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Celebs React After Proposal To Pay Sh2,500 Monthly For Twitter Verification

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Kenyans with verified Twitter handles will soon join the rest of the world in paying a minimum fee to keep their verification badges on.
Verification badges are identifiers used by social media companies to confirm that an account is the authentic presence of the public figure, celebrity, or brand it represents.

US Billionaire Elon Musk, who recently bought Twitter, has directed his team to launch the revamped paid subscription model by November 7th or face the axe.

If launched, users will have to pay $19.99 for the new subscription to keep their verification badges and unlock other premium features.

At the current exchange rates, this would see affected Kenyans part with Sh2,426 per month or Sh 29,121 per year.

Those who are already verified will have about 90 days to subscribe to the new model or risk losing the verification badges.

The proposal will cut across different users in Kenya, many of who are celebrities, journalists, politicians, and prominent figures.

“Verified Twitter users will have to pay $20 monthly to keep that blue checkmark if Elon Musk gets his way. Sign up within 90 days or lose it,” CNN International correspondent Larry Madowo shared on Twitter, kickstarting the conversation among Kenyans.

“What in God’s good world is this?” said KTN news anchor Brian George.

“Seems like Only SC Ahmednasir Abdullahi will remain verified on Twitter in Kenya the way things are going,” commented Ahmed Mohamed Asmali.

Kileleshwa MCA Robert Alai said he did not mind paying an extra charge to enjoy premium features.

“I have been paying $3 for my Twitter Blue. So $20 for Twitter verification with proper control on the other things shouldn’t be a bad thing,” he posted.

Kiss 100 presenters Kamene Goro and Oga Obinna also reacted to the story, with Kamene welcoming the idea.

“Getting verification on other platforms such as Facebook, and Instagram is particularly easy, but getting Twitter verification…I see people with blue ticks on Twitter act like they are the president and now is only going to cost us Sh2000 to join you. Here we come,” she said.

On his part, Obinna said he is not a fan of the social media platform.

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NEWS

Prices of These Commodities Dropped in November

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A report by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) on the state of the consumer economy has revealed that the cost of living slightly eased in November.

KNBS, on Wednesday, November 30 placed the inflation rate at 9.5 per cent, a 0.1 per cent drop from the previous month of October.

Among the factors that contributed to the slight dip was the reduction in the cost of basic commodities. Cooking oil, recorded an average drop of Ksh21.93 per litre.

“During the same period, prices of cooking oil (salad), tomatoes and fortified maize flour dropped by 6.0, 2.2, and 1.0 per cent, respectively.

“The month-to-month Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages Index increased by 0.6,” the statement read in part.

The cost of maize flour dropped by Ksh1.83 per two-kilogram packet while the same unit of tomatoes cost Ksh1.98 less.

Some of the non-food commodities whose prices dropped include the electricity bought on a small scale (Ksh46.48 per 50 kilowatts) and Ksh184.2 for 200 kilowatts.

The cost of fuel super petrol, diesel and kerosene also dropped by Ksh1.10, while a 13-kg cylinder of liquefied petroleum gas retailed by Ksh79 less. Commuters also paid less for their travel, according to the Bureau.

Kenyans coughed up more cash for rent, alcoholic beverages and fresh farm produce during the month under review. The consumer price index (CPI) increased from 127.86 to 128.31.

However, in comparison to the same period in 2021, the rate of inflation leapt by 3.7 points from 5.8 per cent.

“The rise in inflation was largely due to increase in prices of commodities under food and non-alcoholic beverages (15.4 per cent) transport (11.7 per cent) and housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (6.1 per cent),” KNBS disclosed

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The Martyr? Preacher Jailed For 8,658 Years

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A court has sentenced a televangelist, who surrounded himself with young women he referred to as his “kittens”, to 8,658 years in prison.

The court in Turkey sentenced Adnan Oktar, who has been described as a cult leader, and was convicted of sexual assault and abuse of minors.

Oktar, 66, fronted his own television channel, through which he delivered religious sermons.

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He is a fierce opponent of the theory of evolution, and wrote a widely mocked book on creationism.

He was originally given a jail sentence of 1,075 years but an appeal court ordered a retrial involving 215 defendants.

Ten of them were also given 8,658 years in prison by the court in Istanbul. Many of the other defendants were given shorter terms.

Oktar and hundreds of his followers were arrested in 2018 from his home on a litany of charges, including running a criminal organisation, tax offences, sexual abuse, and counter-terrorism laws.

During his arrest, Oktar told journalists that the allegations made against him were “lies” and “a game by the British deep state”, a topic he had frequently spoken about in the past.

In January 2021 he was convicted of 10 separate charges, including leading a criminal gang, engaging in political and military espionage, sexual abuse of minors, rape, blackmail and causing torment.

He was also charged over alleged links with exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen, who the Turkish government accuses of masterminding a failed military coup in 2016 which killed 251 people and injured more than 2,000.

An upper court overturned that ruling.

Oktar’s views have earned him a degree of notoriety both in Turkey and abroad, having been arrested multiple times before 2018 and having spent time both in prison and a psychiatric unit over the years.

Multiple copies of his widely ridiculed book “the Atlas of Creation” were reportedly shipped unrequested to academics and libraries. In the book he claimed Darwin’s theory of evolution lay at the root of global terrorism.

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