Good morning. Danish art museum lent an artist $84,000 to recreate his own older artworks. Instead, he sent them two empty picture frames and titled the piece "Take the Money and Run."
Reality is indeed stranger than fiction
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United States. Federal wildlife officials said 11 birds, eight freshwater mussels, two kinds of fish, a bat, and a plant have been permanently lost. And that climate change will continue to affect global biodiversity if things don’t change.
Algeria. The government accused its former colonial ruler France of “genocide” and recalled its ambassador from Paris in anger over what it said were “inadmissible” comments attributed to French President Emmanuel Macron. The Algerian government also banned French military planes from its airspace on Sunday.
Jordan. King Abdullah II is among dozens of world leaders to have hidden millions of dollars in offshore tax havens and secretly bought luxury homes across the globe, according to an investigation published on Sunday. The so-called Pandora Papers probe involving some 600 journalists is based on the leak of some 11.9 million documents from 14 global financial services.
1537 The 1st complete English-language Bible, the "Matthew Bible" is printed, with translations by William Tyndale and Miles Coverdale
1582 The calendar invented by Julius Caesar was to endure for 1,600 years, but it was finally discarded when Pope Gregory XIII came up with a more accurate version on this day.
2006 WikiLeaks is launched, created by internet activist Julian Assange
Sanusi blows hot, 'Our subsidy is scam'
The Story The former Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, has said the payment of fuel subsidy by the federal government is a “scam”.
How? Speaking on Arise Television on Friday, Sanusi decried how successive administrations continue with fuel subsidy payments despite damage to the nation’s revenue and economy, and said some people in power are making a lot out of it. Arguing against subsidy payments, Sanusi said that it does not make sense to think Nigerians need more cheap fuel when there are other basic things like healthcare, infrastructure, electricity and telecommunications.
How much is the government currently paying as subsidy? In the last seven months, petrol subsidy payments have cost the government N714b, further complicating the country's financial challenges. The former CBN governor argued that the economic reality of the country is a product of some “negative decisions” taken by successive administrations, and said that the first problem of the country in terms of management of its petroleum resources is the assumption that Nigeria is an oil-rich country.
Isn't it? Using the country's low production figures as reference, Sanusi argues that Nigeria is not an oil-rich country. "....I remembered in 2011 when we were talking about the fuel subsidy debate when President Jonathan rightfully wanted to remove the fuel subsidy. I said to people we are producing two million barrels of crude oil for 160 million Nigerians, that is one barrel for 80 people. Saudi Arabia produces one barrel for three citizens. That is a rich country", Sanusi said.
Insisting that a significant percentage of Nigeria's fuel import figures - used in determining subsidy payments - is "phantom", Sanusi said Nigerians "need education, they need healthcare, they need infrastructure, they need electricity, they need telecommunications, they need agriculture and you decide that what they need more than anything else is cheap fuel." "That does not make sense.” SOURCE
Boko Haram runs riot in Niger
The Story For a while now the attention of Nigerians has been on the role of bandits and herdsmen in the country's insecurity crisis, giving the boko-haram terrorists almost a reign to continue their capture of Nigerian territory.
What about them? Suleiman Chukuba, chairman of Shiroro LGA in Niger state, says over 500 communities in his LGA have been taken over by Boko-Haram fighters. Speaking with journalists on Friday, Chukuba said not less than 8 wards in the LGA are now under Boko Haram siege. “Shiroro local government has an uncountable number of Boko Haram fighters", Chukuba said.
Did the FG not say they've been significantly decimated? According to Chukuba, who said the affected areas are Manta, Gurmana, Bassa-Kokki, Allawa, Kurebe, Kushaka, Kwati, Chukuba and Galadima Kogo, the fighters do not only capture these territories, they're also growing their number by enlisting more fighters from among the people. “They incorporate the people of those communities by telling them they have arms and funds to give them so they can assist them in fighting the government,” he said.
Calling on the federal government to deploy more security operatives to the area to fight the fighters who have made Shiroro their home, he said; “I have the proof being that I am the executive chairman, the chief security officer of the local government". Niger state governor, Abubakar Bello, had mentioned this in April, when he said the fighters had hoisted their flag in Kaure, Shiroro LGA. SOURCE
Coming Down With Pegasus
The Story The investigative website Mediapart reports that traces of Pegasus spyware were found on the mobile phones of at least five current French cabinet members.
What's Pegasus? Pegasus is the hacking software — military-grade spyware — developed, marketed, and licensed to governments around the world by the Israeli company NSO Group, with the capability to infect a lot of phones running either iOS or Android operating systems. The Pegasus Project is a global consortium of media partners assembled to investigate the extent and impact of the spyware.
Is the French government spying on members of its own cabinet? It is still not clear who is behind this or what their objective is. In response to inquiry, the Élysée Palace said it would not comment on “long and complex investigations which are still ongoing”. Two months ago, phone numbers of top French officials including president Emmanuel Macron and most of his 20 cabinet members, and 13 other heads of state and governments appeared in a leaked database at the heart of the investigative project.
So it could be an outsider that is behind it? That cannot be ruled out. President Macron is, however, understood to have changed his phone number for some calls. The Israeli company, NSO, has said that its powerful spyware is meant to be used to investigate serious crime, and not to target members of civil society. It has said that it has no connection to the leaked database that was investigated by the Pegasus Project and that the tens of thousands of numbers contained in the list are not the targets of NSO’s government clients.
Although marketed to track terrorists and criminals, the spyware was found to have been used in attempted and successful hacks of 37 smartphones belonging to journalists, human rights activists, business executives and the two women closest to murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. SOURCE
The Turducken Of Nightmares
The Story Three decades ago, some scientists had the idea to introduce a butterfly to the tiny island of Sottunga in a sub-region of Finland. So, they populated the island with Glanville fritillary caterpillars, and waited for emerging butterflies to happily disperse across the landscape.
Unintended Results Unfortunately, the researchers didn't realize some caterpillars contained a parasitic wasp that bursts from the caterpillar before it can pupate and become a butterfly. Furthermore, living inside some of these parasitic wasps was another even tinier, rarer parasite, a "hyperparasitoid" wasp, which kills the parasitic wasp about the same time that wasp is killing the caterpillar. 10 days later, the tiny wasp emerges from the caterpillar's carcass.
What happened next? There's more. Also joining this mess was a bacterium carried by the larger female wasps and transmitted to their offspring. Plus, by some still unknown mechanism, the bacterium increases the susceptibility of the larger parasitic wasps to being taken over by the tiny parasitic wasps -- which can only live on their larger hosts. So with all this bursting and killing and zombie activity going on, what's really surprising is that 30 years later, all four species are still surviving on this itty-bitty, 10.4 square mile island.
Should we be concerned? Dr. Anne Duplouy of the University of Helsinki is the lead author of a study about all this, published in Molecular Ecology. She has a warning to projects seeking to reintroduce or restore rare species about how easily other organisms or pathogens can be inadvertently released alongside the target species. "The reintroduction of endangered species comes from the heart, a good place, but we have a lot to learn about the species we are reintroducing and the habitat where we want to reintroduce them before we do so," she said.
Someone should tell that to the people behind Colossal, a startup that has raised $15m so far to bring the woolly mammoth back from extinction by 2027 using CRISPR, the gene editing technology. The goal is to add woolly mammoth DNA to elephants to create a hybrid that lives in the Arctic. What could possibly go wrong? SOURCE
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QUESTION & ANSWER
What is the biggest startup scandal?
$150 million lawsuit? An app everyone uses… I present Snapchat!
(Evan Spiegel, CEO and cofounder, and his wife Miranda Kerr)
The famous texting app had a scandal larger than even facebook.
The story starts in a Stanford dormitory in a fraternity. Guys are messing around chatting about how hard it is to securely sext their girlfriends. Suddenly one of them, Reggie Brown, has an idea. He runs to his friend, Evan Spiegel‘s, room.
“What if we made a texting app that has disappearing messages?”
Evan replies: “Oh my god thats a million dollar idea!” He jumps up.
They decide to do it. Evan is made CEO because he has had experience with this before while Reggie is CMO. They agree to split everything equally and make all decisions together.
They realise that they need a technical cofounder as neither can program so they onboard one of Evan’s previous startup pals, Bobby Murphy. Spiegel and Murphy had had a failed startup already under the company Tayappa.
Murphy works tirelessly for a week and the first version is out. Their friends mess around on it and say “its cool” but it doesn't really catch on. All three boys agree to keep trying but Reggie gives up hope.
(Brown Murphy Spiegel)
Eventually by chance Snapchat, initially known by Picaboo and Pictaboo, catches on. One of the founders family members tells her daughter. She and her friends use it to cheat on tests. Soon the app starts to spread across California like wildfire.
That summer the three stay and work together at Evan’s house. They are all excited but Reggie is less motivated. Slowly he does less and less work and the other two become frustrated. To save time Spiegel incorporates Snapchat under Tayappa as he wants to avoid the effort of creating a new company.
Things are not well. Evan and Reggie have a huge fight as Reggie does not file a patent he is meant to. The two make up tersely. Finally the day to discuss shares arrives. Reggie insists he wants 20% but Spiegel does not want to give him this much. Bobby just nods his head to Spiegel. Spiegel says max 10. Reggie gets angry and they have another fight. Spiegel says Brown will not get anything. He reminds Brown that technically he and Murphy own all of it as its registered under Tayappa.
Brown sues Spiegel but only for $150 million (this is over double the amount the Winklevoss twins got from Zuckerberg).
Snapchat goes public and overnight Spiegel and Murphy become wealthy. But not Reggie. Spiegel remains CEO and Murphy, CTO. Brown is nothing. SOURCE