Good morning.Dubai’s government has started using drones to create artificial rain as a way to battle the extreme heat the city faces in the summer.
Leadership is everything!
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Myanmar. Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, the junta leader who seized power from the elected government in a military coup six months ago, declared himself prime minister and extended a state of emergency for two years. In a televised address on Sunday, he effectively ruled out any return to democracy for the Southeast Asian country before Aug. 2023.
Olympics. Lamont Marcell Jacobs of Italy won the men’s 100 metres gold at the Tokyo Olympics, breaking retired Jamaican star Usain Bolt’s 13-year hold on the event. Jacobs, 26, timed a European record of 9.80 seconds in Sunday’s final, with American Fred Kerley taking silver in 9.84 seconds in one of the most understated major 100 metres races in recent times.
United States. The CDC released a report suggesting that fully vaccinated individuals who are infected with the Delta variant can spread the virus to others. The report refers to a well-publicized outbreak in Provincetown, Massachusetts, where three-quarters of the infected individuals had been fully vaccinated. Most of the individuals tested in this outbreak had the Delta variant.
1776 Formal signing of the US Declaration of Independence by 56 people (date most accepted by modern historians)
2018 Apple becomes the first American public listed company to reach $1 trillion in value
Police IG Says, 'Haba' Kyari
The Story Last week, the Head of the Nigerian Police Intelligence Response Team, DCP Abba Kyari, was in the news for the alleged role he played in a $1.1m fraud, and for which a warrant of arrest was issued by a United States court. In respect of this, the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, has recommended the “immediate suspension” of DCP Abba Kyari from the Police Force.
Has the police force found evidence of his complicity in the fraud? No, the recommendation states that DCP Kyari’s suspension will be on pending the outcome of an ongoing internal investigations into his indictment by the Federal Bureau of Investigation(FBI). According to a statement on Sunday by the Force spokesman, Frank Mba, a Special Investigation Panel comprising four senior police officers, headed by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of the Force Criminal Investigations Department, Joseph Egbunike, was set up to investigate the allegations against Kyari.
What's the exact allegation against Kyari? Widely known Instagram influencer, Ramon Abbas aka Hushpuppi, who claimed to be a successful real estate developer, was arrested in Dubai last year for business email compromise scam. Due to COVID-19 control measures, he's been held by the FBI and his prosecution began last month. Hushpuppi, who pleaded guilty to the fraud charges, had narrated to the US court how he bribed Abba Kyari to arrest and jail one of his accomplices over a disputed sharing formula in the $1.1m dupe of a Qatari businessman.
While he has denied the allegation, US court documents showed that prosecutors had twice sought an arrest warrant for Kyari, first on 12 February, 2021, and again on 29 April. The Nigeria police special investigation panel is to review the allegations against Kyari, get a detailed representation on same from him, and submit recommendations to guide further actions by the Force leadership on the matter. SOURCE
NNPC's Shenanigans Exposed Abroad
The Story Anthony Stimler, a former UK-based trader for Glencore has pleaded guilty to participating in an international scheme to bribe officials in Nigeria to win favourable contracts from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
How wide was the scheme? Court papers identified seven alleged co-conspirators from several countries in the bribery scheme, including UK, Nigeria, Mexico, Spain and Israel in a deal that ran from 2007 to 2018. According to court papers, prosecutors said millions of dollars in bribes were paid to Nigerian officials, in exchange for NNPC awarding contracts and more lucrative grades of oil on more “favourable delivery terms” to the company (Glencore).
Has he been sentenced? No, he has not. Stimler admitted to conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and commit fund laundering at a hearing in Manhattan Federal Court in New York on Monday. Stimler, a former employee of Glencore’s West Africa desk, was permitted to remain released in the UK on $500,000 bail. The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) has been investigating Glencore’s business dealings in Nigeria, Venezuela and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Did the company get what it wanted from the NNPC? In November 2017, NNPC sought buyers from oil traders willing to pay $3.5 to $5b and get its value in crude oil between five and seven years. Seven companies, including Glencore, contended for the deal. Glencore emerged as one of the oil traders selected to lift Nigeria’s crude oil under various contracts, such as the crude oil term deal and the direct sale direct purchase scheme. In 2018, NNPC acknowledged receipt of $94.279m (N28.85b) for a total of 1.9 million barrels of Nigerian crude oil.
The UK, Switzerland and Brazil are also examining possible corruption cases involving Glencore, and various authorities across the globe. SOURCE
Ending Run On Sentences
The Story Members of Parliament in Sierra Leone voted unanimously to outlaw the death penalty, making it the 23rd country in Africa to do so.
Irrespective of the crime? Yes, irrespective of the crime. Capital punishment is a leftover from colonialism, and countries across the continent have been moving to do away with it. Malawi ruled it unconstitutional just a few months ago, and Chad abolished it last year. Sierra Leone has had de facto moratorium on the death penalty for 23 years, after the execution of 24 soldiers for their involvement in an attempted coup.
Can you explain that last part, please? In a legal context, a moratorium is a suspension of a law until future consideration warrants lifting the suspension, such as if and when the issues that led to moratorium have been resolved. A moratorium may be imposed by a government or by regulators, depending on the subject. Despite the moratorium, Sierra Leone handed down 39 death sentences last year and 21 the year before, leaving 94 people on death row by the end of 2020.
Is this a popular decision in the country? The decision is a big step, as the country is concerned that whomever the next leader is could decide to start carrying out executions. One director of a women’s rights group says the change is particularly exciting for women and girls convicted for murdering their abusers. According to Amnesty International, 17 of the countries in Africa that still use capital punishment are “abolitionist in practice.”
This means that while they still have capital punishment on their books as an acceptable form of punishment for crimes like murder, they have not executed anyone in the past decade, and either have an unspoken agreement not to carry out executions or have made an international commitment not to use the death penalty. SOURCE
(Leban)On To New Beginnings
The Story Najib Mikati, two-time former Prime Minister of Lebanon, has been designated to form Lebanon’s next government - a task failed by two predecessors since a huge explosion in the port of Beirut sent the country into a downward economic spiral nearly a year ago.
What's expected of him? A wealthy telecoms tycoon, Mikati said that easing the country’s woes will not be an easy task and asked for unity among Lebanese. As he works to revive the country from its economic woes, Mikati must now come up with a cabinet that will garner support from a range of political parties in Lebanon’s sect-based political system.
Has he made his plans known? Following his designation, Mikati made a public address in which he said he would work toward implementing a framework presented by France, which called for a new, technocratic government that would carry out reforms and engage with the International Monetary Fund.
His predecessor, former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, tried for nine months to do so, only to announce last month that he had given up. Efforts by Hariri’s cabinet to carry out the plan didn't yield the desired results as talks with the IMF have been stalled out for months. SOURCE
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The 25th of July: Tunisia’s revolution, part 2? Aljazeera
Post-centenary Nigeria: New literatures, new leaders, new nation by Pius Adesanmi. Sueddie
How Pakistan hockey went from world-beaters to Olympic absentees. Aljazeera
What is the scientific name for the trunk of an elephant? A. Proboscis B. Trunket C. Appendage
QUESTION & ANSWER
What are some creepy scientific discoveries?
Phillip Gabriel Alcantara Mercado
Do you know that when you eat a pineapple, it’s actually eating you too!
Ok! Hold up!
How is this deliciously sweet, sometimes too sweet fruit, eating you? Doesn’t it just poke us with its prickly surface?
Well, scientists have discovered that pineapple is the only fruit in the whole world which contains the enzyme called Bromelain.
Bromelain Enzyme (Google)
Bromelain is an enzyme which breaks down protein! Considering that 16% of the human body is made up of protein, mostly in our flesh, it means that Bromelain in pineapples can actually break down protein in our flesh, hence eating us from the inside!
However, as creepy as this sounds, the enzymes are thankfully destroyed by the acid in our stomach, so don’t worry, pineapples won’t actually pose much threat to your life! Although, this is often used as a reason to explain why pineapple farmers have no fingerprints; constant physical interaction with pineapples has worn them off though, this is not scientifically proven yet, just a hypothesis! SOURCE
What is the scientific name for the trunk of an elephant? A. Proboscis