Good morning.Companies are changing their names to better represent their future ambitions. First, Facebook became Meta as part of its push to build the metaverse, and Square, Jack Dorsey’s payments company, renamed itself Block yesterday to reflect its expansion into crypto/blockchain.
When is *coughs* going to name itself Nigerian Government?
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Ukraine. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has warned Moscow of the “severe costs and consequences” it would pay if it invaded Ukraine, urging his Russian counterpart to seek a diplomatic exit from the crisis.
United States. NASA has awarded about $415M to three companies to help develop a private space station as the agency plans to decommission the International Space Station (ISS) at the end of the decade. The awards are phase one of NASA's plan to ensure there aren't any gaps between its decommission of the ISS and the availability of a new station.
Belarus. The US, UK, EU and Canada have imposed sanctions on Belarus, accusing the government of President Alexander Lukashenko of human rights violations and “orchestrating” irregular migration at the EU’s border. The move is part of an ongoing pressure campaign by Western countries against Lukashenko, whom they accuse of rights abuses and creating a migration crisis.
Germany. Leaders have agreed to bar unvaccinated people from much of public life in a bid to fend off a fourth wave of Covid-19. Outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel described the far-reaching measures as an act of "national solidarity". Only those who have been vaccinated or recently recovered from Covid will be allowed in restaurants, cinemas, leisure facilities and many shops. Vaccinations could be made mandatory by February.
1586 Sir Thomas Herriot introduces potatoes to England from Colombia
1967 1st human heart transplant performed in South Africa by Dr Christiaan Barnard on Louis Washkansky
1999 NASA loses radio contact with the Mars Polar Lander moments before the spacecraft enters the Martian atmosphere
Can-A-Doing What to Nigeria
The Story The Canadian government has extended its travel ban on travellers who have recently visited Nigeria amid worries over the spread of the recently discovered Omicron variant of the Coronavirus.
Has the new variant been reported in Nigeria? Yes, Nigeria on Wednesday reported its first cases of the Omicron variant, also known as B.1.1.529 lineage. This ban comes two days after Canada announced that it detected its first cases of the new strain of Coronavirus in two people who had travelled recently to Nigeria. Egypt and Malawi were also added to the list, making it a total of 10 countries in Africa that were handed a travel ban by Canada over concerns of the spread of the new variant.
Does this apply to all countries that have reported cases of Omicron? According to a statement by the Canadian Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos on Wednesday, “We are adding three countries to the list of these countries that we talked about last Friday; these are Malawi, Egypt and Nigeria.” He further said that foreign nationals who have travelled to these countries over the last 14 days will be forbidden from entering Canada. They join a list of seven southern African countries that had restrictive measures imposed on them.
Even Canadians aren't left out The new measures also apply to Canadian citizens and permanent residents, even those that are fully vaccinated. Once they've been in any of these ten countries over the last 14 days, they will have to receive a negative PCR test before being allowed to travel to Canada. "Upon arriving in Canada, they will face more testing and quarantine measures,” Duclos said. The Omicron variant appears to get around some immunity but vaccines should still offer protection against severe disease, according to the latest data from South African researchers, where it is fast overtaking Delta to become the dominant variant. SOURCE
Court Sides Sanusi
The Story The Federal High Court, Abuja on Tuesday declared the banishment of deposed Emir of Kano, Lamido Sanusi, from Kano State as unlawful and unconstitutional.
Was there no law that backed the decision? Delivering judgement in Sanusi’s suit, the judge, Anwuli Chikere, held that the Emirate Council Law, 2019, relied on by the Kano State government in banishing Mr Sanusi was in conflict with the Nigerian constitution. According to Chikere, the Nigerian constitution is supreme and any law that is inconsistent with it shall be null and void. The judge declared that the former emir had the right to live anywhere, including Kano State, as enshrined in the country’s constitution.
Why was he even deposed then? The Kano State Government, through Usman Alhaji, the secretary to the state government, had said in a statement, that Mr Sanusi was dethroned because of insubordination. In addition to nullifying the banishment, the judge awarded N10m compensation to him and against the respondents comprising the police, the State Security Service (SSS) and the Attorney-General of Kano State. She also ordered them to tender a public apology to him in two national dailies.
How were the police and SSS involved? The Kano State Government had on March 9, 2020 deposed Sanusi, after which security agents moved him to Abuja. He was later banished to Awe, Nasarawa State, where he was detained in a private home until 13 March when he obtained an interim order of the court for his release from house arrest. Despite his release, Sanusi continued to pursue the suit, raising issues of how his rights were violated with his detention and banishment. SOURCE
A Country Under (Hon)Duress
The Story On Monday, the vote for Honduras’ new President was inexplicably paused for hours, leaving the country in a lurch during a hugely important election.
What's happening there? Hondurans are increasingly attempting to leave the country amid violence and economic strife, and while the election may have the ability to change the course of the country’s future, many analysts say that deeply ingrained corruption will prevent any major changes from taking place. President Juan Orlando Hernández has held the office for eight years, but the left-leaning opposition party has the first chance to take power since 2009, when a coup removed President Manuel Zelaya.
Who are the candidates? The candidates are Nasry Asfura, 63, and Xiomara Castro, 62. Asfura is a former businessman, has served as a mayor for seven years, and is regularly referred to as “Papi” (which means “daddy). He represents the National Party, but despite trying to market himself with the slogan “Daddy is Different,” he has been plagued by corruption claims and embezzlement rumors. His platform is job creation and fixing the economy, and he argues that his opponent is a Communist committed to destroying the country.
How do they stand? Castro, who is married to ousted former President Zelaya, appears to be on the way to becoming the country’s first woman president. Monday afternoon, before the vote was stalled, she held a nearly 20-point lead with over half the ballots counted. Castro wants to reestablish a relationship with China, make abortion more accessible, overhaul the constitution, get U.N. support for fighting corruption, and manage the country’s $13b owed. She’s won the support of other political parties and the business sector.
This election cycle has been unbelievably dangerous, as almost 30 candidates, activists, and their relatives have been killed leading up to Sunday’s election. The last election was full of irregularities, so the National Party hopes that this election will help them to restore some faith from the citizens. U.S. President Joe Biden also hopes that the elections provide a much-needed boost to his approval ratings, as he’s struggled with two key points of his foreign policy agenda -- stemming the tide of immigration and repairing corruption in Central America. SOURCE
Cuosing The Door
The Story Chris Cuomo, journalist and brother of former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, has been suspended from his job at CNN following revelations regarding the nature of his communications with Andrew Cuomo.
Nature of his communication? New York Attorney General Letitia James released a text message conversation between Cuomo and his older brother’s top aide. The conversation showed the younger Cuomo asking to take a larger part in his brother’s response to the sexual misconduct allegations the former governor was facing.
Did the conversation suggest his complicity? The text messages revealed that Chris attempted to help his brother’s aide prepare her response to the allegations, asking "Please let me help with the prep." When asked by the aide; "Can u check your sources," regarding a possible Politico report on the allegations, Chris reported back "No one has heard that yet." Chris helped verify sources similarly for other possible articles on the issue in order to help his brother’s PR team stay ahead of the press.
While CNN was informed by Chris Cuomo that he had broken company integrity rules before the conversations were released, CNN decided not to take action against his position. Once the conversations were released, however, the media giant quickly changed its tone, stating “these documents point to a greater level of involvement in his brother's efforts than we previously knew. As a result, we have suspended Chris indefinitely, pending further evaluation." SOURCE
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Who was Africa’s first Archbishop? A. Bishop Kukah B. Bishop Benson Idahosa C. Bishop Ajayi Crowther
QUESTION & ANSWER
Why is the United States of America so much wealthier than other countries?
Eduardo Marqués Collado
Like any real estate agent would say: “Location, location, and location”.
The US is, simply put, world-class premium real estate.
The United States is probably the only single country on this planet Earth that could make a North-Korea-like autarchy economy work.
Like, man, have you seen this country? Really, look at this beauty:
Not pictured in this photo: actual borders.
First, it is HUGE. It is a continent-sized country like China or India, without the massive population of these two. The ratio of land and natural resources per citizen is already a damn good basis for prosperity.
Second, it is mostly habitable. As in, the US is really cozy, save for a couple of regions. While of course population density is not evenly distributed in the US (a problem that it shares with almost every modern country on Earth due to the exodus from rural areas towards cities), unlike, say, Russia, whose land surface is mostly comprised of taiga, or China, which encompass the huge, harsh Gobi desert and oxygen-poor Himalaya mountain range, most US land is arable, flat and located on a temperate zone.
Third, it is highly mobile, well-connected real estate. Meaning, most of its coasts (of its TWO coasts, with access to two oceans at the same time, damn) have warm ports (that is, ports that do not go out of action all year round), and on top of that, the US also has a damn impressive network of navigable rivers that criss-cross its plains, thus making it even easier to transport goods. Oh, how I envy those! I would kill to have at least one of those deep, navigable commerce-boosting rivers in my beautiful, albeit dry and rugged Spain.
That, paired with a unified, stable polity with consolidated borders (reinforced by two oceans acting like gigantic castle moats), has allowed the US to develop almost every single industry inside its borders: If you can make funds out of it, there’s at least one US company working on it. There is a mining industry, High tech industry, fisheries, media, farming, music industry, fashion works, steel mills, silicon valley, big oil, you name it. The US is the closest thing to a self-reliant economy in this globalized world of ours.
So as long as the US keeps its territories under its control, and its political system remains stable, the US will probably be an economic juggernaut for the time to come, China's rise or not.
Edit/addendum: Since this answer of mine has gotten a lot of traction, I will expand my line of reasoning with two books.
Why nations fail, explains the “software” behind the success of the US, present in the latest part of my answer. A stable political system with strong institutions and a strong emphasis on the rule of law might be “a given” for many countries, but it is absolutely essential for the prosperity of a nation, even more so than any kind of physical resources, and I feel that I did not put enough emphasis on this factor.
Meanwhile, the bulk of this answer was based on The revenge of geography, which explains why geography and our physical world still matters a great deal when it comes to geopolitics and wealth creation, despite claims to the contrary in our digital, “ethereal” globalized world of ours, for you need more than good governance in order to become a superpower. SOURCE
Who was Africa’s first Archbishop? C. Bishop Ajayi Crowther
2022 Young Global Changers Recoupling Awards for Young entrepreneurs & innovators (Fully Funded to the summit at Berlin, Germany)
Since 2017, the Young Global Changers program has attracted over 350 students and young professionals from more than 110 different countries to participate in the Global Solutions Summit and to attend the Global Solutions Summer School.
- Young entrepreneurs or innovators who have started or are involved in a leading role in a social enterprise that aims at aligning economic activity with environmental sustainability and social prosperity.
- Young non-profit actors, community organizers, advocacy leaders, campaigners, or implementers of social, economic, or environmental change on a local, regional or even on the global level.
- The applicant should have a leading position in the project/initiative they are applying with. (e.g. founder, co-founder, project-lead, initiator or a similar role.)
The scholarship includes the following:
- Travel expenses to and from Berlin**
- Accommodation for the time of the Global Solutions Summit (three nights, March 27-30, 2022)***
- Admission to the Global Solutions Summit 2022
Application Deadline: January 5th 2022. Here for more information.
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