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CNN’s chief international anchor Christiane Amanpour.

  • Some 40 minutes after the interview was scheduled due to start and with Raisi running late, an aide told Amanpour the president had suggested that she wear a head scarf.
  • Amanpour said that she “politely declined.”
  • Amanpour said that she wears a head scarf while reporting in Iran to comply with the local laws and customs.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi withdrew from a long-planned interview with CNN’s chief international anchor Christiane Amanpour at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Wednesday, after she declined a last-minute demand to wear a head scarf.

Some 40 minutes after the interview was scheduled due to start and with Raisi running late, an aide told Amanpour the president had suggested that she wear a head scarf. Amanpour said that she “politely declined.”

Amanpour, who grew up in the Iranian capital Tehran and is a fluent Farsi speaker, said that she wears a head scarf while reporting in Iran to comply with the local laws and customs, “otherwise you couldn’t operate as a journalist.” But she said that she would not cover her head to conduct an interview with an Iranian official outside a country where it is not required.

“Here in New York, or anywhere else outside of Iran, I have never been asked by any Iranian president – and I have interviewed every single one of them since 1995 – either inside or outside of Iran, never been asked to wear a head scarf,” she said on CNN’s “New Day” program Thursday.

“I very politely declined on behalf of myself and CNN, and female journalists everywhere because it is not a requirement.”

Iranian law requires all women to wear a head covering and loose-fitting clothing in public. The rule has been enforced in Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, and it is obligatory for every woman in the country – including tourists, visiting political figures and journalists.

Amanpour said that Raisi’s aide made clear that the interview – which would have been the Iranian president’s first on American soil – would not happen if she did not wear a head scarf. He referred to it as “a matter of respect,” given that it is the holy months of Muharram and Safar, and referred to “the situation in Iran,” alluding to the protests sweeping the country, she added.

Anti-government protests erupted across Iran last week over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in custody, after having been arrested by Iran’s morality police on an accusation of violating the law on head scarves.

Thousands of people have taken to the streets, with some women cutting their hair and burning their hijabs in protest against the law. Human rights groups have reported that at least eight people have been killed in the demonstrations, which have been met with a sharp crackdown by authorities, according to witnesses and videos shared on social media.

The demonstrations appear to be the most large-scale displays of defiance against the Islamic Republic’s rule, one which has become more stringent since the election of Raisi’s hard-line government last year. After eight years of Hassan Rouhani’s moderate administration, Iran elected Raisi, an ultra-conservative judiciary chief whose views are in line with the thinking of the country’s powerful clergy and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

In Iran, the headscarf is a potent symbol of a set of personal rules imposed by the country’s clerical leaders, which govern what people can wear, watch and do. Over the past decade, protests have flared as many Iranians have grown resentful of those limitations.

Amini’s death has fueled an outpouring of long-simmering anger over restrictions on personal freedoms. Surveys and reports in recent years have shown an increasing number of Iranians do not believe the hijab, or head scarf should be mandatory.

Iranian officials have claimed Amini died after suffering a “heart attack” and falling into a coma, but her family have said she had no pre-existing heart condition, according to Emtedad news, an Iranian pro-reform media outlet. Scepticism over the officials’ account of her death has also stoked a public outcry.

CCTV footage released by Iran’s state media showed Mahsa Amini collapsing at a “re-education” center where she was taken by the morality police to receive “guidance” on her attire.

Amanpour had planned to probe Raisi on Amini’s death and the protests, as well as the nuclear deal and Iran’s support for Russia in Ukraine but said that she had to walk away.

“As protests continue in Iran and people are being killed, it would have been an important moment to speak with President Raisi,” she said in a Twitter thread.

CORRUPTION: EACC offices at Integrity Centre Image: FILE

In Summary

• EACC said it treats all reports with the utmost confidentiality and subjects them to a meticulous analysis process

• Corruption cases can be reported at any EACC service desk in any of the huduma centres countrywide.

Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission has directed Kenyans on how to report corruption cases.

In a tweet on Thursday, EACC urged citizens to report all forms of corruption for investigation.

The anti-corruption body stated that one can report a corruption case by visiting EACC headquarters at Integrity Center, any regional office, or any EACC service desk in any of the huduma centres countrywide.

Besides, Kenyans can use an anonymous BKMS reporting system at as an alternative way of reporting corruption. 

The EACC further provided Kenyans with hotline numbers, which are 020271768, 0715007700, 0727285663 and 0733520641, through which one can call and report any case of corruption.












Photo Courtesy The Standard


The United States Justice Department has initiated charges against 47 individuals linked to a Sh30 billion fraud, with federal prosecutors terming it the largest case of Covid-19 pandemic fraud in the U.S.

The 47 are accused of obtaining, misappropriating, and laundering millions of dollars in program funds that were intended as reimbursements for the cost of serving meals to children.

According to the US Justice Department, the defendants exploited changes in the program intended to ensure underserved children received adequate nutrition during the COVID-19 pandemic, but instead of feeding the children, the accused enriched themselves by fraudulently misappropriating millions of dollars in Federal Child Nutrition Program funds. 

The heinous fraud involved anti-hunger programs in Minnesota State, America, during the coronavirus pandemic between 2020 and 2021 where the suspects were billing the state for meals that were never served- through the Federal Child Nutrition Program funds.

Proceeds of the fraud were used to acquire luxury vehicles, jewelry, beach plots and purchase of real estate property in Kenya, Turkey and the United States, and to fund international travels.

“This was a brazen scheme of staggering proportions. These defendants exploited a program designed to provide nutritious food to needy children during the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, they prioritized their own greed, stealing more than a quarter of a billion dollars in federal funds to purchase luxury cars, houses, jewelry, and coastal resort property abroad.” said U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger.

“Today’s indictments describe an egregious plot to steal public funds meant to care for children in need in what amounts to the largest pandemic relief fraud scheme yet,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray.

According to a statement by the US Justice Department, the 47 defendants were charged across six separate indictments and three criminal informations with charges of conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering, and bribery. 

“To carry out the scheme, the defendants also created and submitted false documentation. They submitted fraudulent meal count sheets purporting to document the number of children and meals served at each site. The defendants submitted false invoices purporting to document the purchase of food to be served to children at the sites,” the statement read in part.

The youngest among the 47 inductees is Hamdi Hussein Omar, 26, of St. Paul, Minnesota, who was charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Omar ran the Stigma-Free Waite Park site. This site claimed to have served more than 500,000 meals and received more than $1 million in fraudulent Federal Child Nutrition Program funds.

The investigations were successfully concluded through various multi-agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, and the U.S Postal Inspection Service.

“Exploiting a government program intended to feed children at the time of a national crisis is the epitome of greed. As alleged, the defendants charged in this case chose to enrich themselves at the expense of children. Instead of feeding the future, they chose to steal from the future.” said Special Agent Justin Campbell.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph H. Thompson, Harry M. Jacobs, Chelsea A. Walcker, Matthew S. Ebert, and Joseph S. Teirab for the District of Minnesota are prosecuting the case while assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Baune is handling the seizure and forfeiture of assets. 

The Federal Child Nutrition Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is a federally-funded program designed to provide free meals to children in need. The USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service administers the program throughout the nation by distributing federal funds to state governments. By Mate Tongola, The Standard

President William Ruto when he gave his speech at the 77 UN General Assembly in New York. [Twitter, William Ruto]

President William Ruto reiterated the need for all stakeholders in the health sector globally to unify and end future pandemics and endemics, to avoid a situation like that of 2019. 

In his Wednesday speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, United States, the Kenyan Head of State said the lack of global unity is an impediment to proper implementation of long-term partnerships critical to building resilient health systems across the world. 

Ruto called on governments, state actors, civil society, and the private sector to work together to combat future pandemics and other health crises. 

“The fact of the matter is that the Covid-19 pandemic exposed, for all the world to see, the severe deficit of these critical values in our present multilateral configuration. Global supply chains remained impervious to demand in the Global South generally, and Africa in particular,” he said.

“Unequal access to vaccines underscored this unjust and unequal situation with unforgettable clarity. “Whenever human life, security, and welfare is in jeopardy, it is immoral to administer interventions through frameworks that are anchored on fundamental inequality.”  

He commended Global Fund programs, of which Kenya is a member, for their efforts to combat pandemics such as HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, which he said had and continue to have devastating effects in Africa.

“Kenya calls upon all countries implementing the Global Fund programs, especially fellow African states, to remain at the forefront in championing for successful replenishment of the fund. This way, the mobilisation of much-needed resources is enhanced, bringing us closer to the final elimination of these dangerous diseases,” he added. 

“It is time to work on the trust deficit with a stronger conviction that none of us is really safe until all of us are safe.” By David Njaaga, The Standard

  • Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Council Secretary-General Junet Mohamed addressing the media on Wednesday, April 27, 2022.  AZIMIO TV 
  • The case against Suna East MP Junet Mohammed filed at the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) officially kicked off on Tuesday, September 20.

    The lawmaker and his colleagues allied to former Prime Minister Raila Odinga were sued over comments made in August 2021 implying that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni was operating as a dictator.

    The suit was filed by Ugandan Businessman Paul Bamutaze, who reportedly enjoys strong ties with Museveni's National Resistance Movement (NRM) party which has been in power for 36 years. 

    Lawmakers named in the suit are MPs Junet Mohamed (Suna East), Opiyo Wandayi (Ugunja), Caleb Amisi (Saboti), Jared Okelo, Antony Otieno, Fatuma Abdi and Millie Odhiambo (Suba South). 

    Proceedings at the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) in Arusha on Tuesday, September 20, 2022.
    Proceedings at the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) in Arusha on Tuesday, September 20, 2022. FILE

    The Office of the Attorney General in Kenya was further named respondent in the lawsuit. 

    In court papers, the businessman sought to have the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leaders who were named alongside Mohamed be sanctioned for undermining Uganda's ruling party.

    "Case against ODM MPs utterances against Yoweri Museveni and Muhoozi Kainerugaba kicked off today at the EACJ in Arusha! I wish to retaliate that M7 is an elected Leader and not a dictator as stated by Junet Mohammed and others!

    "We shall protect our President Museveni, NRM party, William Ruto (Kenyan President) and the East African Community against such attacks that derail the advancement towards a Political Federation of the EAC! As the EACJ commences hearing into my Matter against the ODM Party. We pray that justice is served," announced Bamutaze.

    He also argued that their actions put to test the unity between Kenya and Uganda.

    "You don't attack the person of the President of the Republic of Uganda. You don't attack the ruling political because you want to make news.

    "Otherwise, that can turn out to be a serious diplomatic blunder," stated Bamutaze at the time. 

    The fallout stemmed from then Deputy President William Ruto's aborted trip to the neighbouring country and the subsequent uproar after the arrest of a foreign businessman linked to the trip.

    ODM politicians questioned Ruto's relationship with Museveni. They also attacked Museveni's government claiming that it had a wanting reputation on the human rights front.

    Uganda President Yoweri Museveni arriving at JKIA on Tuesday, September 13, 2022
    Uganda President Yoweri Museveni arriving at JKIA on Tuesday, September 13, 2022  TWITTER  EMMANUEL OTIM

    In its response, the NRM Secretary General, Todwong Richard, cautioned the MP and other ODM allies alleging that they insulted and disrespected Museveni, NRM and Uganda's sovereign government and its people. 

    "Honourable Junet, please crosscheck your records so that next time you are better informed as a legislator. Your unfortunate utterances were indeed an indication of possible deep-rooted internal political misunderstandings within your country," read the NRM statement to Junet. By DERRICK OKUBASU, 

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