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16 pictures show North Korea’s grand performance at the Mass Games, where South Korea’s president gave his first speech directly to North Koreans

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  • South Korean President Moon Jae-in and a group of South Korean delegates were given a viewing of North Korea’s capstone propaganda event, the Mass Games.
  • This year’s performance is called “Shining Fatherland,” or “Glorious Country.”
  • An estimated 150,000 North Koreans were estimated to be in the audience.

As part of his summit tour of North Korea this week, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and a group of delegates were given a viewing of the regime’s Mass Games — a theatrical gymnastics performance described by some viewers as “the most spectacular artistic performance in human history.”

Moon, along with South Korean first lady Kim Jung-sook and several senior South Korean officials, sat alongside North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his wife, Ri Sol Ju, during an eye-catching performance that consisted of thousands of performers.

Check out this year’s performance known as “Shining Fatherland,” and “Glorious Country.”

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, second to the left, South Korean first lady Kim Jung-sook, far left, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, second to the right, and his wife Ri Sol Ju, far right, receive flowers before watching the performance.


South Korean President Moon Jae-in, second to the left, South Korean first lady Kim Jung-sook, far left, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, second to the right, and his wife Ri Sol Ju, far right, receive flowers before watching the performance.play

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, second to the left, South Korean first lady Kim Jung-sook, far left, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, second to the right, and his wife Ri Sol Ju, far right, receive flowers before watching the performance.

(Pyeongyang Press Corps/Reuters)

Source: 38 North

Around 150,000 people were estimated to be in the audience.


The performance titled "The Glorious Country" is pictured at the May Day Stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea, September 19, 2018.play

The performance titled “The Glorious Country” is pictured at the May Day Stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea, September 19, 2018.

(Pyeongyang Press Corps/Reuters)

Source: Hankyoreh

The entire performance lasted around an hour.


The entire performance lasted around an hour.play

The entire performance lasted around an hour.

(Pyeongyang Press Corps/Reuters)

Source: Yonhap News

Thousands of performers, many of them children, hold up flip-cards to form a mosaic image that reads “We warmly welcome President Moon’s visit to Pyongyang.”


Thousands of performers, many of them children, hold up flip-cards to form a mosaic image that reads "We warmly welcome President Moon's visit to Pyongyang."play

Thousands of performers, many of them children, hold up flip-cards to form a mosaic image that reads “We warmly welcome President Moon’s visit to Pyongyang.”

(Pyeongyang Press Corps/Reuters)

Nearly 17,500 children were recruited to perform the choreographed card display. Many others took part in the acrobatic performances.


Nearly 17,500 children were recruited to perform the choreographed card display. Many others took part in the acrobatic performances.play

Nearly 17,500 children were recruited to perform the choreographed card display. Many others took part in the acrobatic performances.

(Pyeongyang Press Corps/Reuters)

Source: 38 North

Human-rights groups frequently criticize the performance because of its training routine.


Human-rights groups frequently criticize the performance because of its training routine.play

Human-rights groups frequently criticize the performance because of its training routine.

(Pyeongyang Press Corps/Reuters)

While the spectacle of the performance has attracted tour groups, critics, including human-rights activists, have denounced the Mass Games for its strict training regimen.

“The strict training routine for the Mass Games … is dangerous to children’s health and well-being,” a 2014 United Nations Commission of Inquiry report said.

Source: BBC

The performances have traditionally focused around a central theme.


The performances have traditionally focused around a central theme.play

The performances have traditionally focused around a central theme.

(Pyeongyang Press Corps/Reuters)

“Glorious Country” took a step back from its previous performances and placed less emphasis on North Korea’s military ambitions.


"Glorious Country" took a step back from its previous performances and placed less emphasis on North Korea's military ambitions.play

“Glorious Country” took a step back from its previous performances and placed less emphasis on North Korea’s military ambitions.

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(Pyeongyang Press Corps/Reuters)

Instead of its usual antagonistic rhetoric, the show emphasized reformation and economic progress.


Instead of its usual antagonistic rhetoric, the show emphasized reformation and economic progress.play

Instead of its usual antagonistic rhetoric, the show emphasized reformation and economic progress.

(Pyeongyang Press Corps/Reuters)

Source: 38 North

Anti-US slogans and images were also reportedly absent from the performance.


Anti-US slogans and images were also reportedly absent from the performance.play

Anti-US slogans and images were also reportedly absent from the performance.

(Pyeongyang Press Corps/Reuters)

Source: Yonhap News

Thousands of choreographed cards display a massive image of a train that says “Pyongyang — Pusan.” Pusan is a coastal city in South Korea.


Thousands of choreographed cards display a massive image of a train that says "Pyongyang — Pusan." Pusan is a coastal city in South Korea.play

Thousands of choreographed cards display a massive image of a train that says “Pyongyang — Pusan.” Pusan is a coastal city in South Korea.

(Pyeongyang Press Corps/Reuters)

During their summit, President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un proposed joint economic projects, including an inter-Korean railway.

Images of Kim Jong Un were reportedly scarce in the latest performance of “Glorious Country.”


Images of Kim Jong Un were reportedly scarce in the latest performance of "Glorious Country."play

Images of Kim Jong Un were reportedly scarce in the latest performance of “Glorious Country.”

(Pyeongyang Press Corps/Reuters)

North Korea traditionally displays oversized images of its leaders in parades and monuments. But images that deify Kim Jong Un have been less prominent compared to other North Korean leaders.

“Glorious Country” reportedly continued that trend, showing only one image of Kim Jong Un during the entire performance — a giant projection of him holding hands with Moon.

Source: 38 North

A light display reads “A shining country.”


A light display reads "A shining country."play

A light display reads “A shining country.”

(Pyeongyang Press Corps/Reuters)

Moon’s appearance marked the first time a South Korean leader directly addressed the North Korean public at the Mass Games.


Moon's appearance marked the first time a South Korean leader directly addressed the North Korean public at the Mass Games.play

Moon’s appearance marked the first time a South Korean leader directly addressed the North Korean public at the Mass Games.

(Pyeongyang Press Corps/Reuters)

Performers position themselves to depict a unified Korean Peninsula.


Performers position themselves to depict a unified Korean Peninsula.play

Performers position themselves to depict a unified Korean Peninsula.

(Pyeongyang Press Corps/Reuters)

Moon delivered a seven-minute speech and proposed “that we should completely end the past 70 years of hostility and take a big stride of peace to become one again.”


South Korean President Moon Jae-in bows to the audience after watching the performance at the May Day Stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea, September 19, 2018.play

South Korean President Moon Jae-in bows to the audience after watching the performance at the May Day Stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea, September 19, 2018.

(Pyeongyang Press Corps/Reuters)

Source: BBC



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Public officers above 58 years and with pre-existing conditions told to work from home: The Standard

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Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua. [File, Standard]
In a document from Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua new measure have been outlined to curb the bulging spread of covid-19. Public officers with underlying health conditions and those who are over 58 years -a group that experts have classified as most vulnerable to the virus will be required to execute their duties from home.

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However, the new rule excluded personnel in the security sector and other critical and essential services.
“All State and public officers with pre-existing medical conditions and/or aged 58 years and above serving in CSG5 (job group ‘S’) and below or their equivalents should forthwith work from home,” read the document,” read the document.
To ensure that those working from home deliver, the Public Service directs that there be clear assignments and targets tasked for the period designated and a clear reporting line to monitor and review work done.
SEE ALSO: Thinking inside the cardboard box for post-lockdown work stations
Others measures outlined in the document include the provision of personal protective equipment to staff, provision of sanitizers and access to washing facilities fitted with soap and water, temperature checks for all staff and clients entering public offices regular fumigation of office premises and vehicles and minimizing of visitors except by prior appointments.
Officers who contract the virus and come back to work after quarantine or isolation period will be required to follow specific directives such as obtaining clearance from the isolation facility certified by the designated persons indicating that the public officer is free and safe from Covid-19. The officer will also be required to stay away from duty station for a period of seven days after the date of medical certification.
“The period a public officer spends in quarantine or isolation due to Covid-19, shall be treated as sick leave and shall be subject to the Provisions of the Human Resource Policy and procedures Manual for the Public Service(May,2016),” read the document.
The service has also made discrimination and stigmatization an offence and has guaranteed those affected with the virus to receive adequate access to mental health and psychosocial supported offered by the government.
The new directives targeting the Public Services come at a time when Kenyans have increasingly shown lack of strict observance of the issued guidelines even as the number of positive Covid-19 cases skyrocket to 13,771 and leaving 238 dead as of today.
SEE ALSO: Working from home could be blessing in disguise for persons with disabilities
Principal Secretaries/ Accounting Officers will be personally responsible for effective enforcement and compliance of the current guidelines and any future directives issued to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.

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Uhuru convenes summit to review rising Covid-19 cases: The Standard

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President Uhuru Kenyatta (pictured) will on Friday, July 24, meet governors following the ballooning Covid-19 infections in recent days.
The session will among other things review the efficacy of the containment measures in place and review the impact of the phased easing of the restrictions, State House said in a statement.
This story is being updated.
SEE ALSO: Sakaja resigns from Covid-19 Senate committee, in court tomorrow

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Drastic life changes affecting mental health

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Kenya has been ranked 6th among African countries with the highest cases of depression, this has triggered anxiety by the World Health Organization (WHO), with 1.9 million people suffering from a form of mental conditions such as depression, substance abuse.

KBC Radio_KICD Timetable

Globally, one in four people is affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives, this is according to the WHO.

Currently, around 450 million people suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.

The pandemic has also been known to cause significant distress, mostly affecting the state of one’s mental well-being.

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With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic attributed to the novel Coronavirus disease, millions have been affected globally with over 14 million infections and half a million deaths as to date. This has brought about uncertainty coupled with difficult situations, including job loss and the risk of contracting the deadly virus.

In Kenya the first Coronavirus case was reported in Nairobi by the Ministry of Health on the 12th March 2020.  It was not until the government put in place precautionary measures including a curfew and lockdown (the latter having being lifted) due to an increase in the number of infections that people began feeling its effect both economically and socially.

A study by Dr. Habil Otanga,  a Lecturer at the University of Nairobi, Department of Psychology says  that such measures can in turn lead to surge in mental related illnesses including depression, feelings of confusion, anger and fear, and even substance abuse. It also brings with it a sense of boredom, loneliness, anger, isolation and frustration. In the post-quarantine/isolation period, loss of employment due to the depressed economy and the stigma around the disease are also likely to lead to mental health problems.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) states that at least 300,000 Kenyans have lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus pandemic between the period of January and March this year.

KNBC noted that the number of employed Kenyans plunged to 17.8 million as of March from 18.1 million people as compared to last year in December. The Report states that the unemployment rate in Kenya stands at 13.7 per cent as of March this year while it stood 12.4 per cent in December 2019.

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Mama T (not her real name) is among millions of Kenyans who have been affected by containment measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus, either by losing their source of income or having to work under tough guidelines put in place by the MOH.

As young mother and an event organizer, she has found it hard to explain to her children why they cannot go to school or socialize freely with their peers as before.

“Sometimes it gets difficult as they do not understand what is happening due to their age, this at times becomes hard on me as they often think I am punishing them,”

Her contract was put on hold as no event or public gatherings can take place due to the pandemic. This has brought other challenges along with it, as she has to find means of fending for her family expenditures that including rent and food.

“I often wake up in the middle of the night with worries about my next move as the pandemic does not exhibit any signs of easing up,” she says. She adds that she has been forced to sort for manual jobs to keep her family afloat.

Ms. Mary Wahome, a Counseling Psychologist and Programs Director at ‘The Reason to Hope,’ in Karen, Nairobi says that such kind of drastic life changes have an adverse effect on one’s mental status including their family members and if not addressed early can lead to depression among other issues.

“We have had cases of people indulging in substance abuse to deal with the uncertainty and stress brought about by the pandemic, this in turn leads to dependence and also domestic abuse,”

Sam Njoroge , a waiter at a local hotel in Kiambu, has found himself indulging in substance abuse due to challenges he is facing after the hotel he was working in was closed down as it has not yet met the standards required by the MOH to open.

“My day starts at 6am where I go to a local pub, here I can get a drink for as little as Sh30, It makes me suppress the frustration I feel.” he says.

Sam is among the many who have found themselves in the same predicament and resulted to substance abuse finding ways to beat strict measures put in place by the government on the sale of alcohol so as to cope.

Mary says, situations like Sam’s are dangerous and if not addressed early can lead to serious complications, including addiction and dependency, violent behavior and also early death due to health complications.

She has, however, lauded the government for encouraging mental wellness and also launching the Psychological First Aid (PFA) guide in the wake of the virus putting emphasis on the three action principal of look, listen and link. “When we follow this it will be easy to identify an individual in distress and also offer assistance”.

Mary has urged anyone feeling the weight of the virus taking a toll on them not to hesitate but look for someone to talk to.

“You should not only seek help from a specialist but also talk to a friend, let them know what you are undergoing and how you feel, this will help ease their emotional stress and also find ways of dealing with the situation they are facing,” She added

Mary continued to stress on the need to perform frequent body exercises as a form of stress relief, reading and also taking advantage of this unfortunate COVID-19 period to engage in hobbies and talent development.

“Let people take this as an opportunity to kip fit, get in touch with one’s inner self and  also engage in   reading that would  help expand their knowledge.

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