Good morning. A man was kicked off a United Airlines flight for testing the mask mandate by wearing a pair of women’s underwear as a face mask. He insisted he was in compliance with the mask mandate because his nose and mouth were covered by the red thong underwear.
He later compared himself to Rosa Parks.
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The Philippines. The death toll in the strongest typhoon to batter the country this year has reached at least 146, and the governor of an island province especially hard-hit by Typhoon Rai said there may be even greater devastation that has yet to be reported.
Chile. A left-wing legislator who rose to prominence during anti-government protests has been elected the country’s next president. With almost 99% of polling stations reporting, Gabriel Boric won 56 percent of the votes, compared with 44 percent for his conservative opponent, Jose Antonio Kast. At 35, Boric is set to become Chile’s youngest-ever president.
China. Tennis star Peng Shuai has claimed she had never accused anyone of sexually assaulting her and a social media post she had made in November had been misunderstood. Peng’s wellbeing became a matter of concern when she appeared to allege that a former Chinese vice premier, Zhang Gaoli, had sexually assaulted her in the past. After that post, she was absent from public view for nearly three weeks.
Netherlands. Shopping streets were closed and people’s Christmas plans were in disarray as the country began a lockdown aimed at limiting an expected COVID-19 surge. Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced the sudden shut-down on Saturday evening, ordering the closure of all but the most essential stores, as well as restaurants, hairdressers, gyms, museums and other public places from Sunday until at least January 14.
1522 Suleiman the Magnificent accepts surrender of the surviving Knights of Rhodes, who are allowed to evacuate. They eventually settle in Malta and become known as the Knights of Malta.
1803 French flag lowered in New Orleans to mark the formal transfer of the Louisiana Purchase from France to USA for $27M
1920 Would you believe? Missouri imposes a $1 bachelor tax on unmarried men aged between 21 & 50
We Will Take That Up
The Story It is no news that customers of various Nigerian commercial banks regularly lament indiscriminate charges and debits on their accounts, many of which have gone unaddressed. Respite seems to be here, as the Central Bank of Nigeria has asked customers to report such complaints henceforth.
What did the CBN say? Osita Nwanisobi, CBN spokesperson, said bank customers with unresolved complaints should contact the apex bank. Nwanisobi said the central bank would ensure that bank customers get a redress on issues of excess charges and unauthorised withdrawals. According to him, the CBN has since issued a circular on its website, showing all legitimate bank charges; any charge outside what is stated in the circular is not allowed.
How does one reach the CBN? The CBN advised customers to first report their complaints to their deposit banks, and allow them a two week period in which the complaints are expected to be resolved. If the complaints remain unresolved after two weeks, customers can then escalate same to the Consumer Protection Department (CPD) of the CBN, by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or call +234 7002255226.
For ease and promptness in addressing issues, customers are advised to include the following in their complaints to the CPD: • Name, Address, Contact Phone Number & E-mail of the Complainant; • Name of your Financial Institution; • Personal banking details (Do NOT include PIN & Passwords); • History/Date of the transaction in dispute; • Amount claimed (if any); • Attach relevant documents to support your claim and; • Evidence to show that you have first lodged the complaint at your bank.” SOURCE
When a Bank Becomes Unbankable
The Story The Guardian reports that there are “strong indications” that the Nigerian Bank of Agriculture (BoA) has technically become unsustainable and riddled with bad debt to the tune of N77.1b.
Tell me about it This is amid failed restructuring and recapitalisation plans that had been proposed since 2019. More than two years after the bank was slated for recapitalisation through a public offer of shares predominantly targeted at farmers, processors and the public, the plan has failed to materialise. This is even as the House of Representatives is currently probing how N91b meant for the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) was disbursed by the BoA and why the bank has been unable to recoup the loans.
How did the bank incur that much of bad debt? According to the Central Bank of Nigeria Comptroller, Bauchi Branch, Saladu Idris, the bulk of the loan defaulters were rice farmers. The CBN had threatened to arrest farmers who default in paying back the ABP loans. President Buhari had in November 2015, launched the ABP to boost agricultural production and reverse Nigeria’s negative balance of payments on food. Farmers captured under this programme include those cultivating cereals (rice, maize and wheat).
So the bank's problem came from the anchor borrowers' programme? Investigation is still on on the bank's disbursement of the ABP funds. To date, the ABP has disbursed N864b to 4.1 million farmers growing 5.02 million hectares of land, inclusive of the N91b disbursed by the BoA. Managing Director of BoA, Kabir Mohammed Adamu, told the House of Representatives Committee on Agricultural Produce and Services that N14,678,423,065.03 was repaid, leaving a balance of N77,179,823,985.20 (principal) un-recouped as of 31 October 2021.
His explanation, however, did not go down well with the lawmakers, as they sought relevant documents on disbursements, which the BoA boss failed to produce. According to analysts, the failure is an indication that the bank has completely gone under, with very slim chances of revival. SOURCE
A Miscarriage Of Justice
The Story Reckya Madougou, 47, former justice minister in the West African nation of Benin, was thought to have a good shot at becoming the first female presidential candidate for a major political party in the small, mostly rural country.
Has that changed? If she had gotten the nomination, analysts predicted she might dethrone incumbent strongman, President Patrice Talon. However, her aspirations abruptly ended last March, when security agents arrested her on charges related to financing terrorism. A judge on her case fled to France, condemning the charges as "phony," "tragic," and "entirely politically motivated."
Has she been tried? This month, a special Beninese court ruled her guilty of plotting to assassinate "several political figures." Madougou, who has always maintained her innocence, was sentenced to 20 years in prison. One of her attorneys said three government henchmen had sentenced Madougou "without witnesses, without documents, without evidence." The attorney said his client had already spent the last nine months behind bars in a high-security cell, with "no fresh air, no radio, no phone calls — nothing but rats."
Africa's growing anti-democracy wave This is the latest in a trend of democratic backsliding across the continent. Since taking office in 2016, Benin’s leader, 63-year-old cotton magnate Patrice Talon -like his Ugandan counterpart - has targeted opposition figures. Rivals have been banned from campaigning, and jailed, with others fleeing the country. Amidst this anti-democratic tendencies from African leaders, and unsurprisingly, armies are leaving their barracks and taking over governments in a new wave of coup d'etat.
Essowe Batamoussi, the judge who fled Benin in April and has applied for asylum in France, said Talon pressured the judicial system to knock out threats to his rule. "The president did not tolerate serious candidates, and Reckya was one of them”, Batamoussi said. SOURCE
The Story Authorities in Dresden, Germany raided and arrested six members of an anti-vaccine movement who said they were planning to kill the Saxony state governor.
Did the group announce that publicly? The authorities have reported that the group communicated their plans to kill the state governor, Michael Kretschmer, over the Telegram messenger service. The authorities stated that they seized weapons after searching multiple homes and are now investigating the five men and one woman. Among the weapons found during the raids on Wednesday were a gun and several crossbows, officials said.
How did the governor wrong them? Mr. Kretschmer has been backing strict rules, as Saxony has the lowest vaccination rate among German states and has one of the highest infection rates in the country. Partially driven by online disinformation, rhetoric from the populist Alternative for Germany party, and distrust in the government, only 62% of Saxons are fully vaccinated, nearly 8% under the national average.
While this group, and others like it, continue to defy vaccines, variants of the coronavirus continue to spread. On Tuesday, Saxony registered 7,170 new cases, meaning that 824 people per 100,000 population were infected in a week. SOURCE
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PICKS OF THE DAY
The Coup In Guinea And West Africa’s Democratic Debacle. Leadership
Which of Nigeria’s states has the most Local Government Areas? a. Borno State
b. Kano State
c. Lagos State
QUESTION & ANSWER
What are 5 habits that can improve my life?
1. Learn to say "NO" without offering an explanation. Learn to say NO and nothing else. It's something you should practice. Some people may look at you as if you've just thrown something in their face, but once you accept this, you'll have complete power over your life. Don't put off making a decision because it will make others unhappy. You are in charge of your own happiness, not theirs.
2. Stop waiting and start asking yourself, "How can I complete my 10-year goal in six months?" ” You'll almost certainly fail, but you'll be further along than the person who simply accepted a 10-year timeline.
3. Don’t let a bad 10 seconds of your day ruin the other 86 390 seconds. If you had $86 400 in your bank account and someone stole $10 would you throw the remaining $86 390 away? We have 86 400 seconds every day. Don’t let a negative 10 seconds ruin your entire day. You run this shit.
4. Choose who you hang out with carefully.You'll be the sixth if you hang around with five confident folks. You might be the sixth millionaire if you hang out with five millionaires. You'll be the sixth idiot if you hang around with five idiots. With whom are you spending your time?
5. Don’t be so bothered by the opinions of people you don’t even know. The cheapest seats have the loudest boos. People who have made the smallest investment in you are likely to have the most to say about you. Trust your job, remain hustling, and maintain a tight circle. SOURCE
Which of Nigeria’s states has the most Local Government Areas? b. Kano State has 44 local government areas.
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