The FG spent a total of N6.46 trillion on debt servicing and workers in 2020...
Good morning. Quebec, Canada introduced a curfew from 8pm to 5am in a bid to reduce the spread of coronavirus, but officials have said people can walk their dogs after the 8pm curfew as long as they stay within half a mile of their home.
This week, a wife was found walking with her husband on a leash, and thereafter fined $1500.
Oh Canada! How can Police decide how a wife treats her husband?
Ireland. On Wednesday, the Irish state and Ireland’s Catholic church made landmark apologies for running and enabling a network of state-run religious institutions that abused and neglected unmarried women and their babies from 1922 to 1998.
United States. Donald Trump became the first US president to get impeached twice, after a House majority charged him with “incitement of insurrection.” The Senate trial won’t take place until after Biden is sworn in, meaning Trump will likely serve out his full term in office.
France. The country is struggling to roll out vaccines as skepticism surrounding vaccines' safety continues to rise. According to an Ipsos survey, 60% of French people refuse to get vaccinated. For comparison, 23% in the U. K. and 31% in the U. S. don't intend to be vaccinated.
Italy. Italy's largest organized crime trial in more than three decades has begun. The 'Ndrangheta crime network case—which spans murder, extortion, bribery, and other crimes—focuses on the Mancuso family, a key group within the broader network operating in the southern Calabria region. Among the defendants are politicians, police, and government employees.
1977 Festac '77, the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture, begins in Lagos, Nigeria.
1945 The Manhattan Project's G-5 Group, headed by Physicist's Donald Kerst and Seth Neddermeyer, take their first betatron pictures of a nuclear implosion at the Los Alamos Laboratory.
1970 Muammar Gaddafi is proclaimed premier of Libya.
2001 Wikipedia, a free Wiki or content encyclopedia, is launched by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger.
2007 Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel about the Biafran War, "Half of a Yellow Sun", is published.
Debt Servicing Gulped N3.27trn In 2020 Budget – FG
Image Source: Punch
The Story The FG spent a total of N6.46 trillion on debt servicing and workers in 2020, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has said.
How much was spent on capital projects? According to the Minister, the federal government released a total of N1.8 trillion for capital projects within the year. Ms Ahmed noted that out of this, up to N118.37 billion was released for COVID-19 capital expenditure. The Minister spoke virtually while presenting the 2021 FG approved budget.
What's the revenue figure? Providing updates on the 2020 budget implementation, the Minister stated that as at year end 2020, the FG’s retained revenue was N3.94 trillion, about 73% of its target. She said the FG’s share of oil revenues was N1.52 trillion, representing 157% performance, over and above the prorated sum in the revised 2020 budget, while non-oil tax revenues totalled N1.28 trillion, or about 79% of revised target.
What else did she say? On the expenditure side, she said N9.97 trillion was appropriated, excluding GOEs and project-tied loans, while N10.08 trillion (representing 101%) was spent. Ahmed said, “Of the expenditure, N3.27 trillion was for debt service and N3.19 trillion for personnel cost, including pensions. “As at year end 2020, N1.80 trillion had been released for capital expenditure, that is, about 89% of the provision for capital.”
She added that the Nigerian economy was becoming less dependent on oil, as contributions from the oil sector in funding the 2021 budget would be just 30%. Ms Ahmed said the bulk of the funding sources for the 2021 budget, 70%, would come from the non-oil sector. SOURCE
Soldier who killed superior in July sentenced to death
Image Source: The Cable
The Story A court martial sitting at the Nigerian Army’s 7 Division in Maiduguri, Borno has sentenced Azunna Maduabuchi to death.
What led to the killing of his superior? Madiabuchi, a trooper with the Army’s 202 Battalion in Bama, Borno, had in July 2020 killed Babakaka Ngorgi, a lieutenant and adjutant of the unit. The soldier shot his superior for denying him a pass to go see his family. A pass is a written permission for a soldier to be away from his military unit for a limited period of time, and with the army’s Operation Lafiya Dole, it could be for seven, 10 or 14 days.
Why would he shoot because of a pass denial? Trooper Maduabuchi had requested a pass to visit his family over an urgent matter and when he was turned down, he fired shots at the lieutenant who is the battalion’s adjutant responsible for administrative matters. Mr Maduabuchi was arraigned and was on Tuesday sentenced to death by firing squad after he was found guilty at the court martial.
Four other soldiers were arraigned for manslaughter and sentenced to various years of imprisonment. Sani Ishaya, a sergeant, was sentenced to four years, Bidemi Fabiyi, another sergeant, was sentenced to two years, while Musa Bala and Abdulraheed Adamu, both privates, were sentenced to one year imprisonment each. SOURCE
Should we stop the hippopotamus?
Image Source: Washington Post
The Story While hundreds of species have become extinct in recent decades, with concern over the threat of extinction of some others, one animal (the Hippopotamus) has thrived to the point of causing worry over its control.
How? Hippopotami are massive, aggressive, foul-tempered, armor-skinned creatures that belong in the savannas and forests of sub-Saharan Africa. There is now a race to control the specie as it's become the world’s largest invasive specie, an ecological menace so destructive that time is running out to reverse its environmental impacts or control its numbers. And it’s all thanks to a long-dead Columbian drug lord, Pablo Escobar.
What's Escobar's role in this? In the 1980s, Escobar smuggled four young hippos into his country estate. After Escobar’s death in 1993, Colombian officials dismantled his sprawling estate and sent most of his exotic animals to zoos. But they were reluctant to deal with the now Huge Hippos, three females and a male, so they decided to let them roam.
And then what happened? The hippos thrived in tropical Colombia, where rain is plentiful, food abundant, and they could dominate any potential predators. They began terrorizing local farmers, but laws were passed protecting them. That’s when David Echeverri, a researcher at the regional environmental agency, launched a sterilization campaign in 2013. “It was horrible,” Echeverri recalled.
Has sterilization helped? Tracking was exhausting, and corralling impossible. Finally he managed to pen one. Then came the really hard part. Male hippos have what scientists politely call “spatially dynamic testes,” meaning their genitalia is retractable, and can hide in an opening called the inguinal canal. Female reproductive organs proved even harder to find. Finally, he was able to perfect a process, but it remains dangerous, time consuming, and costly, especially for his low-budget agency. Echeverri is only able to castrate about one male hippo a year, while the population grows at an estimated 10% annually.
A recent study forecasts the invasive hippo population will swell to 1,500 individuals by 2040, at which time their environmental impacts will be irreversible, and their numbers impossible to control. SOURCE
Chinese Vaccine Is Too Cool For Cold
Image Source: South China Morining Post
The Story A Chinese coronavirus vaccine made by using an older technology is proving to be far less effective than expected.
How's that? CoronaVac, manufactured by Beijing-based Sinovac, uses chemicals to weaken or kill the virus, which is then put into a vaccine to spark antibodies in the recipient. But the process can weaken vaccine potency and result in a shorter or less effective immune response.
Has it been tested? On Tuesday, officials at the Butantan Institute in Sao Paulo said a trial conducted in Brazil showed that CoronaVac’s efficacy was just over 50%, far below the manufacturer’s claim of 78%, and barely above what the World Health Organization has said would make a vaccine effective for general use. Lower efficacy means it would take much longer to achieve “herd immunity,” which scientists have said is when roughly 70% of the population have become resistant to the virus.
How will this impact the pandemic? The implications of Brazil’s announcement is bad news for a vaccine crucial to China’s global health diplomacy, which has created hope that a shot could be quickly produced and easily distributed to help the developing world. At least 10 poorer countries have already ordered more than 380 million doses of CoronaVac.
How about alternatives? The Chinese vaccine doesn’t require special frozen storage, unlike the vaccines developed by American drugmakers Pfizer and Moderna, both of which have a 95% efficacy rate. Lower efficacy is “one of the reasons Americans and Europeans didn’t go with this older technology,” one vaccine expert said. “A well-maintained Ford Model T would probably get you from Wuhan to Beijing, but personally I would prefer a Tesla,” he added.
The Oxford-AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, which need only simple refrigeration and are more effective than their Chinese counterparts, could provide an alternative. But for governments that can’t afford Teslas, and may already be locked into CoronaVac, there just aren’t good alternatives. SOURCE
Once You and Your Friends Are Vaccinated, Can You Quit Social Distancing? Vox
When you have two chances to unlock $240M but you forgot your password. BBC
Evolution Made Really Smart People Long to Be Loners. Inverse
Passwords are terrible for security, and AI can help. Fast Company
Two Irish employers created affordable housing for their 120 employees. GoodnewsNetwork
1. If a bank thinks lending money to a certain business is risky it will: A. Charge a lower interest rate B. Charge a higher interest rate C. Send the business packing D. Think about it
2. A 'Debenture' is? A. A long term loan B. A short term loan C. An internal source of finance D. Medium term loan
3. An 'Overdraft' is where a business is permitted to overspend on its bank account up to an agreed limit. True False
QUESTION & ANSWER
You are given 28 minutes to hide a JPEG photo in your computer. Afterwards, a hacker will be given 3 minutes to find it. Where do you hide it?
I would compress it with kzip to obscure its internal format so an automatic scan couldn’t find it, change the file extension to something unhelpful like .cfg or .xkz, and drop it in among the myriad configuration files of a big program like Chrome or Firefox.
If Mr. Hacker could manually examine 100,000 files on my computer in three minutes, he would deserve to win. SOURCE
Finance Quiz Answers
1. If a bank thinks lending money to a certain business is risky it will: B. Charge a higher interest rate
2. A 'Debenture' is? A. A long term loan
3. An 'Overdraft' is where a business is permitted to overspend on its bank account up to an agreed limit. True