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Kenya drought: Hundreds of elephants, wildebeests, zebras dead in Kenya amid prolonged drought

Wildlife
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***Hundreds of elephants, wildebeests, and zebras have died across Kenya amid the nation’s longest drought in decades.

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“The Kenya Wildlife Service Rangers, Community Scouts, and Research Teams counted the deaths of 205 elephants, 512 wildebeests, 381 common zebras, 51 buffalos, 49 Grevy’s zebras, and 12 giraffes in the past nine months,” a report released Friday by the country’s Ministry of Tourism said.

“The drought has negatively impacted on the herbivore populations and particularly wildebeest and zebra.”

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Prolonged drought across the Horn of Africa over the past four consecutive rainy seasons has left some 18 million people affected by food shortages in Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya, according to reports from the World Food Programme.

The UN’s World Meteorological Organization said the drought is the region’s longest in four decades.

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In Kenya, back-to-back seasons of below-average rainfall have caused riverbeds to dry up and destroyed grasslands in game reserves, according to the tourism ministry.

“The worst-affected ecosystems are home to some of Kenya’s most-visited national parks, reserves, and conservancies, including the Amboseli, Tsavo, and Laikipia-Samburu areas,” its report said.

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At the launch of the report, Kenya’s Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage Peninah Malonza said steps were being taken to save the lives of animals – including digging boreholes and transporting water to dried-up water pans and dams.

“The drought has caused mortality of wildlife, mostly herbivore species,” Malonza said.

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“The mortalities have arisen because of depletion of food resources as well as water shortages,” she added. According to the ministry, Kenya had just 36,000 elephants left last year.

In an interview with the BBC in July, Kenya’s former cabinet secretary for wildlife and tourism Najib Balala said that climate change now kills 20 times as many elephants as poaching.

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Foreign

School staff locked up child with no food until they started eating their own faeces

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A former Liberty ISD teacher and two instructional assistants have been arrested for allegedly isolating a student with no food until they were forced to eat their own feces and drink their urine.

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Melody LaPointe, 47, of Baytown; Tarah Tinney, 33, of Liberty; and Augusta Costlow, 27, of Liberty, have been charged with four counts of abandoning or endangering a child.

As per court documents, the incident took place at Liberty Independent School District, Texas, in 2021, when the workers placed a pupil in isolation and deprived them of food until they started eating their feces, The Mirror reported.

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The teacher and school assistants had placed a pupil in isolation and deprived them of food until they started eating their faeces and urine, according to court documents.

A school spokesperson said the two teaching assistants were placed on administrative leave whilst police investigated the allegations.

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However, LaPointe had recently been working as a teacher for Bonnie P. Hopper Primary School in Houston, Texas – despite being under investigation.

The primary school sent parents an email on November 17 informing them the teacher had been arrested.

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It said: “In an effort of full transparency, we want to inform our families of an incident that occurred yesterday during dismissal.

Certified French Tutor in Nigeria with Years of Experience – Ms Blessing Akpan

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“A teacher at Bonnie P. Hopper Primary School was arrested yesterday by Liberty County constables.

“The cause for arrest occurred in Liberty County and is not affiliated with Goose Creek CISD in any way.

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“The teacher is currently placed on administrative leave with pay, pending the outcome of an investigation, after which the District will take appropriate disciplinary action.

“As this is a pending legal matter, Goose Creek CISD will allow the legal process to proceed and refrain from further comment.

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“We want to ensure our families that the safety and security of your children is our 1 concern. We thank you for your continuous support of our campus and our district.”

The email led to furious parents questioning why their children were allowed to be taught by LaPointe given an investigation into her conduct at her former school was taking place.

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Amanda Henry, who has a six-year-old daughter at the school, told ABC 13 : “I am scared to send my daughter to school.

“You are supposed to send them there to be protected, and they hire this lady who apparently they did not do an extensive background check on and hurt a child, left this child locked up in a room, having to eat his own faeces and drink his own urine. It’s disturbing.”

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The school tried to reassure parents but failed to address why she was allowed to teach whilst under investigation.

A spokesperson for Goose Creek said: “We immediately reported the matter to law enforcement and CPS, removed the educators who continued to work for us from the classroom, and conducted a comprehensive investigation.

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“Based upon our investigation, we reported the educators to the State Board for Educator Certification and shared our results with law enforcement officials.”

According to LaPointe’s education certificate, she had an investigatory flag on her file, the Texas Education Agency said.

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Adolf Hitler was a demonic figure – Joe Biden

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*Calls out antisemitism after Kanye West’s ‘I like Hitler’ comment

By Francesca Iwambe

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The United States President Joe Biden has called on political leaders to reject antisemitism “wherever it hides”.

He made the call on Twitter, a day after rapper Kanye West went on a tirade praising Adolf Hitler and Nazis.

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Biden wrote in a tweet: “I just want to make a few things clear: The Holocaust happened. Hitler was a demonic figure. And instead of giving it a platform, our political leaders should be calling out and rejecting antisemitism wherever it hides. Silence is complicity.”

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Kate Middleton wears Meghan and Harry’s ‘Montecito mansion on her neck’ at Earthshot Prize ceremony

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By Francesca Iwambe

Kate Middleton looked spectacular as she arrived to attend the Earthshot Prize ceremony in Boston along with husband Prince William.

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The Princess of Wales was spotted wearing a necklace worth more than $15 million at the ceremony.

Reports have it that the dazzling deco choker was gifted to Diana by Queen Elizabeth who inherited it from her grandmother Queen Mary.

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It is pertinent to mention here that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle purchased their Montecito mansion for $14.7 million.

“She’s wearing the Montecito mansion on her neck,” a royal fan quipped.

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Harry and Meghan live in their stunning house which is only a six-minute drive from Oprah’s Promised Land estate.

In mid-June 2020, Meghan and Harry purchased their multimillion-dollar estate in Santa Barbara County for $14.7 million (£12.8m).

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Since stepping back from official duties and making America their home have relocated to a beautiful mansion in Montecito, Santa Barbara where they are raising their two children, Lilibet and Archie.

The Earthshot ceremony where Billie Eilish will lead a lineup including Annie Lennox, Ellie Goulding and the Beyoncé proteges Chloe x Halle performing at the MGM Music Hall in Boston, will bring to a close the Waleses’ first visit to the US in eight years.

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