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Kenyan refugees or con artists? Carmelite sisters give $800,000 to couple

Kenyan refugees or con artists? Carmelite sisters give $800,000 to couple

Kenyan refugees or con artists? Carmelite sisters give $800,000 to couple

By Steve Schmadeke | Tribune reporter

March 19, 2009

A married Near North Side couple claiming to be Kenyan refugees whose lives were in danger managed to scam more than $800,000 from an order of Carmelite sisters in Wisconsin, federal agents allege.

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Angela Purity Martin-Mulu, 35, and Edward Bosire, 39, also took nearly $20,000 from a Carmelite monastery in Des Plaines, according to an FBI affidavit filed in Milwaukee.

The two are being held in the federal lockup in Chicago on a mail fraud charge and are due in court in Chicago on Friday. They are awaiting a hearing on facing the charges in Milwaukee.

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The husband-and-wife team posed as brother and sister, accepting meals, gas for their car, cash and other aid even though one Illinois bank account held by Martin-Mulu registered $582,831 in deposits from 2003 to 2008, according to the affidavit. At least $24,000 was spent in casinos.

“You feel like you’ve been stepped on,” said Mother Marie Andre, superior at the Carmelite monastery in Des Plaines. The two were apparently targeting Carmelite ministries—Martin-Mulu had a national list of them in her purse when she was detained by security at the Empress Casino in Joliet last year, according to the FBI.

Andre said the two sat in her office, at times sobbing as they told hard-luck stories involving insurance problems, auto repairs and other pressing expenses. As they did in Wisconsin, they said their father was a high-ranking Kenyan official whose life was in danger and they had fled illegally to the U.S., she said.

They said they would face certain death if deported. The FBI determined that the two were in the U.S. legally.

Martin-Mulu and Bosire arrived at the Carmelite monastery in Pewaukee, Wis., in late 2004 and began receiving help shortly after. The couple received checks to pay for treatments for medical conditions Martin-Mulu alleged they had, such as pneumonia, malaria and tuberculosis. There was no record of such care at Northwestern Memorial Hospital or a Wisconsin hospital where the two said they were treated, according to the FBI.

There also was no record they attended Roosevelt University, even though they had sought money from the monastery for tuition and fees.




Dutchess County Kenyans proud of ties to Obama


By Jenny Lee-Adrian • Poughkeepsie Journal
January 19, 2009


From left, Connie Orende, Charles A. Owuor, Domtila Achola, Joseph O.S. Akumu and Margaret Ayuko are from the Luo tribe, the same tribe as President-elect Barack Obama’s father. (Darryl Bautista/ Poughkeepsie Journal)
Watching President-elect Barack Obama being sworn in on Tuesday will be a dream fulfilled for a group of native Kenyans from Dutchess County.
“I see him as a great achievement to our community, to our people and to the whole world,” said Margaret Ayuko, a Town of Poughkeepsie resident from the city of Kisumu in Kenya. “He is the dream of the American people come true.”
Ayuko, along with Joseph O.S. Akumu, of Hopewell Junction; Connie Orende, of the City of Poughkeepsie; Domtila Achola, of Hyde Park; and Charles A. Owuor, of the Town of Poughkeepsie, were all born into the Luo tribe – the tribe of Obama’s father, Barack Hussein Obama Sr. Not surprisingly they all voted for Obama. And now they all have tickets to the Inaugural Ceremony.
They and many other native Kenyans living in the valley will head to Washington.
“For us Kenyans, who are here, Luos, to be sitting back and watching over the TV, it won’t be good for us, so we have to be part of the arrangement,” Akumu said. “We understand very well Obama is an American president, not a Kenyan president, but is a Kenyan son by virtue of birth. Every Kenyan is excited to go to the inauguration.”
Akumu and his friends were ecstatic when Obama won the election.
“When the election was announced, people were engaged in elation,” Akumu said. “Some people were tongue-tied. Some people cried. Some people couldn’t believe until the following day … but all in all, it was the dream of everybody,” he said.
Victory viewed as motivator
Achola felt the election of an African-American president would motivate people to accomplish their goals.
“It was an inspiration, mostly to the young,” Achola said. “It showed them you can become whatever you want, so long as you work towards it.”
Seeing a person of Kenyan descent become the president of the United States holds a lot of meaning for Orende.
“Another thing that makes this very special for me is he stands for what I believe in,” Orende said.
Orende met Barack Obama’s paternal grandmother, Sarah Hussein Onyango Obama, who lives in the Nyang’oma Kogelo village in the Siaya District. Orende is from that district.
Although Sarah Obama is the third wife of Barack Obama’s paternal grandfather and not a blood relation, the president-elect calls her “granny.”
“She’s very down-to-earth,” said Orende, who met Sarah Obama for the first time in November. “You get in, and it’s like she knows you from before.”
“For us as Kenyans to go and witness the 44th president being sworn in, that’s very exciting,” Ayuko said. “I believe Obama is an inspiration not just to the American people, I think he is an inspiration to the whole world.”
Source- poughkeepsiejournal



Kenyan researcher makes world discovery
Tue, Oct 14, 2008
A Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology- JKUAT staffer now studying for his post doctorate at the London Centre for Nanotechnology at the University College London (UCL) has hit world media headlines for developing ultra-sensitive probes capable of providing new insight into how antibiotics work, paving the way for the development of more effective drugs.
According to this week’s Nature Nanotechnology Journal released on Sunday (October 12) it was revealed how scientists from the London Centre and the Kenyan Dr. Joseph Ndieyira Wafula used a novel nanomechanical approach to investigate the workings of vancomycin, one of the few antibiotics that can be used to combat increasingly resistant infections such as MRSA.
The researchers were led by Dr. Rachel McKendry and Professor Gabriel Aeppli from the University College London. The Nanotechnology which boosts war on superbugs was highly publicized by the BBC and other UK media, according to Dr. McKendry.
During the study, Dr. Wafula and coworkers used cantilever arrays – tiny levers no wider than a human hair to examine the process which ordinarily takes place in the body when vancomycin binds itself to the surface of the bacteria.
The researchers coated the cantilever array with mucopeptides from bacterial cell walls and found that as the antibiotic attaches itself, it generates a surface stress on the bacteria which can be detected by a tiny bending of the levers.
The team suggests that this stress contributes to the disruption of the cell walls and the breakdown of the bacteria.
The interdisciplinary team further compared how vancomycin interacts with both non-resistant and resistant strains of bacteria.
The ‘superbugs’ are resistant to antibiotics because of a simple mutation which deletes a single hydrogen bond from the structure of their cell walls.
This small change makes it approximately 1,000 times harder for the antibiotic to attach itself to the bug, leaving it much less able to disrupt the cells’ structure, and therefore therapeutically ineffective.
“There has been an alarming growth in antibiotic-resistant hospital ‘superbugs’ such as MRSA and vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE),” said Dr. McKendry.
“This is a major global health problem and is driving the development of new technologies to investigate antibiotics and how they work.”
According to the UK Health Protection Agency, last year there were around 7000 cases of MRSA and more than a thousand cases of VRE in England alone.
Dr. Wafula says, “In recent decades the introduction of new antibiotics has slowed to atrickle but without effective new drugs the number of these fatal infections will increase. This work demonstrates the effectiveness of silicon-based cantilevers and will inject new life into the search for new antibiotics and accelerated drug discovery”.
The research was funded by the UK EPSRC (Speculative Engineering Programme), the IRC in Nanotechnology (Cambridge, UCL and Bristol), the Royal Society and the BBSRC.

A Kenyan wins Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Sports Reporter


Kenneth Mungara of Kenya celebrates as he crosses the line Sept. 28, 2008 in a winning time of two hours, 11 minutes.

In the minutes before leaving their hotel to start the Toronto Waterfront Marathon, a group of elite Ethiopian runners watched online as their compatriot, legendary distance runner Haile Gebreselassie, sliced 27 seconds off his marathon world record in Berlin.
A few hours later Mulu Seboka had a record of her own, finishing yesterday’s race in two hours, 29 minutes, 5.9 seconds, eclipsing by more than four minutes the course record set last year by Asha Gigi, a fellow Ethiopian and yesterday’s bronze medallist.
The time was also nearly a minute faster than Seboka’s previous best race.
Though it happened the same day Gebreselassie became the first runner to run a sub-2:04 marathon, Seboka’s confident her triumph in Toronto will cause a ripple back home.
“This is my personal best,” the 22-year-old said through an interpreter. “It will be big news in Ethiopia for sure.”
Organizers had hoped for another record in the men’s race, where last year Kenya’s John Kelai ran 2:09:30, the fastest marathon ever run in Canada.
But any chance for a world class time blew away with the wind in the last quarter of the race.
Kenyan Kenneth Mungara finished first in 2:11.00, just two seconds ahead of Peter Kiprotich.
The pair were two of eight Kenyans among the top 10 finishers in the men’s race, while 11th-place finisher Dylan Wykes was the top Canadian.
And they all said the weather bothered them as the race progressed.
Wykes and other Canadian runners said the warm weather and humidity sapped some of their strength, while a stiff wind slowed down the elite runners up ahead, who had been on pace for another course record.
“At around 30 kilometres the wind was so strong we couldn’t keep the time,” Kiprotich said.
Top Canadian woman was Suzanne Evans in ninth, more than 15 minutes behind the winner, and 35 seconds ahead of Canada’s Nicole Stevenson, who placed 10th.
Race organizers said nearly 15,000 runners participated in marathon events, including a half-marathon and 5K run.
Race director Alan Brookes said roughly 3,100 people registered for the main race, which covered 42.2 kilometres along Toronto’s waterfront.
Though Mungara finished in the slowest winning time since 2005, organizers are pleased with the event’s progress over the years.
From 2003 to last year the winning time of the men’s race had improved by an average of two minutes each year, and the 2007 race was one of only three in North America that featured three sub-2:10 finishers.
The reason for the steep increase in the quality of the Waterfront Marathon’s top runners?
Brookes says it’s money.
Three years ago Scotiabank signed on as the title sponsor, which led to more prize money, which in turn made the Waterfront Marathon a destination for runners with world class aspirations.
This year organizers budgeted $350,000 for prize money, including $20,000 to the two winners and cash prizes to the top eight finishers.
The payouts don’t match the New York Marathon, which spends more than $2 million (U.S.) on appearance fees and prize money, but Brookes says a strong performance in Toronto can vault a runner on to the sport’s biggest stages.
“People are starting to come to our race, where they can get a fast time,” Brookes said. “And maybe they’ll get a start place in London next spring.”
To buttress his point, Brookes pointed to Daniel Rono, who parlayed a silver medal in last year’s race into spots in elite European marathons.
In April, Rono ran 2:06:58 to finish second in the Rotterdam marathon.
Source-The star



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