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Those who knew Brett Kavanaugh during his youth have described his hard-drinking habits — but he portrayed himself differently during his Senate hearing

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  • Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh appeared uncomfortable when repeatedly questioned about his drinking habits during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Thursday centering around allegations he sexually assaulted professor Christine Blasey Ford while they were in high school.
  • Ford claims Kavanaugh was inebriated during the alleged assault.
  • Multiple senators questioned Kavanaugh about his drinking on Thursday, prompting awkward exchanges at times.
  • Kavanaugh repeatedly told the committee he likes beer.

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh made claims about his drinking habits during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday that do not match up with accounts from people who knew him in high school and college.

Kavanaugh was testifying about allegations that he assaulted Christine Blasey Ford, a California professor, who provided testimony earlier in the day.

Ford alleges Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a party when they were teenagers in the early 1980s. She claims Kavanaugh’s friend, Mark Judge, was in the room at the time and didn’t do anything to stop the assault, during which Kavanaugh allegedly groped her and tried to remove her clothes.

Ford said both Kavanaugh and Judge were inebriated at the time.

Kavanaugh has been accused of sexual misconduct by two other women, Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick. These allegations also involve Kavanaugh partying and drinking. He has also conceded in statements that he may have had ” target=”_blank”too many” beers on occasion as a younger person.

But he often stumbled when questioned about drinking on Thursday, at times even contradicting past public statements he’s made on the topic as well as claims from people who knew him many years ago.

What people who knew Kavanaugh when he was younger said about his drinking

Judge wrote a book, “Wasted: Tales of a Gen X Drunk,” chronicling his struggles with alcoholism when he and Kavanaugh were both at Georgetown Prep, one of the most prestigious high schools in the Washington, DC, area.

The book includes a character named “Bart O’Kavanaugh,” who was described as a heavy drinker who at one point puked in someone’s car.

Kavanaugh also made references to drinking in his high school yearbook, including that he was the treasurer of the ” target=”_blank”100 Kegs or Bust” club.

James Roche, who was Kavanaugh’s roommate at Yale University during their freshman year, recently described him as someone who was ” target=”_blank”frequently unusually drunk” and sometimes “belligerent and mean” when inebriated, The New York Times reported.

Similarly, Elizabeth Swisher, who also knew Kavanaugh at Yale, said it would be a “lie” if someone claimed Kavanaugh never blacked out from drinking during his college days.

According to The Times, a group of Kavanaugh’s Yale classmates also claim he once got so drunk he tried to break into the back of a friend’s pickup truck and subsequently refused to cover the cost of the damage.

What Kavanaugh told the Senate about his drinking

Kavanaugh faced a number of questions about his drinking habits on Thursday. The Supreme Court nominee often dodged such inquiries, sometimes answering by firing questions back at senators.

At one point, for example, Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse questioned Kavanaugh about references to drinking and vomiting that appeared in his high school yearbook.

Kavanaugh said, “I’m known to have a weak stomach and always have. In fact, the last time I was here you asked me about having ketchup on spaghetti, I always have had a weak stomach.”

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When pressed about whether this was due to the consumption of alcohol, Kavanaugh replied, “Senator, I was the top of my class academically, busted my butt in school, captain of the varsity basketball team, got into Yale college. When I get into Yale college, got into Yale law school. Worked my tail off.”

Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono questioned Kavanaugh about the allegations from his college roommate, and he again dodged the question.

“It was noted that James Roche said although Brett was notably reserved, he was a notably heavy drinker and he became aggressive and belligerent when he was drunk,” Hirono said. “So is your former college roommate lying?”

Kavanaugh replied, “I will say, senator, you’re asking about college. I got into Yale Law School. That’s the number one law school in the country. I have no connections there. I got there by busting my tail in college.”

At another point, Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy asked Kavanaugh whether he was the inspiration for the character “Bart O’Kavanaugh” from Judge’s book.

Kavanaugh told Leahy he’d have to ask Judge, who has refused to testify on the allegations.

Kavanaugh at another point was asked by Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar whether he’d ever blacked out from drinking, or consumed so much alcohol that he couldn’t remember a certain period of time.

Kavanaugh directed the question back to the senator, saying, “You are asking about a blackout. I don’t know. Have you?”

Klobuchar replied, “I don’t have a drinking problem.”

“Nor do I,” Kavanaugh then said.

Later, Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal questioned Kavanaugh about a 2014 speech he gave in which he claimed to have fallen out of a bus “onto the front steps of Yale Law School at about 4:45 am” after a night of barhopping following a Red Sox game in Boston.

At the time, Kavanaugh said that the next morning he had to “piece things back together” to recall the night.

Kavanaugh told Blumenthal on Thursday that he knew “exactly what happened” that night.



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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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