.

President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga paid tribute to the Kangema MP, who died at the Intensive Care Unit of the Heart and Cancer centre of the Aga Khan Hospital, Nairobi.(READ: Michuki dies at 80.)

“It is with deep sorrow and regret that I announce the death of the Hon John Michuki, a dear friend, colleague and patriot,” said President Kibaki.

“The Hon Michuki will be remembered as a focused public servant, determined businessman and issue oriented politician. He was a true family friend and a dependable ally.”

Mr Odinga said he was saddened by the untimely news of Mr Michuki’s death.

“I have received news of Hon John Njoroge Michuki’s death with great sorrow and pain. I knew the late cabinet minister was struggling with health problems, but I always believed he would prevail.

“In fact, Hon Michuki’s strong personality and will left little doubt that he would survive,” said the PM in a statement.

“That did not come to pass. In the minister’s death, Kenya has lost a hard working leader and citizen who was willing to give everything for the dignity of our country and our people.”

The PM praised Mr Michuki’s performance during stints as Transport and Environment minister.

“While so much has been said about the late Minister’s brave attempt to sanitize our public transport sector, Michuki achieved equally impressive results as Minister for Environment.

“He fought hard to conserve our rivers, lakes and forests. The results are there for those willing to see,” said Mr Odinga.

Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka said Mr Michuki was “a devoted public servant”.

“John Stanley Michuki will be remembered as a great politician, patriot, astute businessman and a devoted public servant,” said Mr Musyoka in a condolence message posted on Twitter.

“My prayer and sympathy to Hon. Michuki’s family as they face this heavy loss. This is a great loss to Kenya.”

In Parliament, MPs took turns to praise Mr Michuki saying he was a hardworking minister and an able representative of the Kangema people.

Deputy Speaker Farah Maalim delivered the sad news of the minister’s death to the MPs.

Mr Maalim said Mr Michuki, whose career in politics spanned almost 30 years, was a stickler to the rule of law in the delivery of service to the citizens.

“He leaves a legacy of hardwork and firmness in his discharge of duty,” said Mr Maalim.

The Deputy Speaker noted “the restoration of the Nairobi River where many pessimists believed it would never be realised and a no nonsense approach to security issues” as part of Mr Michuki’s successes in service delivery.

“In Parliament, he will be remembered as a stickler to Parliamentary rules and procedures and he would always rise on a point of order to seek the Chair intervention, whenever he believed that the provisions of the Standing Orders were being breached,” said Mr Maalim.

“We will miss him in Cabinet,” said Special Programmes minister Esther Murugi. Her Higher Education counterpart Margaret Kamar described Mr Michuki as “very thorough”.

“He is one of the politicians I respected most,” mourned nominated MP Millie Odhiambo.

The chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, which audits the spending of public money in government ministries, Dr Boni Khalwale, said his committee had never found any malpractice in the books of accounts of the ministries under Mr Michuki.

“If there’s one thing that we can learn from the minister is that it is possible to make it in life without doing it through corrupt means,” said Dr Khalwale.

Lands minister James Orengo, Mrs Murugi, Agriculture minister Sally Kosgei all mentioned courage, single-mindedness and forthrightness as some of the attributes with which Mr Michuki executed his work.

Nominated MP Amina Abdalla too revealed that she joked with “Uncle Mich” and that the minister kept on reminding her to “tell young people not to look for shortcuts”.

“If he gave you an appointment for ten o’clock and you showed up at ten-fifteen, he turned you down. And he’d tell you that the reason why he won’t see you was because time was a resource,” said Ms Abdalla.

Dr Kosgei, who once served as the Head of Civil Service and secretary of the Cabinet in the previous government, termed Mr Michuki as a “candid” person, who worked hard, during his time at the civil service back in the 1960s and 1970s.

“If you wanted a honest opinion, he’s the one you’d ask. He gave his support candidly and willingly. May God rest his soul in peace,” said Dr Kosgei.

Internal Security assistant minister Orwa Ojodeh added: “He was a man who says ‘no’ for a ‘no’. He’s not a sycophant of anybody. This (was) the man! “

The Deputy Leader of Government Business in the House Amos Kimunya said Mr Michuki was his political mentor: “It doesn’t matter whether the decision you take is right or wrong. What matters is that you must take a decision”.

Ms Martha Karua (Gichugu) also revealed that while her relationship with the minister had gone sour, she still held Mr Michuki as a hero.

“Although we started as allies, towards the end, we were not great political friends. Nevertheless, I want to recognise him as a great Kenyan,” Ms Karua told Parliament.

Others who eulogised the minister were MPs Aden Duale (Dujis), Abdi Nuh (Bura), Maina Kamau (Kandara), Emilio Kathuri (Manyatta), Chris Obure (Bobasi), Charles Kilonzo (Yatta) and among others.


Posted in Kenya | 1 Comment »

Feds to check immigration status of people arrested in Baltimore city

Posted by Administrator on February 22, 2012


A controversial program that lets U.S. immigration officials check the citizenship status of people who have been arrested is being expanded to include Baltimore despite objections from Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and immigrant advocates.

The Secure Communities program, which began in 2008 and is being phased in nationwide, lets federal immigration officials review fingerprints collected when people are booked. The review will start in Baltimore and Montgomery County on Wednesday, according to a Department of Homeland Security letter obtained by The Baltimore Sun.

The decision prompted an outcry from some local officials, who have little control over the process and complained about a lack of notification from the federal government. Immigrant advocates and officials in other states have argued that the program hurts the relationship between Hispanic communities and police, making it harder to solve crimes in those neighborhoods.

The move comes as Rawlings-Blake has made it a priority to increase the city’s population by 22,000 people — or 3.5 percent — over a decade, in part by courting foreign-born residents.

“I am extremely disheartened by this recent decision to implement the program in Baltimore and the manner in which it is being carried out,” Rawlings-Blake wrote in a recent letter to Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton.

Supporters counter that it is reasonable to check the residency status of someone arrested for a crime, particularly given the Obama administration’s focus on deporting illegal aliens accused of committing other crimes.

State Del. Pat McDonough, a Baltimore County Republican who supports the Secure Communities program, said it has value in addition to identifying illegal immigrants. “A number of offenders have been released on bail and fled,” he said, adding that under the program, they would instead be turned over to immigration officials. “It’s a victory for public safety and it’s a victory for victims.”

In a statement, Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the program “has demonstrated its effectiveness in transforming immigration enforcement to a focus on criminal offenders” and that in two years time it has “dramatically increased the removal of convicted criminals.”

Because the change involves sharing of information between two federal agencies, local officials and those arrested will notice no difference when the program takes effect. Local jail officials already send fingerprints to the FBI. Under the program, the FBI transmits those fingerprints to Homeland Security, which checks them against its own database.

Local Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials are notified if something looks awry in that check.

Baltimore’s Central Booking and Intake Center is run by the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. A spokesman, Mark Vernarelli, confirmed the state agency received notification of the change from the Homeland Security Department, but said it “doesn’t change anything that we do.”

Anthony Guglielmi, a spokesman for the Baltimore Police Department, said, “It’ll be business as usual.”

The effort, already under way in other Maryland counties, has resulted in 162,940 deportations nationwide and 670 from the state since 2008, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement data. The agency expects to have every jurisdiction in the nation under the program by the end of 2013.

Immigrant advocates such as Casa de Maryland say the program is frequently scooping up for deportation illegal immigrants who have committed only minor offenses. In Maryland, 25 percent of those deported were convicted of felonies, according to the government data.

The rest had misdemeanor records, overstayed a visa or disobeyed a previous deportation order.

“There are millions of children in the United States right now — many of whom are citizens — who are at risk of becoming orphans” because of the program, said Casa de Maryland’s organizing director, Gustavo Andrade.

Casa de Maryland will hold a series of events Wednesday to “call on our leaders here in Maryland to try to do everything in their power to mitigate the terrible effects,” Andrade said.

The federal program began under President George W. Bush but has expanded under President Barack Obama. The expansion comes at the same time that the Obama White House has given immigration prosecutors more latitude to suspend deportation cases in situations where an illegal immigrant has not committed a crime and has a strong connection to the community.

Baltimore was one of two pilot cities in which prosecutors conducted an expedited review of backlogged immigration cases to determine which could be suspended.

The Secure Communities program has met with resistance in other states. New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, said last year that he was withdrawing from the program, but federal officials insist that participation is mandatory.

People arrested in Prince George’s County have been reviewed under the program since 2009. Scott Peterson, a spokesman for County Executive Rushern L. Baker III, said it “has been a controversial program in the county and the Baker administration has continued to [study] our legal options.”

In Baltimore, Rawlings-Blake met with ICE officials last year to “express our concerns about the program and how it would impact Baltimore’s immigrant communities” and wrote in the letter that she had been assured the agency would not begin implementation before holding discussions with local immigrant groups.

The mayor said she was taken by surprise when a “junior staff member” received an e-mail last week notifying the city of the decision to start the program on Wednesday.

“We recognize that the City of Baltimore plays no role in the implementation of the program,” she wrote, “and I have no control over ICE’s actions.”

Source: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/breaking/bs-md-secure-communities-20120221,0,5685656.story?page=2

Posted in Immigration | Comments Off on Feds to check immigration status of people arrested in Baltimore city

Video: Kenya Airways unveils new Cargo plane

Posted by Administrator on February 22, 2012

Posted in Kenya | Comments Off on Video: Kenya Airways unveils new Cargo plane

The Diaspora Vote

Posted by Administrator on February 22, 2012

The controversial issue of whether it is practically possible for a majority of Kenyans living abroad to cast their votes in the coming general election. Well, the independent electoral and boundaries commission has set up a team to draft a policy guideline on Diaspora voting, but experts warn that while indeed it is possible to make the Diaspora vote count in the election, the process is fraught with many challenges which must be surmounted. Alex Chamwada takes a look at the challenges ahead.

Posted in Diaspora News | Comments Off on The Diaspora Vote

Shuga: Love, Sex, Money – Season 2- Episode 1,2, 3 ,4 and 5

Posted by Administrator on February 22, 2012

UNICEF highlighted a recent collaboration with MTV with a screening of ‘Shuga’, a three-part TV drama about a group of young friends living in Nairobi,Kenya. As they explore the complexities of love, the characters confront the risk of HIV infection – and learn that a positive test result for the virus is not a death sentence.

MTV produced the programme in collaboration with UNICEF and other partners, including the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR.

The series shows how some kinds of behaviour – including sexual involvement with multiple partners, sexual exploitation and alcohol abuse – can make young people more vulnerable to HIV.

During a panel discussion, PEPFAR Senior HIV/AIDS Prevention Advisor Tijuana A. James-Traore noted the programme’s power to speak effectively to young viewers.

The story so far…

In 2009, MTV along with PEPFAR and UNICEF launched Shuga – a hard-hitting drama that followed the lives, loves and ambitions of a group of young people whose bright lives and fabulous futures are balanced on a knife edge due to their love of living dangerously.

Shuga was a huge success inKenya– with 64% of young people inNairobihaving seen the show. Shuga was applauded for the ‘real’ way issues like sex, relationships and HIV were tackled in the show.

As a result of the success of Shuga, the second series was announced at the International AIDS Conference in 2011…

Introducing Shuga: Love, Sex, Money

So here we are with Shuga: Love, Sex, Money – the sequel to Shuga. Not only is this series longer, with 6 episodes rather than 3, – but there is so much more to it. Filmed on location in Nairobi, Kenya, Shuga season two is named Shuga: Love, Sex, Money. It tells the story of the key themes across three chapters:

Shuga Love: The story of multi-concurrent relationships, condom use and couple testing

Shuga Sex: The story of rape, alcohol as a risk factor, prevention with positives and condom use.

Shuga Money: The story of transactional sex, self esteem, good parent child communication and the transition between the rural area and the city.

But there is so much more going on this time around. Check out our run down of all of the elements of the Shuga campaign and where you can find out more about it:

Shuga Drama Series: The show Shuga: Love, Sex, Money will be hitting screens on February 14th and from then you will be able to access each episode in our Media section.

The Wrap Up Show: In addition to the 6 episodes above, we will also be broadcasting a final wrap-up episode entitled “That Shuga Moment”, which will bring together experts, cast and young people to talk about the issues tackled in the show. For a rundown of what to expect – check out our That Shuga Moment page.

Shuga Radio: To reach an even broader audience, we will also be producing a radio series. Introducing a whole new cast of characters and set in a small town, Shuga Radio will dig a little deeper into the issues that are explored in the TV show. You will be able to download and listen to each episode of Shuga Radio in English, French or kiSwahili in our Media section.

The Shuga Blog: That’s right – you already know about it, (you’re on it!) but the official Shuga: Love, Sex, Money blog is a place for the Shuga fans to keep up to date with all things Shuga – whether it is more information on the issues, BTS pictures or even opinion pieces from our Rising Stars – the Shuga Blog is where it’s at.

Shuga Social Media: In addition to the Shuga Blog, one of the key elements of Shuga: Love, Sex, Money is social media from our Facebook page, our Twitter or Vimeo channel– these platforms are the place to go to be part of the Shuga conversation and you never know – you might end up either winning a competition or featuring in one of our blog posts!

Rising Stars Mentees: The Rising Stars have been absolutely key to the Shuga campaign this year. Recruited as bright young talent fromKenya, the 11 Rising Stars beat over 500 applicants to roles ranging from working on set during the Shuga production to being part of the street team, or working with our partners in Public Health. Make no mistake – the Rising Stars have each been linked up with experts relevant to their role to help carve out a career for them in the future.






Posted in Kenya | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

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