Internet laws sharpened
Lawmakers have introduced long jail terms for anyone convicted of going online to poke fun at the government or public officials. Under the new law, Internet users face up to 15 years’ imprisonment and US$90,000 fines for a raft of offences including spreading “false news” against or even “caricaturing” government functionaries and politicians. People taking to the Internet to impersonate public officials or to commit any offense already deemed criminal will also fall foul of the new sanctions. “In the recent past, some citizens have waged concerted efforts to pit the people and the security officials against their government,” Information Minister Nana Grey-Johnson told parliament before tabling the bill late on Wednesday. “They do this by inciting the people to engage in unpatriotic behavior, spreading false news and engaging in criminal defamation against government officials. Such tendencies, if unchecked, are a recipe for chaos and instability in any country.”
Tribes urged to spend wisely
Members of Samburu and Masai tribes who received payment from the British government say that the estimated 5,200 Kenyans waiting for compensation from Britain for colonial-era acts of torture should spend the money wisely. Kipise Lourolkeek, one of the more than 220 Masai injured by ordnance and compensated by Britain in 2002, is urging the next beneficiaries to “live humbly.” Lourolkeek, who was paid more than US$211,000, says most of the cash is now gone, lost in part through frequent trips to the bar. Last month Britain announced a settlement to pay US$21.5 million to the 5,200 Kenyans who were found to have been tortured during the colonial era. That is about US$4,100 for each victim, a substantial sum in a country where per capita income is about US$1,800.
Man breaks his eating record
Joey “Jaws” Chestnut devoured 69 hot dogs, breaking his own record to win the traditional Fourth of July Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island for the seventh straight year. With thousands of spectators cheering him on, Chestnut downed the 69 dogs — and their buns — in 10 minutes, improving on his previous personal best of 68. He retained the Mustard Yellow International Belt for a seventh straight year, his title run surpassing that of Japanese speed-eating great Takeru Kobayashi, who won six straight Coney Island crowns before he was beaten by Chestnut in 2007. Matt “Megatoad” Stonie was a distant second, scarfing 51 hot dogs. Sonya Thomas retained the women’s title, downing almost 37 dogs to win by a fraction of a frankfurter. The “Black Widow” of competitive eating could not equal her feat of last year, when she matched her age by consuming 45 hot dogs.