Good morning.President Muhammadu Buhari this week travelled to the UK for a two-week medical vacation and to participate in the GPE summit.
Do you know that this is PMB's 8th medical trip in 6 years
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Olympics. Caeleb Dressel is the world champion in the 100-meter freestyle race, and as of Thursday, he’s the Olympic champion, too. He did it in Olympic record time: 47.02 seconds. The American swimmer now has two golds in the Tokyo Games.
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Pakistan. Last week, the 27-year-old daughter of a former diplomat was tortured, stabbed, and beheaded – according to police reports. Police arrested a suspect – an acquaintance. Her death sparked outcry online. Vigils reportedly sprouted throughout Pakistan and in diaspora communities. Pakistan is ranked 164th out of 167 countries in 2019 Women, Peace, and Security Index
Tanzania. President Samia Suluhu Hassan has received her COVID-19 vaccine in public, kicking off a nationwide inoculation campaign in one of the world’s last countries to embrace jabs in the fight against the disease. Hassan’s vaccination on Wednesday was the most decisive signal yet of a break from the policies of her late predecessor who repeatedly dismissed the threat of the pandemic.
1935 1st Penguin book is published, starting the paperback revolution
1948 Professional wrestling premieres on prime-time network TV (DuMont)
2003 The last 'old style' Volkswagen Beetle rolls off the assembly line in Mexico
El-Zakzaky Finally Goes Home
The Story A Kaduna High Court has discharged and acquitted the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat.
When? Justice Gideon Kurada delivered the verdict on Wednesday, in an eight-hour ruling on the no-case submission application filed by the defendants. Marshal Abubakar, who represented the lead counsel for the defendant in the suit, Femi Falana, SAN, informed reporters shortly after the trial ended in Kaduna. “The trial of Sheikh El-Zakzaky and his wife Zeenat has come to an end as the court found them not guilty of the alleged crime filed against them by the Kaduna State Government", he said.
What allegations did the government make against them? The Kaduna State Government had charged El-Zakzaky and Zeenat with eight counts, bordering on culpable homicide, unlawful assembly and disruption of the public peace, among other charges. The defendants had pleaded not guilty to the charges. The court found that the charges that were filed in 2018 pursuant to the Penal Law enacted by the state government in 2017 over an alleged offence committed in 2015, were incompetent.
What's the government's reaction to this? The court, presided over by Justice Gideon Kurada, ruled that the suit was not supposed to be filed in the first place, as the government cannot arraign someone for a crime that was not an offence at the time. In his reaction, the lead prosecutor, Dari Bayero, said the government will appeal the ruling. “The court ruled that none of the witnesses we presented in court gave convincing proof that the duo were guilty. This doesn’t mean they can’t be re-arraigned … we are certainly going to file charges against the duo at appeal", Bayero said. SOURCE
Disqualified: When Talent Meets Administrative Incompetence
The Story Ten Nigerian athletes have been disqualified from participating in the ongoing Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Why? This was contained in a statement from the Athletics Integrity Unit on Wednesday. The Athletics Integrity Unit is an independent body created by World Athletics that manages all integrity issues – both doping and non-doping. The athletes were disqualified for not meeting the minimum testing requirements under Rule 15 which applies to all national anti-doping organisations, including Nigeria’s National Anti-Doping Federation.
I don't understand. The key requirement in Rule 15 is that an athlete from a ‘Category A’ country must undergo at least three no-notice out-of-competition tests (urine and blood) conducted no less than 3 weeks apart in the 10 months leading up to a major event. Only then do they become eligible to represent their national team at the World Athletics Championships or the Olympic Games. Nigeria was included in Category A at the start of 2020 following a continued period of weak domestic testing levels.
The statement, which showed that a total of 20 athletes were ineligible with Nigeria being the most affected, noted that 'in the lead-up to the Tokyo Olympic Games, the ‘Category A’ Federations, in partnership with their respective National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs), generally made significant progress with respect to their domestic testing programmes'. Other countries affected are Belarus, Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco, and Ukraine. SOURCE
Human Rights Violations Stalls Weapon Sale
The Story American lawmakers are holding down a proposed sale of attack helicopters to Nigeria amid mounting concerns about the Muhammadu Buhari administration’s human rights record as it grapples with multiple security crises.
Balancing the equation US lawmakers on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee have reportedly delayed clearing a proposed sale of 12 AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters and accompanying defence systems to the Nigerian military. The deal is worth $875m, according to US officials and congressional aides familiar with the matter. A report by Foreign Policy said the behind-the-scenes controversy over the proposed arms sale illustrates a broader debate among Washington policymakers over how to balance national security with human rights objectives.
Straining bilateral relations? The hold on the sale highlights how powerful US lawmakers want to push the Biden administration to rethink US relations with Nigeria amid overarching concerns that Buhari is drifting toward authoritarianism as his government is besieged by multiple security challenges. Chairperson of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Bob Menendez, called for a “fundamental rethink of the framework of our overall engagement” with Nigeria during a Senate hearing with US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken in June.
How long will this hold last? According to US officials and congressional aides, who spoke on condition of anonymity, both Menendez and Sen. Jim Risch, a top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, placed a hold on the proposed arms sale. The United States has been urged to hit the pause button on major defence sales until it makes a broader assessment of the extent to which corruption and mismanagement hobble the Nigerian military and whether the military is doing enough to minimize civilian casualties in its campaign against Boko Haram and other violent insurrectionists. SOURCE
And They Start to Talk
The Story North and South Korea have started talking again.
Weren't they on talking terms before? There's always been unease in relations between the Koreas. Tuesday’s resumption of communication comes on the 68th anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended the 1950-53 Korean War, which pitted South Korea and U.S.-led U.N. forces against North Korea and China. That armistice has yet to be replaced with a peace treaty, leaving the Korean Peninsula in a technical state of war, with about 28,500 U.S. troops still stationed in South Korea.
What has changed? Renewed communications will hopefully help to put a stop to conflicts on their disputed sea boundary. Some suspect that the repaired relationship was only agreed to by North Korea in an attempt to gain more favor with the United States for when nuclear diplomacy resumes. Efforts have been paused since the U.S. instituted sanctions against North Korea. Tensions with the White House often devolve the relationship between the Koreas, with North Korea cutting off communication with the South.
On Tuesday, the two countries spoke using communication lines that have gone unused for over a year, agreeing to improve their relationship. While this is a step in the right direction, it’s unlikely to restart discussions of North Korea getting rid of its nuclear arsenal. Seoul officials said that there were multiple conversations between liaison officials, at the end of which the two countries agreed to speak more regularly. SOURCE
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Since three-person archery debuted at the 1988 Olympics, South Korea has won all nine gold medals.
What other countries similarly dominate Olympic events? Well, none, but a few do stand out as particular masters of their craft. We'll give you an event and you have to name the country that's dominated it at recent Olympics.
1. Table tennis 2. Softball 3. Judo 4. Artistic swimming (previously known as synchronized swimming) 5. Men’s steeplechase 6. Boxing 7. Men’s water polo
QUESTION & ANSWER
What’s the most ridiculous design fault you’ve seen on a building?
This is the Showcase Cinema in Southampton, a town a few miles from me.
You see those massive steps on the outside? You can no longer legally go on them.
So in England there’s a specific height/width limit that stairs are allowed to be, and the builders of an £85 million leisure centre found that out the hard way.
When it was first built a couple of years ago, I thought it looked awesome. So did everyone else. Totally new and modern—a cinema, restaurants, music. . . I think I remember going up those steps once when it first opened, and that’s about it. They’re now sectioned off from the public, hence the metal gates. The balcony and revolving doors at the top are also blocked off to prevent entry.
Turns out that, by law, these are too steep for public access.
According to UK staircase regulations, the maximum height of each stair on a public utility is 190mm min going 250mm max. Those stairs you see are just over the limit, by about 50mm.
Last year they were expected to be fully accessible to the public more than two years after it opened. That didn’t happen though.
While I don’t consider this to be the most horrendous design flaw of all time, it’s pretty silly considering the time and fund went into this. This was supposed to be, like, the future.
All that modern movie-watching technology and yet most of it will be left unused forever because of a little miscalculation that probably happens a lot across the globe.