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At least 52 dead in Brazil prison riot

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By AFP
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At least 52 inmates were killed in a prison riot in northern Brazil on Monday as rival gang factions fought each other, an official said.

Sixteen of the dead were decapitated in the second major eruption of violence to rock the country’s severely overpopulated and deadly prison system in as many months.

Fighting broke out in the Altamira Regional Recovery Center at around 7:00 am (1000 GMT), an official from the Para state government’s penitentiary department told AFP.
Two guards were taken hostage during the clashes that ended at around midday. They were eventually freed.

Footage broadcast by SBT Altamira purportedly showed thick black smoke rising from the prison compound and people sitting on the roof of a building.

In May, at least 55 prisoners were killed in several jails in the neighbouring state of Amazonas in violence also blamed on an apparent gang dispute.

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Most of the victims were killed by asphyxiation, the state government said at the time.

The federal government dispatched reinforcements to boost security in the jails.

Brazil has the world’s third largest prison population after the United States and China, with 726,712 inmates as of June 2016, according to official statistics.

The population is double the capacity of the nation’s jails, which in the same year was estimated to be 368,049 inmates.

The federal government had been expected to add another 115,000 inmates by the end of 2018, Human Rights Watch said in a recent report.

Along with severe overcrowding and gang violence, riots and breakout attempts in Brazil’s prisons are not uncommon.

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Nairobi and Coast counties isolated : The Standard

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President Uhuru Kenyatta when he made an address on enhanced measures in response to the Covid-19 pandemic at State House, Nairobi on April, 6 2020.

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s order stopping movement into and out of Nairobi has effectively banned upcountry travel and disrupted domestic flights.

It has also locked out individuals who work in the city but live outside the mapped metropolitan area from their places of work or business.
The operations of the Standard Gauge Railway commuter train, long distance bus companies and shuttles that either start or end their journey in Nairobi will be disrupted following the order of a 21-day cessation of movement into and out of Nairobi, where the first Covid-19 case was confirmed. The capital city has since recorded the highest number of the 158 coronavirus infections.
The ban that applies to boundary within the Nairobi Metropolitan Area came into force yesterday at 7pm, affecting travellers who were either already enroute to Nairobi or planning to depart from various city bus stations for upcountry.
SEE ALSO: China virus cases spike, 17 new infections reportedIt implies that travellers who were on transit to either Nairobi or upcountry for business or work-related assignments – and were able to beat the curfew – had the options of either cutting short their journey, or proceeding but being forced to stay at their destinations for the next three weeks.
Nairobi is a major circuit for most local flights, meaning airline companies will have to suspend a big chunk of their operations during the restriction period, and only continue with flights to towns not affected by the directive.
MPs who are set to attend the National Assembly special sitting tomorrow to discuss tax measures announced by President Kenyatta but were still in their constituencies by last evening will also be locked out unless they secure an exemption.
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A similar restriction to movement will be enforced in Kilifi, Kwale and Mombasa – which have also recorded coronavirus infections – but the ban will be enforced from tomorrow at 7pm.
The nationwide 7pm to 5am curfew remains in force.
SEE ALSO: China confirms virus spreading between humansHowever, the movement of food supplies and other cargo will continue as normal during the declared containment period through road, railway and air.
According to the order, the Nairobi Metropolitan Area includes Nairobi City County; part of Kiambu County up to the Chania River bridge (Thika); Machakos County up to Athi River and including Katani; and part of Kajiado County including Kitengela, Kiserian, Ongata Rongai and Ngong Town.
No passenger train
There are hundreds of employees and businesspeople who reside outside the defined area but commute to the capital city every morning. The order implies that they will now have to work from home from this morning, or take work leave for the next 21 days.
Already, Kenya Railways Managing Director Philip Mainga has announced the suspension of SGR passenger trains. Operations of two Madaraka Express trains that operated daily at 10.30 am were consequently suspended.
SEE ALSO: Factbox: What we know about the new coronavirus spreading in China and beyondMr Maingi, however, said cargo freights will continue operating uninterrupted, as will Nairobi Commuter rail services to Ruiri, Embakasi, Syokimau and Kikuyu stations under revised timings to cater for the hours of the curfew.
Uhuru made the cessation of movement orders as he announced an additional 16 new infections and two deaths. So far, 158 people have been infected with Covid-19, and six have lost their lives to the viral disease that has become a global pandemic.
The president said the additional restrictions, as uncomfortable as they are, are necessary following the trend that has been noted by the Ministry of Health that the four affected counties are high-risk areas.
Of the 158 cases, he said, 82 per cent are residents of Nairobi, while 14 per cent are from Kilifi, Kwale and Mombasa. The president warned the pandemic is likely to continue spreading with lethal effect if drastic action is not taken.
“There is a choice we were asked to make as a government and as a people: to carry on as normal or to treat this like the extraordinary emergency it is and to fundamentally change how we act,” he said.
SEE ALSO: Travelers to be screened for ‘Chinese’ coronavirus- GovernmentUhuru said in issuing the additional measures, he is well aware of the inconvenience it will cause Kenyans.
“However, not doing it will lead to even greater suffering for the people of Kenya,” he said.
The movement of cargo, as per the previous order that effected the ongoing 7pm to 5am curfew countrywide, is still allowed, but with additional adjustments.
“Any cargo-carrying vehicle or vessel shall be charged to a single driver and designated assistants, all of whom shall be designated as such in writing by the owner and operator of the said vehicle or vessel reference to that vehicle or vessel,” said Uhuru.
He added that despite the restrictions that limit the number of hours spent on building the economy, traders and farmers of fresh produce should continue with their activities to ensure continued supply.
“No one should be denied the ability to carry on with legal trade within the boundaries of the protocols set out by the Ministry of Health,” the president said.
Unforgiving virus
Uhuru noted that while a majority of those who get Covid-19 recover without showing severe symptoms, they can still spread the disease to large numbers of people, leading to unprecedented pressure on already scarce medical facilities and causing an unimaginable loss of lives.
“The virus is unforgiving, and its rate of growth, if not arrested, is exponential,” he said. “I will, therefore, go to any lawful length to respond to this pandemic.”
Uhuru said governments around the world have gone to extra lengths to contain the virus and flatten the curve. He added that wearing a mask whenever one is out in public is now necessary, and to take precautions not to expose anyone who is as old as he is – 58 – or with underlying medical conditions.
“There are thousands of tailors all over the country who will also look to make masks. The Ministry of Health, Ministry of Industry and Trade should ensure that these tailors are provided with the right materials and proper ways of piecing the face masks,” he said.
The president further assured Kenyans that his administration is doing everything in its power to cushion Kenyans from the harsh realities that would come with the changes. Apart from Sh10 billion earlier approved to be disbursed to the elderly and orphans, he said collective management organisation will this week distribute Sh200 million to artistes and performers.
He directed the Ministry of Sports and Culture to disburse Sh100 million to actors, musicians and artists.

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County demolishes structures on road reserves : The Standard

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The Nyamira County Government has started demolishing buildings constructed on road reserves in Keroka town.
Over the past two weeks, the county has demolished premises housing more than 2,000 people.
The county’s bulldozer caused a scare in a private hospital housed in one of the targeted buildings, prompting an evacuation of patients.
The proprietor of the building, George Nyariki, said the demolition was done without any notice.
Several other investors in the town, whose premises have been flattened within the past 14 days, shared similar sentiments.
“The county just woke up and decided to render us homeless without any legal notice,” said Daniel Osoro, a trader whose hardware business was destroyed.
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The County’s Public Works and Transport Executive John Omanwa, however, said the people affected had been notified earlier and that the demolitions were long overdue to clear up space and decongest the town.
“Owners of affected buildings knew all along that they have been sitting on public land. We were human enough to give them notices which they ignored,” Omanwa said.
While the investors are blaming the county for frustrating them at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, Omanwa insists that the demolitions were urgent and necessary to free up space.

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Rarieda MP comes to aid of residents : The Standard

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Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo has bought Sh1.8 million worth of maize to be distributed among the less-privileged members of his constituency.
Mr Amollo said the maize would help mitigate the effects of coronavirus on his constituents.
The beneficiaries included orphans, elderly persons, widows, widowers, the disabled and other vulnerable groups.
“There is no longer market days and all market activities have been seriously minimised in Rarieda sub-county due to the outbreak of coronavirus. Those who depend on sale of goods are already feeling the pinch”, said Amollo.
County officials have closed markets in the area to contain the spread the pandemic.
The MP said that he found out that most homesteads in Rarieda had resorted to food rationing, with many people already going without meals due to food shortage.
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“Many children go without breakfast while some are already on a single meal a day,” he said.
The legislator said he had personally been monitoring the food situation in the constituency for the last six months and noticed that the corona menace had worsened the situation.
“l decided not to take a pay cut, but instead used the equivalent of my two-month salary to provide a stop-gap measure to cushion the vulnerable groups in my constituency,” he said.
The distribution of the maize is still going on and is being coordinated by Rarieda Constituency Development Fund chairman Paul Saoke, who is also the convener of Siaya Professionals Caucus.

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