Good morning. A man won a lottery...then did it again 11 days later.
Tell me how else to spot a reckless time traveller!
- - -
P.S. Rewards await you when you invite your friends to subscribe to Freshly Pressed. Try it:www.freshlypressed.ng/?r=. You currently have referrals.
Health. A healthy adult should weigh an average of 70kg, and in relation to your height, normal BMI is within 18.5–24.9. Do you consider yourself overweight? Let's show you a 28-Day Body Transformation Program that will bring things to normal.
Australia. It has seen a new wave of COVID-19 cases, and Sydney, Canberra, and Melbourne have all gone back into lockdown. Last week an anti-lockdown protest in Sydney turned violent; the city of 5 million has been the hub of the Delta-fueled infection wave.
Kenya. Court of Appeal has rejected a government bid to make fundamental changes to the constitution in a new blow to President Uhuru Kenyatta, who had initiated the controversial proposals. The rejection limits Kenyatta's ability to prevent his estranged deputy from succeeding him next year.
Sweden. Prime Minister Stefan Lofven announced that he would resign in Nov. 2021. He stated that he sought to give his successor a chance to improve the electoral prospects of his Social Democratic Party in the lead-up to the Sept. 2022 parliamentary election. The current Swedish government is led by a minority coalition of Social Democrats and Greens.
1996 Osama bin Laden issues message entitled "A declaration of war against the Americans occupying the land of the two holy places"
2005 Hurricane Katrina forms over the Bahamas, later becoming a category 5 hurricane
All Hail the King!
The Story The arrival of the long anticipated rains has been described by many as a huge relief for many reasons. But on Saturday, the Itsekiris of Nigeria's Niger-Delta region appealed that the rains should, please, give them a break. They were crowning a new King.
Tell me! Hundreds of people converged on Ode-Itsekiri, an island off the Warri river, brimming with collective anticipation as they awaited the emergence of their new king from the Aghofen (palace). The king-designate, 37year old Tsola Emiko - after performing some traditional rites - was crowned the 21st Olu of the Itsekiris at exactly 3.30 p.m.
How was he chosen? As announced by Gabriel Awala, the Uwangue of Warri Kingdom, who lowered the crown on Tsola Emiko, the new King will be known by the title Atunwase III, essentially picking the mantle from his late father who was Atunwase II. The excited crowd erupted in cheers for their new monarch. In an occasion that has been described as a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many, the horde of humans, decked in flowery red and white attires, crammed inside the coronation hall, with others watching on large screens outside.
How did the new King react to his coronation? With worship songs that lasted about a quarter of an hour, Emiko began his first speech as monarch, saying; “You will all pardon me, I’m about to stand. I know the protocol is when I stand, you all stand, but please remain seated.” Emiko expressed gratitude to the chiefs who stood by him during the tussle for the throne, saying they need to be “specially recognised.” In an address to those who may have wanted someone else on the throne, he assured of no ill feelings. "We were not and were never offended at any point in time during the process that culminated to this day", Emiko said. SOURCE
FG And CBN Disregard Borrowing Limit
The Story The Federal government’s total borrowing from the Central Bank of Nigeria through ‘ways and means advances’ has ballooned to N15.51t, rising by 2,286% in six years, new CBN data shows.
In just six years? Yes, in six years. The N15.51t owed by Abuja to the CBN is not part of the country’s total public debt stock – a number which comprises federal and subnational debt as well as that of the Federal Capital Territory – which stood at N33.11t as of March 2021, according to the Debt Management Office. Ways and means advances is a loan facility used by the central bank to finance the government in periods of temporary budget shortfalls subject to limits imposed by law.
What's the limit imposed by law? According to Section 38 of the CBN Act 2007, the bank may grant temporary advances to the FG in respect of temporary deficiency of budget revenue at such rate of interest as the bank may determine. The Act says, “The total amount of such advances outstanding shall not at any time exceed five per cent of the previous year’s actual revenue of the FG.” In the first six months of this year, the FG borrowed N2.4t from the CBN, more than half of what it got in the whole of last year.
Isn't that against the law? It is, obviously. The N2.4t is much higher than 5% of the FG’s retained revenue of N3.9t in the previous year. As of June 2015, a month after President Buhari came into power, the total government borrowing from the apex bank stood at N648.26b. The CBN data show that it jumped from N856.33b in December 2015 to N2.23t in December 2016. The total borrowing from the bank grew by N1.08t in 2017 to N3.31t. It rose further by N2.1t in 2018 to N5.41t.
How did it get to N15t between 2018 and now? The FG’s borrowing from the CBN surged by 61.18% (N3.31t) to N8.72t at the end of 2019. Last year, the government turned to the apex bank for a record N4.9t to plug its fiscal financing gap, bringing its total borrowing to N13.11t as of December 2020. Add this year's N2.4t, and it jumps pass the N15t mark. In February, the International Monetary Fund said Nigeria’s monetary policy operational framework should be reformed in the medium term, adding that the central bank financing of the budget deficit should be phased out in order to reduce inflation.
The IMF, however, added that a complete removal of central bank financing of fiscal deficits would require higher domestic revenue mobilisation. In a letter of intent to the IMF, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, and the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, said the recourse to central bank financing would be eliminated by 2025. They added that the existing stock of overdrafts held at the CBN would also be securitised. SOURCE
Trace The Funds
The Story The likes of Sani Abacha, James Ibori, etc have given Nigerians, and observers elsewhere, an idea of how much of Nigeria's purse has been plundered by the country's political class. One thing that has not always been discussed, however, is how the loot is usually successfully shipped abroad. We now have an idea of the how.
What's it? A new report by Global Financial Integrity, an American think-tank focused on illicit financial flows, corruption, illicit trade and fundlaundering, has ranked Nigeria fifth among countries with the most politically exposed persons involved in real estate fundlaundering schemes in the US. Titled ‘Acres of fundlaundering: Why U.S. real estate is a kleptocrat’s dream’, the report delved into the murky world of global fund laundering and demonstrated the ease with which kleptocrats, criminals, sanctions evaders, and corrupt government officials chose the US real estate market as their preferred destination to hide and launder proceeds from illicit activities.
What's in it? A key finding from the report showed that from cases reported in the last five years, more than $2.3b had been laundered through US real estate, including millions more through other alternate assets like art, jewelry, and yachts. According to the report, more than 50% of the reported cases in the US involved politically exposed persons, which was particularly problematic considering the lack of guidance on PEP identification.
Which are the other countries on the list? From the report, well over half of all cases in the US involved a PEP, with the top three PEP countries all from within the Western Hemisphere (Mexico, Venezuela, and Guatemala), followed by Malaysia and Nigeria.” It argued for a more robust approach by the US government in addressing the issue, including requiring real estate agents to identify the beneficial owner of a residential real estate purchase and making legal professionals the lead reporting entity for identifying fund laundering dangers in commercial real estate transactions. SOURCE
Floating Into Society
The Story He just wanted to be left alone. For 30 years, David Lidstone, known as "River Dave," lived as a hermit in a cabin he built in the New Hampshire woods, alongside the Merrimack River. And even though the 81-year-old had been ordered off the property, which wasn't legally his, River Dave would probably still be in his cabin if it hadn't burned down last week.
How could he move to and occupy a property that wasn't his? The property was undeveloped and had been owned by the same family since 1963. The family member who owned it most recently was 86-year-old Leonard Giles of South Burlington, Vermont, and he wanted Lidstone off the property. River Dave claimed a prior owner in the family promised him he could live there, but he didn't have anything in writing to prove it.
Crime Or Accident? On July 15, Lidstone was jailed for civil contempt. On August 4, he represented himself in a hearing, and both sides agreed to arrange for him to collect his cats and chickens and remaining possessions on the site. But shortly thereafter the cabin burned down. The fire chief said he wasn't ruling out arson, but said it could have been an accident caused by a representative of Giles, who had started demolishing the cabin while Lidstone was in court. River Dave has remained pretty unflappable about the whole thing. He told reporters he probably couldn't go back to being a hermit anyway, because "society is not going to allow it."
What's he going to do now? People all over have offered to help, and he's got a support system in place. River Dave has, according to reports, received a check for $180,000 from a tech wealthy man to build a new home. He explained that over the years he'd built relationships that just kept expanding. "Maybe the things I've been trying to avoid are the things that I really need in life," he said. As River Dave's life has shown, we want you to know it's never too late to make positive changes in life. SOURCE
WHAT ELSE IS FRESH...
CBN pegs microfinance banks loan per transaction at N1m
PIA: FG, labour negotiations to minimise effects of subsidy removal – PPPRA
How to read more books in the golden age of content. Youtube
Can you spot the grammar errors in the following WSJ sentences?
1. The hackers all met in an online forum called OGUsers, where access to a variety of gaming, social media and other types of accounts are bought and sold, investigators say.
2. The case shone a light on the security practices of a company that is facing pressure from many fronts.
3. Continental voters would be loathe to scrap the EU, but they increasingly want to change it.
4. The traders took turns driving coffles of heavily shackled, ill-clad, barely fed chattel as many as 1,000 miles on foot.
QUESTION & ANSWER
What would be the biggest shock for us if we were transported back 1000 years?
Everyone was dirty and hosts to fleas and lice. Most houses had holes in the bottom of doors to allow cats to come in and kill the mice and rats. Most houses had “thresholds”, literally meaning that the floors were covered with the leftover stalks of barley or wheat, or “thresh”.
There were no paved roads, and almost no chimneys—which were invented later. No running water, no soap, no toothbrushes. “Curfew” was strictly enforced as a measure against house fires: it meant you were required to cover your kitchen fire with ashes so sparks couldn’t spread and ignite your thatch roof.
Criminals were hanged by the side of the road and allowed to rot off the gibbet. Sometimes their bones were buried at the intersection of crossing roads. In the road. Only priests could read, most of them. Very few people owned metal of any kind. Fences where they existed were made of thorn bushes trained to grow in a row, over centuries. Some walls of stacked stone existed, but the people did not have ready access to mortar or concrete.
In light of these conditions, the construction of a gothic cathedral was like landing a survivable human colony on Mars. SOURCE
Grammar Quiz Answers
1. Access is bought and sold, not “are” 2. The past tense of shine is shined when the verb has an object 3. Loathe is to hate something; the correct spelling of this word, meaning reluctant, is “loath” 4. It should be “as much as” or “as long as” 1,000 miles on foot because it’s a measurement.