Good morning.In today's there's-nothing-you-can-believe-in news: The Co-Founder Of The Fact-Checking Site Snopes Was Writing Plagiarized Articles Under A Fake Name.
When you can't even trust Snopes to not lie to you anymore.
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Tennis. Diede de Groot became the first player to complete the golden slam in wheelchair tennis after her victorory on all four majors and the Paralympic gold medal, completing the feat by being victorious in the US Open final on Sunday.
Britain. Authorities have decided not to require vaccine passports for entry into nightclubs and other crowded events in England, Britain’s health secretary said Sunday, reversing course amid opposition from some of the Conservative government’s supporters in Parliament.
DR Congo. President Felix Tshisekedi has called for a review of mining contracts signed with China in 2008 by his predecessor, saying he wanted to get fairer deals. Former President Joseph Kabila, who held power from 2001 to 2019, negotiated a highly contentious minerals-for-infrastructure contract with the Chinese in 2008 valued at $9bn.
Lebanon. A new government has been formed in the crisis-ridden country, ending a more than year-long power vacuum that began shortly after the August 2020 Beirut port blast. Prime Minister Najib Mikati, a wealthy man who has already twice served as premier, will lead a cabinet of ministers that will preside over an economic depression which the World Bank considers one of the world's worst since the mid-19th century.
1996 Rapper Lesane Parish Crooks aka Tupac Shakur death (aged 25)
1993 Public unveiling of the Oslo Accords, an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement initiated by Norway
Another DOM Reminder
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has dismissed speculation of a plan to convert foreign exchange (FX) in the domiciliary accounts of customers into naira.
Is this a pointer to what to expect? The CBN spokesperson, Osita Nwanisobi, in a circular issued on Saturday, said the speculation is false and aimed at triggering panic in the foreign exchange market. Nwanisobi stressed that the apex bank would never contemplate such a line of action. This is the second time the apex bank is denying such speculation since the discontinued sales of FX to Bureaux De Change(BDCs) operators in July.
What could have been the objective of such plan? A major reason, among others, for the country's FX challenges is unavailability of sufficient foreign exchange to meet its demand. And it has been speculated that the CBN was making the plan as a measure to address this shortage of FX supply. In August, the apex bank assured members of the public that there was no plan to convert the foreign exchange in the domiciliary accounts of customers into naira to check the purported shortage of availability of the dollars.
Worsening FX crisis The bank's decision to discontinue FX sale to BDCs has triggered panic in the foreign exchange market, causing a wider margin between the naira and the dollar on both the official and black markets. The CBN, however, urged the public to note that "any circular issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is posted on its website (www.cbn.gov.ng) for the attention of the general public." “We also wish to warn corporate bodies and members of the public against the unauthorized use of the Bank’s logo for any purpose whatsoever", the bank added. SOURCE
Waffle We Do About This?
The Story Japan is facing a severe shortage of workers in technology and engineering. And in university programs that produce workers in these fields, Japan has some of the lowest percentages of women in the developed world.
Why's that? Up to age 15, Japanese girls and boys perform equally well in math and science on international standardized tests. But at this critical juncture, when students must choose between the science and humanities tracks in high school, girls appear to lose confidence and interest in math and science. In these fields, the higher the educational level, the fewer the women, a phenomenon many blame on cultural expectations.
How? In Japan, it is a widely held belief that science and technology are male fields. It is not unusual to see parents worry that girls pursuing careers in these fields may have difficulty marrying. Only few female students, like Anna Matsumoto - who intends to go into engineering - are holding up despite this prejudice. Matsumoto's teachers were said to have told her that asking questions interrupted class. She has, however, retained her inquisitive mind by not listening to the teachers, some of whom told her that science was difficult for girls.
How's this being addressed? There's a digital transformation effort promoted by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, including the opening on Wednesday of a new Digital Agency intended to improve the government’s notoriously balky online services. Improving the situation will depend in part on whether Japanese society can be nudged away from the mind-set that tech is a strictly male domain. "The sex-based division of labor is deeply rooted," one young woman said. To help change the trend, two women with science backgrounds co-founded a nonprofit called Waffle, which runs one-day tech camps for middle and high school girls.
Asumi Saito and Sayaka Tanaka offer career lectures and hands-on experiences that emphasize problem solving, community, and entrepreneurship to counter the stereotypically geeky image of technology. "Our vision is to close the gender gap by empowering and educating women in technology," Saito said. SOURCE
Between Rocks And A Hard Place
The Story Journalists traveling with Canada’s Liberal Party posted videos of the Prime Minister being pelted with gravel by protestors as he boarded his campaign bus following a campaign stop in Welland, Ontario on Monday.
What's happening there? The incident underscores a national election campaign that has been growing increasingly heated. Last month, Trudeau's campaign canceled a public event for security reasons. Many protesters trailing Trudeau say they are angry with public health measures like vaccine mandates, with comments from the Prime Minister calling protestors “anti-vaxxer mobs” only riling them up more.
Are Canadians refusing vaccination? Despite having one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, with 3 out of every 4 eligible person fully vaccinated, Canada is still plagued by case counts and hospitalizations rising, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. “Yes, there is a small fringe element in this country that is angry, that doesn't believe in science, that is lashing out with racist, misogynistic attacks,” said Trudeau while campaigning in Ontario.
What are his chances in the election? Canada's snap federal election is scheduled for September 20, with polls showing a close race between Trudeau and Canada's Conservative Party leader, Erin O'Toole. While Trudeau insists on continuing his campaign despite the protests, his opponent has also denounced aggressive protesters, saying last week that his party does not condone such behavior. "We're a democracy, we should be having a healthy and respectful debate of ideas and we have no time for people who bring in negativity to campaigning," O'Toole said during a news briefing. SOURCE
September 11, 20 Years After
Twenty years ago on Saturday, the world changed.
If you are old enough, do you know where you were?
A great deal of people do. On a bright Tuesday morning, 19 al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four commercial airlines with the goal of targeting the US. Two planes struck the World Trade Center and a third hit the Pentagon. The fourth plane crashed in Pennsylvania after passengers and crew retook the flight. In all, 2,977 people were killed in the deadliest foreign attack on US soil. Here’s where the US stands today on...
The War on Terror…In the weeks and years following 9/11, the US invaded Iraq and Afghanistan. In Iraq, the US failed to find weapons of mass destruction. But the political turmoil there allowed al-Qaeda (and later ISIS) to flourish. In Afghanistan, the US and allied forces unseated the Taliban – the terror group that ruled Afghanistan – within weeks. And in 2011, the US killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in neighboring Pakistan. But despite $8 trillion and at least 2,300 American lives in Afghanistan – not to mention more than 47,000 Afghan civilian deaths – the US failed to entirely quash the Taliban. Twenty years later, the US withdrew. And the Taliban is back in power.
The victims and survivors...Nearly 3,000 lives were lost 20 years ago. But 1,106 victims' remains are still unidentified. The NYC medical examiner’s office has been using DNA tech to try to identify them. And hopefully, give their loved ones some closure. At least 10,000 people have been diagnosed with a range of cancers related to the attacks. And 2,000 have reportedly died from related illnesses.
Justice...Congress had set up a $7B fund to bring some financial relief to thousands of families of those killed in the attacks. But advocates like comedian Jon Stewart pushed to make the fund permanent. Meanwhile, some families are still trying to sue the government of Saudi Arabia for allegedly supporting the hijackers. The government has denied wrongdoing. And a US commission found no evidence that the kingdom funded al-Qaeda. Still, several Saudi government officials were questioned under oath this year, though their testimonies remain under seal.
Islamophobia…In the aftermath of 9/11, many mistakenly conflated al-Qaeda’s brand of extremism and terrorism with Islam – the world’s second-largest religion. Reprisal attacks – against Muslims and even Sikhs, members of an entirely separate religion – skyrocketed. In the months after 9/11, anti-Muslim hate crimes hit a high of 481 – compared to 28 for all of 2000. Now, the FBI reported 176 anti-Muslim hate crimes in 2019 – which some advocates claim is an undercount. Meanwhile, getting profiled by the TSA at airports is still a commonplace experience for Muslim Americans.
An unforgettable event...
9/11 shaped the lives of many Americans. And continues to shape our policy today. Twenty years later, the trauma is remembered, lives lost still saddens, heroes lauded, and collective spirit that got the United States still spur the citizens on. SOURCE
What is the smallest country in the world? A. Haiti B. Benin republic C. Vatican City
QUESTION & ANSWER
What is something that people commonly did in the 1970s that would seem odd today?
I was born in 1964, but the 1970s were when I was still a child but yet old enough to understand what was going on around me.
Some differences I remember between now and then.
As someone else in another answer pointed out, most women didn’t do paid work. Most of the moms in my neighborhood were stay at home housewives. My mother was one of the few who did paid work. Of those who did work, they worked traditional female jobs such as secretaries, teachers, and nurses. My mother was a garment worker.
Unmarried people of the opposite sex living together was frowned upon. I remember in my neighborhood there were a couple of families where the parents had different last names. The story that was told was that they were either remarried from previous marriages and the wife kept the former surname, or the wife decided to keep her maiden name. This was the era when women started doing that. It wasn’t until I got older that it became apparent that the couple was never married in the first place.
Neighborhoods weren’t as diverse. My neighborhood was predominately Italian, with a handful of Irish and Jewish families.
Obesity wasn’t as common as it is today. Among my circle of friends I remember only two fat kids. At school in my class there was one really fat boy and one girl. And I think the reason for this was the difference in portion sizes between then and now. Back then there was no supersize meals. If you had a soda with dinner it was usually in an 8 oz glass. A 10 oz bottle or 12 oz can was considered big and was usually reserved for occasions such as picnics or barbecues. I don’t remember 20 oz bottles of sodas coming out until the 90s.
We rode bikes, skateboards, sleds, etc. without any protection such as helmets, elbow, and knee pads.
Getting spanked or smacked around by one’s parents was quite common.
You didn’t wear denim (back then they were called dungarees) or sneakers to school most days. Dungarees were worn after school to play in, and sneakers were worn to school on gym day. Denim didn’t become fashionable (and pricey) until the late 70s when they came out with designer brands such as Jordache, Sasson, Calvin Klein, etc.
Edit: Thanks for all the upvotes, over 900 so far.
And thanks for all the comments. I’m sorry I’ve been unable to respond to them all. Many people were right in commenting that smoking was more prevalent back then. SOURCE
1- More than once, I’ve noticed a patient’s hesitation about taking the treatment that can potentially cure them and I try to encourage them by saying, “This treatment is an investment. It will be some discomfort for a few months, but then it will buy you the chance to get cured and enjoy a long life. Don’t you want to be alive?” Sadly, more than once a patient has answered. “Actually, now that you mention it, I’m not sure I want to—I don’t have a reason to be alive.”
She answered, “Oh, honey! I didn’t do any of that—I never did anything fun in my life.” I smiled and said, “Hey! But look how well that turned out for you! You're a hundred years old and you look great!” With a sad expression, she replied, “Honey, I wished I would’ve lived a shorter time— but done more.” SOURCE
What is the smallest country in the world? C. Vatican City