Good morning. Without an official announcement or fanfare, US Disney parks are including a Black Santa Claus in Christmas celebrations this year for the first time in the company's 66-year theme park history.
Economics! You gerrit?
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Sudan. Deposed prime minister signed a deal with the military on Sunday that will see him reinstated, almost a month after a military coup put him under house arrest. A key pro-democracy group that has mobilized dozens of protests had dismissed the deal as “a form of betrayal.”
United States. Five people have died and over forty were injured after a car ploughed into a parade in Wisconsin. The suspect appeared to have been fleeing another scene when he ran into people at the parade. The incident did not appear to be an act of terrorism at this time, they said.
China. Tennis star Peng Shuai, who had been missing since she accused a government official of sexual assault, appeared in public at a youth tournament on Sunday, days after the Women's Tennis Association said it would pull events out of China unless the country proved she was safe.
Europe. Protests in European countries against new Covid-19 restrictions turned violent over the weekend as cases continue to rise in the continent. Rioting broke out at The Hague on Saturday over the Dutch government's new coronavirus measures. Elsewhere, an estimated 40,000 people on Saturday crowded the streets of Vienna in the country's biggest coronavirus-related protest to date.
1963 US President John F. Kennedy assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald while riding in an open-topped motorcade in Dallas, Texas
2005 Angela Merkel becomes the first female Chancellor of Germany
2017 Vanellope Wilkins, born with her heart outside her body, is first UK baby to survive birth and operations to reinsert her heart
FG Seeks $30m For Vaccine Plant
The Story The Nigerian government is in talks with the World Bank to obtain $30m to build a vaccine plant in the country.
Is this a grant? No, it's a loan. This was made known during the graduation of Senior Executive Course 43 participants of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, held on Saturday in Jos. Speaking through Vice-president Yemi Osinbajo, president Buhari said he hoped that the vaccine plant - to be built in collaboration with May & Baker Nigeria Plc - would commence next year.
What's the role of May & Baker in the project? The proposed plant - Biovaccines Nigeria Ltd - is a partnership between the company and the federal government, with 49% owned by the Nigerian government and the balance held by May & Baker Nigeria Plc. “The plant will initially ‘fill and finish,’ which means importing the raw materials for the vaccines and then packaging them for distribution. Full manufacturing is expected to follow", the president said.
At the event, which was attended by Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, and other dignitaries, Buhari said the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria was limited by "providence and the good policies of his government". SOURCE
The Story At a formal three-way meeting in the Oval Office Thursday with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, President Biden said a diplomatic boycott of the February 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing is "something we are considering."
What's a diplomatic boycott? A diplomatic boycott suggests that the U.S. would not send an official government delegation to the Games but would still allow U.S. athletes to compete. White House press secretary Jen Psaki declined to say how Biden defined it. Reports say Chinese government officials have warned of a "robust Chinese response" to any boycotts.
Did Biden raise this in his recent meeting with the Chinese president? No, the White House said the games' boycott was not discussed in the 3½-hour videoconference meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Human rights advocates have been urging countries to hold China accountable for its record on human rights by skipping the Beijing Olympics, calling them the "genocide games."
Weren't these concerns there when China was picked as host? While politicians from both sides of the divide have supported the call for boycott, the International Olympic Committee has said policing host countries' human rights records is outside its scope. IOC President Thomas Bach argued in a speech last month that the Games should be "respected as politically neutral ground." SOURCE
Clipping Their Wings
The Story Pegasus, the hacking software sold by the Israeli surveillance firm, NSO Group, has been used to spy on journalists, opposition groups, and activists.
What's the news about Pegasus now? NSO insists the software is intended to help countries fight organized crime and terrorism by allowing them to remotely and secretly penetrate a phone, monitor its location, and extract its contents. But there have been so many accusations of abuse that the Biden administration hit the company with sanctions last week.
Was the software used against the U.S.? Among those that are said to have been targeted through the software are journalists from CNN, The Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News, and The New York Times. NSO's biggest backer, Israel's government, considers the software a crucial element of its foreign policy and is lobbying Washington to remove the firm from the blacklist. But abuse accusations keep coming.
Indirect warning to Israel? International computer privacy experts said Monday that Pegasus had been deployed against Palestinian rights activists. Israel denied the accusation and NSO wouldn't identify who used the software or why. U.S. officials said that by imposing sanctions, the U.S. government is not only accusing NSO of acting against U.S. interests, but also implicitly accusing Israel, which licenses the software, of doing the same. SOURCE
The Story Animals have reportedly begun “shapeshifting” as an evolutionary mechanism in response to rising temperatures across the globe.
What is shapeshifting? It is described as a process or ability of transforming into different forms. In this case, scientists have found that warm-blooded animals have been getting larger beaks, legs, and ears to help regulate internal body temperature. Some creatures in warmer climates have historically evolved to have larger beaks or ears to get rid of heat more easily, and these differences are becoming more pronounced as the climate continues to warm.
How much impact does climate change have on animals? Without changes to their physiology, warm-blooded animals such as birds and most mammals would be increasingly susceptible to overheating and dying due to lack of temperature regulation. Some scientists have stated that animal evolution toward the appearance of “Dumbo” the elephant may become a reality if global temperatures continue to rise at their current pace. Without air conditioning technology at their disposal, animals in the wild must adapt to survive - and if that means becoming the star of the next live-action Pixar movie, so be it.
Are all animals able to make these adjustments? According to Sara Ryding of Deakin University, a bird researcher and author of the major study tracking shapeshifting in birds, “the climate change that we have created is heaping a whole lot of pressure on them, and while some species will adapt, others will not". It is unclear whether these changes will affect the animals in other ways – for example, bigger legislations could affect how birds feed, something the scientists plan to research in future work. SOURCE
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In Nigeria, how many ethnic groups are there? A. 3 B. 250 C. 371
QUESTION & ANSWER
What's stopping the 99% from successfully rebelling against the 1%?
There’s an old joke that a heart surgeon goes to a mechanic to get his fuel pump replaced. While he’s working on the car, the mechanic muses that their jobs are pretty much the same. “I figure out what the problem is, take out the old pump, put a new one in, and sent the ‘patient’ on its way. So how come I make $40,000 a year, and you make $400,000?” The surgeon smiles and says “try doing it while the engine is running”.
You might think my point is that the 1% earned their wealth through their superior skills. That’s actually not it at all. My point is that the economy isn’t about static wealth that can just be grabbed and redistributed. The economy is a vast machine with millions of moving parts in constant motion. If you disrupt that engine, then we’re all worse off than we were.
And this is a big deal. There was a time when wealth was primarily a result of who owned which land and natural resources. In such an economic setting, one can imagine seizing the land from the landowners and redistributing it among the peasants (that has it’s own issues, but it’s conceivable).
In the modern economy, it doesn’t work like that. Let’s say we wanted to physically seize Jeff Bezos funds and redistribute it? How do you do that with force of arms? The vast majority of that wealth is in stocks, which means that it’s entirely theoretical. Armed mobs could seize Amazon trucks and warehouses, and occupy their corporate offices, and… then what? You’d end up with a few trucks and buildings divided among however many members of the uprising there were. Even all the inventory you could seize wouldn’t be all that much, once you divvied it up. In order for Amazon to have it’s value, it needs to continue to function. To tear it down, or even to disrupt it’s operation by violence, means that something that was once incredibly value now becomes nearly worthless.
And the same goes for most of the wealthiest people in the world. Very few of the uber-rich have large amounts of wealth in any form that you could physically seize and occupy without destroying most of their value.
And that’s one of the issues with communist rebellions. They’re sometimes successful at pulling down the wealth of the wealthy, making people more equally poor, but redistributing the wealth to make everyone roughly equivalent? They’re terrible at that.
The best you can hope for is to create a social and governmental system in which successful businesses and individuals have to continually contributed some portion of their profits to the common good, as a condition of doing business in this society. That has its issues as well, but it has much more potential than trying to rebel and grab wealth that doesn’t exist in a grabbable form. SOURCE
In Nigeria, how many ethnic groups are there? C. 371
Answer according to this Vanguard link which listed them out.
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