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☕️ Food Inflation Problem

☕️ Food Inflation Problem

Rising food inflation driving Nigerians into poverty...

 

 

Good morning. Instead of paying humans to operate the cameras televising its matches, a Scottish soccer team installed an A.I. app that was supposed to keep the lenses trained on the ball. It all went horribly and hilariously wrong last weekend when the bald head of a referee confused the system.


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‍#ONTHISDAY

1933 Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, army general and politician, was born at Zungeru, Northern Nigeria. He proclaimed the Republic of Biafra, secessionist state in southeastern Nigeria, an event that sparked the Nigerian Civil War.

1979 500 Iranian students loyal to Ayatollah Khomeini seize the US Embassy in Tehran, taking 90 hostages for 444 days.

2001 "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone", 1st film adaptation of the books by J. K. Rowling, premieres starring Daniel Radcliffe.

2008 Barack Obama becomes the first African-American to be elected President of the United States, defeating Republican candidate John McCain.

ECONOMY

Rising Food Inflation Driving Nigerians into Poverty

 

Image Source: Nairametrics

The Story
There has been a 110.5% rise in Nigeria's food inflation in the last five years.

Tell me about this.
A comparison of the Composite Food Index between September 2015 and September 2020 indicated that food inflation rose from 181.8 index points to 382.7 index points. This means that the price of food items has increased to more than double of what it was when President Buhari assumed office.

How about the prices of non-food items?
Well, there's not much difference, as the 'All Items Index' rose by 92.4% during the same period. According to Nairalytics, the research arm of Nairametrics, food items with significant price increase include:

• Foreign rice (Caprice) which sold for an average of N14,500 as of May 2019 is now sold for an average of N30,000.

• A 50kg bag of Ijebu garri that sold for N7,200 in May 2019, now costs N13,700.

• A 25-litre keg of vegetable oil sold for N9,750 in May 2019, now sells for N14,625.

Did the report state reasons for this?
The hike in the cost of staple food items could be attributed to the border closure directive of the federal government that was announced in August 2019. It is projected to rise further by the first quarter of 2021, when the effects of the increase in petrol and electricity prices are accounted for. Other factors include insecurity, flooding, and sometimes famine, which all affect farmers' ability to plant and harvest. Even after harvesting, supply chain challenges still persist, leaving farmers to contend with middlemen, transportation, and storage. The result is far less farm produce reaching the final consumer.

Going forward?
There isn't much expectation of an improvement, especially since the effects of the increased petrol and electricity prices would just be reflecting. According to the report, Nigeria has endured persistent increase in inflationary rate —growing from 12.13% in January to 13.71% in September—the highest recorded in 30 months.

In a reaction, Prof. Steve Hanke, an American Applied Economist at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, expressed his dissatisfaction over the performance of Buhari’s administration, describing it as a failure over security of its citizens, unemployment, and inflation. SOURCE

SOCIAL MEDIA

Northern Governors insistent on Social Media Ban

Image Source: Ripples Nigeria

The Story
Following the #EndSars protests and subsequent unrest across the country, there have been renewed calls by government officials for a control of the social media.

Really? What happened to addressing the demands of a citizenry groaning under the impact of bad governance?
At a meeting in Kaduna on Monday, the governors said the effect of uncontrolled social media is devastating. They also condemned the “subversive” actions of some #EndSARS protesters, saying some people took advantage of peaceful protest to push their “separative agenda”. The governors also asked security agencies to keep “strict watch” on Abuja to guide against “unwarranted and destructive protests” and to safeguard critical assets of the country.

Why should the control of social media be of more importance to these governors than the many problems facing their states?
Well, the governors are not alone in this. The meeting was attended by traditional rulers, ministers and leaders of the national assembly. A week ago, Lai Mohammed, minister of information, had said social media will destroy Nigeria if it is not regulated. Earlier on Monday, Sunday Dare, minister of youth and sport, also said it is important to regulate social media.

But how long can they really intimidate people into silence?
Meanwhile, some protesters calling for an end to police brutality and extrajudicial killings took to the streets of Abuja, painting #ENDSARS on the floor of the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport entrance and painting similar graffiti on the road in front of the police headquarters. They vowed to not back down on their demand for justice for all victims of police brutality in the country, including those that were killed at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos two weeks ago.

At the heart of the resumed protest is an unresolved dispute with the Federal Government over the implementation of the 5-for-5 demand of the #EndSARS protesters. SOURCE

AFRICA

Liberian Worker Sets Himself on Fire Over Unpaid Salary

 

Image Source: Punch

The Story
A Liberian government worker immolated himself in the capital Monrovia on Monday, witnesses and local media said, in an apparent protest over unpaid salary.

Details please.
Leroy Archie Ponpon - who works at Liberia's Temple of Justice, which houses the Supreme Court - set himself on fire outside his workplace after weeks of protesting at delayed pay, one of his colleagues told AFP.

Seriously?
A colleague of Ponpon, who declined to be named, said they had not been paid since October, 2019. The colleague added that protests began in September and that Ponpon was part of a group of about 30 employees who staged a sit-in, all of whom were subsequently suspended.

Wow! What's his condition now?
Amadou Seedebe, 34, a bystander who also witnessed the immolation, said that Ponpon had been taken to hospital but that his condition was serious. Local press also reported that he is currently receiving treatment. Liberia's justice ministry has not responded to requests for comment.

Are things that bad in Liberia?
Liberia is a poor nation decimated by back-to-back civil wars from 1989 to 2003 and West Africa's 2014-16 Ebola crisis. Continuing economic woes including rampant inflation and fuel shortages have led to protests against President George Weah, a former international football star, who was elected after a second attempt at leading the country. SOURCE

INTERNATIONAL

US Elections - How's It Gonna Go?

 

Image Source: Deadline.com

The Story
It’s finally here, election day was yesterday, and now Americans - and the rest of the world - await the results of the US presidential election.

What are the projections?
Despite what the polls have been saying for a long time now — that Joe Biden is well ahead of Donald Trump nearly everywhere — 2016’s election results are forever etched into Democrats’ memories. Truth is, we won’t know for sure it’s over … until it’s over. And we’re not at all sure when that will be exactly.

Isn't there a time that the results are expected to be announced?
Results usually don't take long to be announced, like 2016 when results were out the following day. However, 2020 has been a different year on many fronts, especially with the coronavirus pandemic that has disrupted many things across the world. One of the effects of the coronavirus in America is the newly introduced "Mail-in Voting", which allows voters to vote and send in their ballots through the mail, literally making it impossible to conclude votes count in a day.

That's true, but what are analysts saying?
Four years ago, national polls were confidently showing Hillary Clinton ahead of Trump. She did win the popular vote, of course, but then lost the Electoral College, and thus the election. The vast majority of folks were blindsided. Two pollsters who weren’t, however, are Arie Kapteyn and Robert Cahaly. Kapteyn, a Dutch economist who leads the USC’s Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research, oversaw the USC/Los Angeles Times poll that gave Trump a 3-point lead heading into election day. That was wrong; Clinton won the popular vote by 2 points. Cahaly, a Republican pollster with the Trafalgar Group, had preelection surveys that showed Trump nudging out Clinton in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida, and North Carolina — all of which he won.

What are they saying now?
Conventional pollsters say they’ve learned their lessons; this time they’re accounting for factors that skewed their results in 2016. Kapteyn and Cahaly aren’t so sure. Both men think polls could be undercounting Trump’s support this year as well, thanks again to the “shy” Trump voters — people reluctant to share their opinions for fear of being judged. Cahaly thinks those votes are likely to make the difference again.

So neither of the candidates can boast of a clear lead?
Many observers believe the president isn’t interested in reaching out to voters who didn’t support him in the past. But the Trump campaign has known for a long time that its best shot at winning was to find new voters in its strongholds, rather than trying to persuade swing Democrats or independents to cross over. The campaign believes these voters — mostly the white working class from factory towns, farms, and mining communities — are overlooked by polls that show Trump consistently trailing Biden.

The strategy to attract those voters has been to focus on having raucous rallies in small towns and places that rarely get presidential attention, and to launch voter registration and data collection efforts around those events. “There’s a lot of hidden Trump votes out there,” Cahaly says. “Will Biden win the popular vote? Probably… But I think Trump is likely to have an Electoral College victory.” SOURCE

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PICKS OF THE DAY

A Nigerian guide to the US elections. The Cable

‘Dude, I'm Done’: When Politics Tears Families And Friendships Apart. NPR

What Is The Internet Doing To Boomers’ Brains? HuffPost

Is Sanwo-Olu looking for a scapegoat? Vanguard
 

The Cheap Pen That Changed Writing Forever. BBC Future

How To Start a New Career. Pocket Collections

Why Do We See Dead People? The Walrus

How to Heal Through Life Writing. Psyche

Can Trump win again despite the polls? FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver on 2016’s lessons. Vox

Seven Ways the Election Will Shape the Future of Science, Health and the Environment. Scientific American

What is the electoral college and how does it work? A simple guide. The Independent

TODAY'S TRIVIA

General Quiz

A few folks said they miss our general quiz, so they are back...

1. If you have an overdraft (or if you are overdrawn), people often say that you are:
a. In the red
b. In the black
c. In the pink
d. In the blue

2. When the price of a product is stated in terms of dollars and cents, then money is functioning as a unit of account.
True
False

3. Which is the only country on earth without coins?
a. Laos
b. Brazil
c. Argentina
d. India

4. Which was the first decentralized Cryptocurrency?
a. Bitmoney
b. Ethereum
c. Bitcoin
d. Ripple

QUESTION & ANSWER

QUORA QUESTION: 

What is the greatest instance of "Well, that backfired" in all of history?

Tamara Mitrofanova

In 1958, Mao Zedong made sparrows enemy #1 and ordered all sparrows to be killed because he felt they ate too much grain and hindered food supply.

Three years later, China was hit with famine and millions dead of starvation. Killing sparrows didn’t improve agriculture and instead, worsened it.

“Hippity, hoppity your food is our property” -every insect in 1958.

Without sparrows eating insects like locusts and caterpillars, insect population boomed and ate all the crops. Locusts proved to be the worst and flooded the countryside in droves. With no sparrows to control the population, the locusts and other insects feasted on grain.

Mao Zedong's narrow-minded view on nature caused the deaths of 36 million people. The nationwide campaign to kill sparrows spread fast and in the first year, 2 billion sparrows were killed. This environmental disaster was so severe Mao realized his mistake and stopped the campaign but it was too late. The sparrow population had drastically declined and Communist China had to ask the Soviet Union for sparrows.

The Soviet Union helped Communist China out by giving them many cute little sparrows but it took decades for the farming industry to recover.

Mao Zedong anti-sparrow campaign backfired and I guess we can all agree that Mao was an idiot.

How can anyone want to kill a cute little bird? SOURCE

 

TRIVIA ANSWER

General Quiz Answers

1. If you have an overdraft (or if you are overdrawn), people often say that you are:
a. In the red

2. When the price of a product is stated in terms of dollars and cents, then money is functioning as a unit of account.
True

3. Which is the only country on earth without coins?
a. Laos

4. Which was the first decentralized Cryptocurrency?
c. Bitcoin

LITERATURE

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