Good morning. Have you watched Squid Game? If you have not, then may be the hype is worth it. It is not the most-watched series on Netflix. It upstaged Bridgerton's 82 million with its 111 million views.
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Rwanda. Authorities have arrested six people including a journalist and members of an opposition party accused of publishing rumours allegedly intended to start an uprising, the investigation bureau said.
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Yemen. The country's economy is collapsing, its humanitarian crisis is worsening, and the conflict in the Arab world’s poorest nation is growing more violent, the United Nations’ deputy humanitarian chief has said. More than 20 million Yemenis – two-thirds of the population – need humanitarian assistance, but aid agencies, he said, “are, once again, starting to run out of funds”.
Lebanon. At least six people have been killed and dozens of others wounded when gunfire erupted as Hezbollah supporters gathered to protest against the judge investigating the Beirut port explosion. The identities and affiliations of the shooters were not immediately clear. The army deployed heavily to the area and sent troops to search for the gunmen. It urged civilians to leave the area around the incident.
1993 Nelson Mandela and South African President F. W. de Klerk awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
2017 Actress Alyssa Milano's tweet “If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’" prompts flood of replies across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
1987 1st military use of trained dolphins (US Navy in Persian Gulf)
Vaccination or No Job in Federal Civil Service
Image Source: Punch
The Story From 1 December, all federal government employees will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative PCR test result to access their offices.
Seriously? Chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on the COVID-19 pandemic and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, announced this during the Committee’s briefing in Abuja. “With effect from 1st December 2021, Federal Government employees shall be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result done within 72 hours to gain access to their offices, in all locations within Nigeria and our Missions" he said.
Is there an increase in infection rate? Speaking on the new requirement, Mustapha added that "an appropriate service-wide advisory/circular will be issued to guide the process". According to the SGF, infection rates vary, depending on location. He said that testing records over the last four weeks have shown that the trend of infection is going down in some states while in others, the trajectory is upward, adding that "the combined total for testing by PCR and RDT now stands at about 3,141,795 persons".
International Travel Restrictions The SGF also informed that the PSC had decided, after a proper review of development within their borders, to relax the restriction imposed on travellers from Brazil, Turkey and South Africa. Speaking on the diplomatic row with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over travel ban due to testing conditions, the SGF said that the aviation authorities in collaboration with the diplomatic sector have made reasonable progress in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with discussions still ongoing with Emirati authorities to resolve the impasse. SOURCE
Zamfara Suspends Alleged Bandit Lawmakers
The Story The Zamfara House of Assembly has suspended two lawmakers, Yusuf Muhammed and Ibrahim T. Tukur Bakura, for having links to various bandit groups in the state.
How did they find out? Yusuf Alhassan Kanoma, representing Maru North, had raised a motion on the allegation. Mr Kanoma said the two lawmakers had rejoiced over the kidnapping of the speaker, Nasiru Magarya’s late father, adding that they were also involved in the kidnapping of Muhammad Ahmad, a member of the assembly representing Shinkafi constituency.
Has this been investigated by relevant authorities? Mr Magarya approved the outright suspension of the two members in his ruling on the subject, and asked the chairman of the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges, Kabiru Hashimu Dansadau, to investigate the allegations and report back to plenary. The assembly announced on Tuesday that the lawmakers would remain suspended pending the outcome of investigations into the allegations that have been levelled against them.
In a statement by the assembly’s spokesperson, Mustapha Jafaru Kaura, Bakura and Muhammed were asked to “appear before the House Committee on ethics and privileges in conjunction with security agencies that are assigned by law to investigate them.” SOURCE
A Coal, Hard Truth
The Story China is stuck between a lump of coal and a hard place. Coal is the country's main source of energy, making up almost 60% of its total energy usage last year. This year, China is experiencing its worst power crunch in a decade.
What happened? Extreme weather, surging demand for energy, and the post-pandemic commodities boom are delivering a triple blow to the electricity grid. At the same time, companies have been grappling with how to meet President Xi Jinping's push for a carbon-neutral China by 2060. That ambitious target for the world's biggest coal consumer led hundreds of coal mines to shut down or slash production earlier this year, reducing supply and driving up coal prices. Add to that the restrictions on coal imports from key supplier Australia, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.
How're they managing the situation? In recent weeks, energy shortages have spread to 20 Chinese provinces, forcing the government to ration electricity during peak hours and some factories to suspend production. Just as Beijing was attempting to ease power shortages by ramping up coal production and allowing coal-fired power stations to charge more for their electricity, the country was bombarded with more severe weather, further impacting industrial output.
Impact beyond the Chinese border Earlier in October, heavy rains and flooding forced the closure of 60 mines in Shanxi province, China's largest mining hub supplying 25% of the country's coal. The adjacent Shaanxi province, also reported, hurt operations at local mines. On Monday, the price of thermal coal futures, primarily used to generate power, surged to all-time highs on the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange, and the price has more than doubled so far this year. With no short-term solution in sight, the energy shortage is straining China's economic recovery, and threatening more global supply chain chaos.
Policy Dilemma A month ago, experts and activists welcomed President Xi's announcement at the U.N. General Assembly that China planned to be carbon neutral by 2060, with emissions peaking by 2030, a goal analysts say would involve shuttering 600 coal-fired plants. Xi also pledged to stop building new coal-fired power plants abroad. But now, just a little over two weeks before the start of COP26 -- the critically important climate change conference hosted by the U.K. and Italy in Glasgow, Scotland -- Beijing says it plans to build more coal-fired power plants and intensify domestic oil and gas exploration.
Additionally, the energy crisis has led the government to rethink its timetable to slash greenhouse gas emissions. It's a significant blow to the U.K.'s goal of securing a global agreement at the COP26 on phasing out coal. SOURCE
Kim Jong Un-covering The Truth
The Story Kim Kuk-song is a former North Korean senior military officer. In 2014, he fled to Seoul, where he's been living and working for South Korean intelligence. He avoids notoriety, still worried about who might be watching and listening. It took weeks for BBC reporters to get an exclusive interview with him.
What did he say in the interview? Kim said he spent 30 years working his way to the top ranks of North Korea's powerful spy agencies, which he calls the "eyes, ears, and brains of the Supreme Leader." He kept their secrets, sent assassins to kill their critics, and even built an illegal drug lab to help raise "revolutionary" funds. He was the "reddest of the red," a loyal communist servant. But rank and loyalty don't ensure one's safety in North Korea. Kim depicts a ruthless leadership desperate to make fundsby any means possible, from drug deals to weapons sales in the Middle East and Africa.
Did he mention names? Kim Jong II was North Korea's Supreme Leader from 1994 until his death in 2011. When a disastrous famine occurred in the 1990s, and hundreds of thousands were dying, Kim Kuk-song was ordered to raise "revolutionary funds" for the Supreme Leader. Translation: deal in illegal substances. "I brought [in] three foreigners ... built a production base ... and produced ... ICE (crystal meth). Then we could get dollars to present to Kim Jong-il." Another revenue source came from illegal weapons sales to Iran. But instead of helping his starving people, the "Dear Leader" used the funds to "build villas, buy cars, buy food, get clothes and enjoy luxuries."
And they kept giving him? Kim said: "To help you understand, all the funds in North Korea belongs to the North Korean leader." In 2009, Kim Jong-un was being groomed to succeed his father, who had suffered a stroke. Kim wanted to prove himself as "a warrior," so he ordered the formation of a "terror task force" to assassinate Hwang Jang-yop, once one of the country's most powerful officials and a key architect of North Korean policy. Hwang defected to Seoul in 1997 and was extremely critical of the regime. "I personally directed and carried out the work," Kim Kuk-song said. Pyongyang denied involvement in Hwang's assassination, claiming South Korea staged it.
Another of Kim Kuk-song's responsibilities was to develop "political subordination" strategies to deal with South Korea. "There are many cases where I directed spies to go to South Korea.... I can tell you that North Korean operatives are playing an active role in various civil society organizations as well as important institutions in South Korea." He adds that the secretive country's spy and cyber networks, with its 6,000 highly skilled hackers, can reach across the globe to make crippling cyberattacks happen. SOURCE
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Do you know about the Boston Marathon? It was held this week so it might be a good idea to have a mararthin quiz. Can you match the marathon with its unique characteristic?
Marathons: Boston, Chicago, London, New York, Tokyo, Berlin
- This one’s famous for its abundance of runners in costume. - Founded in 1897, it’s the oldest annual marathon in the world. - This city’s marathon updated its course in 1990. - The flattest of the Marathon Majors. - It finishes at The Mall. - This city’s marathon course incorporates five bridges.
QUESTION & ANSWER
What are some mind-blowing facts about the English language?
So, you’ve most likely heard these words before:
But, if I were to do this:
They sound really strange, don’t they?
That’s because they violate ablaut reduplication, one of the rules in English.
According to this rule, whenever a word or sound gets repeated, the vowel cannot be the same; specifically, the word has to start with the vowel “i,” followed by either an “a” or “o.” Even more specifically, if the word is repeated twice, then the order of the vowels has to go “i,” “a,” then “o.”
This rule, though technically unwritten, is quite common throughout English. That’s why, if you’re an English speaker, it just feels normal to hear that the sound for a horse’s hooves is “clip-clop, and not “clop-clip” (despite the fact that, realistically, all the hooves should make the same sound).