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Europe hold off US fightback for emotional Ryder Cup triumph

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By AFP
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SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, FRANCE

Europe’s finest golfers, sparked by a record-setting victory for Italy’s Francesco Molinari, recaptured the Ryder Cup on Sunday, denying a dramatic United States fightback to complete an emotional 17.5-10.5 upset victory.

Reigning British Open champion Molinari defeated five-time major winner Phil Mickelson 4 and 2 as Europe took an insurmountable edge over the favoured Americans in the biennial team showdown at Le Golf National.

“It was amazing,” Molinari said. “It’s an incredible achievement. We did just an amazing job.”

In the process, Molinari – who had been winless in six prior Ryder Cup matches – became the first European and only the fourth player ever to go 5-for-5 in a Ryder Cup and did so just two months after hoisting the Claret Jug.

“It feels great but it’s not about me,” he said. “It was about time to have them but it’s about the group not the individual.

“I couldn’t even dream of a summer like this.”

Europe had seized a 10-6 edge in Saturday’s foursomes and fourballs matches and got the points they needed to swipe the trophy after an early US surge. Every European player won at least once in the event.

“The attitude they had was unbelievable,” Europe captain Thomas Bjorn said. “There was a moment when I thought this was going a little bit wrong but when we got our momentum going it went very quickly.”

It turned out to be the most lopsided European triumph since an 18.5-9.5 victory at Ireland’s K Club in 2006.

The US team needed to match the greatest last-day comebacks in Ryder Cup history by taking eight singles points to keep the Cup, but there was no French magic like Europe’s 2012 ‘Miracle at Medinah’ or the Americans’ 1999 victory in the ‘Battle of Brookline’.

“Their captain did a better job than I did,” US captain Jim Furyk said. “Their players played better. We just have to tip our caps.”

The Americans, who haven’t won in Europe since 1993, lead the all-time rivalry 26-14 with two drawn but the Europeans’ ninth victory in the past 12 attempts gave them an 11-8 with one drawn edge since expansion from a British-Irish squad after 1977.

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Americans pulled within 10.5-9.5 before Europe’s first singles victory by Danish rookie Thorbjorn Olesen, who beat three-time major winner Jordan Spieth 5 and 4.

Spain’s Jon Rahm followed by downing Tiger Woods 2 and 1, keeping the 14-time major champion winless in four matches this week and snuffing out any US momentum.

Rahm, who led after all but one hole, pumped his fists and screamed with joy after his winning four-foot birdie putt left Europe two wins from victory.

“To beat Tiger, one of the greatest players of all time, for the pivotal point, it’s the best feeling of my life,” Rahm said.

England’s Ian Poulter, Europe’s wildcard talisman, birdied the 18th hole to beat world number one Dustin Johnson 2-up and put Europe on the brink.

That set the stage for Molinari to clinch the win, making his 5-for-5 history after Mickelson found water at 16 and conceded, setting off a champagne-spraying celebration.

Only Americans Larry Nelson in 1979 and Arnold Palmer and Gardner Dickinson in 1967 had gone 5-for-5 in 41 prior Ryder Cups.

Spain’s Sergio Garcia, last year’s Masters champion, also made history, beating Rickie Fowler 2 and 1 to reach 25.5 career Ryder Cup points, breaking Nick Faldo’s old mark of 25. He credited team spirit with helping the feat.

“The feeling we have with each other and how well we connect, it just makes it a little bit easier,” Garcia said.

Matches stood on a knife’s edge deep into the afternoon as tension built across the back nine.

Four-time major winner Rory McIlroy found the same bunker twice and water to lose the 18th hole and his match 1-up to US rookie Justin Thomas.

Third-ranked Brooks Koepka, this year’s US Open and PGA Championship winner, halved with England’s Paul Casey in a match neither led by more than 1-up.

Webb Simpson beat Justin Rose 3 and 2 and US rookie Tony Finau ripped Tommy Fleetwood 6 and 4, ending the Englishman’s bid to match Molinari’s 5-for-5 feat.



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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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