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☕️ Happiness Index

☕️ Happiness Index



 

Good morning. A professor has returned a library book that was nearly 64 years overdue, along with a $500 donation to cover late fees. When Betty first realized it was overdue, she said she was "ashamed" to go back to the library.

It's never too late to return that overdue library book. 

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☕️QUICK BITES

Science. Two separate research papers revealed scientists created living structures that resemble human embryos for the first time ever. Known as "blastoids," the clumps of cells are similar to blastocysts, which form after an egg's been fertilized. 
Australia. Heavy rains along Australia’s east coast over the weekend have brought the worst flooding in half a century in some areas, authorities said on Sunday, forcing thousands to evacuate and damaging hundreds of houses.
United States. Hundreds of people protested against anti-Asian racism in Atlanta on Saturday, following spa shootings that killed eight people. The protests were attended by people of all ages, races, and ethnicities, with many shouting, "Stop Asian hate."
China. The country has approved five vaccines – all developed locally. And has administered 65 million doses to its citizens. But it's looking to give 500 million vaccine doses to at least 45 countries in nearly every continent (including Hungary, Chile, and Egypt). Some experts say this move is a major step in gaining political and economic influence.

ANNOUNCEMENT FROM NCDC

ONTHISDAY

1349 Townspeople of Fulda, Germany massacre Jews, blaming them for the Black Death

 

2014 Guinea confirms Ebola outbreak has already killed 59 people

 

2020 Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei refuses American COVID-19 help, refers to conspiracy theory that it was manufactured by the US

ECONOMY

Nigeria drops 38 spots in six years, now 116th on world happiness index

 

Image Source: Reuben Abati Blog

The Story
While the government and a significant percentage of citizens differ on the impact of the current administration on the country, Nigeria's continuous slide on various global socio-political and economic rankings, perhaps, is the clearest way to assess issues.

Tell me!
In six years, Nigerians have gone from being the 78th happiest people on earth to being the 116th — according to the World Happiness Report released by the United Nations. The 2021 edition of the report, which measures “subjective well-being” – how happy the people are, and why — was released by the UN on Friday. In the report, Nigerians were ranked the 116th happiest people on earth out of 149 countries surveyed between 2018 and 2020 — a point worse than the previous year.

How did other countries rank?
Finland, Denmark and Switzerland were ranked the top three happiest countries, respectively, while Rwanda, Zimbabwe and Afghanistan are the least three happy countries. In what might trigger curiosity in many, Libya - which has almost literally been in ruin since about a decade ago- ranked 80th, and is the happiest African country, while Nigeria came a distant 15th on the continent.

Did it observe how the pandemic affected people's happiness?
Considering the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the report noted that its finding 'shows that COVID-19 has led to only modest changes in the overall rankings, reflecting both the global nature of the pandemic and a widely shared resilience in the face of it'. “This ninth World Happiness Report is unlike any that have come before. COVID-19 has shaken, taken, and reshaped lives everywhere. In this chapter, our central purpose remains just what it has always been – to measure and use subjective well-being to track and explain the quality of lives all over the globe,” it reads.

The global happiness report is aimed at influencing government policy with data accrued from Gallup world polls, real GDP (gross domestic product) per capita, healthy life expectancy, and corruption levels. SOURCE

SECURITY

Buhari admits border closure error

Image Source: The Punch

The Story
President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday, admitted that despite his administration’s recent closure of land borders, arms and ammunition continued flowing illegally.

And does the government have an explanation for why that is?
Buhari attributed the problem to the situation in Libya, saying that once the country remains unstable, illegal arms and ammunition will continue to flow across the Sahel region. According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the President spoke at the Presidential Villa, Abuja while receiving in farewell audience the outgoing Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel, Mohammed Ibn Chambas.

Where is the link to Libya?
According to reports, Buhari said Libya's former Head of State, Muammar Gadaffi, held a grip on power in Libya for 42 years by recruiting armed guards from different countries, who then escaped with their arms when the Libyan strongman was killed. “They didn’t learn any other skill than to shoot and kill. So, they are a problem all over the Sahel countries today", Buhari said.

And how's the government addressing the problem?
In a statement, Buhari was quoted as saying that “We closed our land borders here for more than a year, but arms and ammunition continued to flow illegally. “As far as Libya remains unstable, so will the problem remain." Suggesting a potential end to the problem, Buhari said “we have to cope with the problems of development, as we can’t play hop, step and jump. But we will eventually overcome those problems", without stating how.

He described Chambas, who spent many years in Nigeria in different capacities, from ECOWAS to UN, as “more of a Nigerian than anything else.” He wished him well in his future endeavours. SOURCE

INTERNATIONAL

With Corporations Like These, Who Needs College?

 

Image Source: Fee.org

The Story
As distruptive and damaging as the coronavirus pandemic has been on the world, especially in the areas of health and economy, it's also been positively impactful in many ways, which are still being unraveled.

What's an example of this positive impact?
Google is Boldly Going Where No Company Has Gone Before. The tech behemoth announced the launch of new certificate programs designed to help people bridge any skills gap and get qualifications in high-paying, high-growth job fields --- without a college degree. "The pandemic has led to a truly horrible year," Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in an interview. "But it has also created profound shifts along the journey to digital transformation in ways no one could have imagined."

What inspired this?
While the pandemic greatly accelerated the shift to digital, Google has been observing a more gradual shift over several years. But as more and more digital jobs became available, it became obvious that there was a skills gap. "You can't just say the next generation will naturally have the skills they need," says Pichai. "We saw a lot of unfilled positions when it came to jobs in tech. It was a supply mismatch. Yet people were hungry to fill those positions. So we asked ourselves, 'Why is there a gap?''

What are the chances of getting jobs after the programs?
The light bulb moment came when analyzing data from Google's IT Support Professional Certificate program, which the company launched on Coursera in 2018. A high percentage of students enrolling came from nontraditional backgrounds, and many didn't have a degree. Furthermore, 46% reported being in the lowest-income bracket, making less than $30,000 a year. Google concluded it was important to offer programs that were available to as many people as possible ... and that taught in-demand, real-world skills. The programs should offer a clear path to a high-paying job and a stable career, or even be a stepping stone to starting a business.

How long will the programs be?
Lisa Gevelber is vice president of the broader initiative 'Grow With Google', its plan to help accelerate economic recovery and provide chances for millions. She says the key is a continually developing plan, with the online certificate programs at its core. Most enrollees will finish in six months or less, at a cost of around $240 for US students. "Gaining a certificate is based on passing the assessments," proving someone can do the job, Gevelber says. And passing those assessments isn't easy. She describes them as "rigorous," but there's lots of support so students won't get discouraged.

Each of the new certificate programs --- in project management, data analytics, and user experience (UX) design --- is available on the online course platform Coursera, which works with universities and organizations to offer courses, certifications, and degrees in various subjects. Google will also offer a new Associate Android Developer Certification course, over 100,000 need-based scholarships, and partnerships with more than 130 employers willing to hire graduates of the certification program. SOURCE

INTERNATIONAL

Spain to trial four-day working week

 

 

Image Source: Joe.Co.UK 

The Story
The 40 hour work week, as is currently the norm, may soon be in the past.

How do you mean?
Spain could become one of the first countries in the world to trial the four-day working week after the government agreed to launch a modest pilot project for companies interested in the idea. Earlier this year, the small leftwing Spanish party Más País announced that the government had accepted its proposal to test out the idea. Talks have since been held, with the next meeting expected to take place in the coming weeks.

What's the idea behind this?
Hailed by its proponents as a means to increase productivity, improve the mental health of workers and fight climate change, the proposal has taken on new significance as the pandemic sharpens issues around wellbeing, burnout and work-life balance. From New Zealand to Germany, the idea has been steadily gaining ground globally. “With the four-day work week (32 hours), we’re launching into the real debate of our times,” said Iñigo Errejón of Más País on Twitter. “I maintain that working more hours does not mean working better", Errejón said.

How will this affect workers' pay?
While the exact details of the pilot will be hashed out with the government, the party has proposed a three-year, €50m project that would allow companies to trial reduced hours with minimal risk. The costs of a company’s foray into the four-day work week, for example, could be covered at 100% the first year, 50% the second year and 33% the third year. The proponents are also mindful of its effect on pay and are looking at ways to ensure it doesn't lead to pay reduction. “The only red lines are that we want to see a true reduction of working hours and no loss of salary or jobs", said Héctor Tejero of Más País.

The party has suggested the pilot be guided by a panel of experts – including representatives from government, workers unions and business lobbies – who will also help analyse the results. The idea has, however, faced opposition in some quarters, with one of the leaders from the country’s main business associations describing it as “madness” in the wake of the country’s worst recession since the civil war. “Getting out of this crisis requires more work, not less,” Ricardo Mur of CEOE told a forum in December. SOURCE

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Dollar scarcity: Parents groan as banks delay foreign school fees payments

Hijab crisis: Kwara forces schools’ gates open to enforce resumption

Congo President Nguesso to extend 36-year stay in office

Cryptocurrency: Manchester City launches fan token with Socio

Suluhu Hassan sworn in as Tanzania’s first female president

PICKS OF THE DAY

Why Clubhouse will fail. Shaan Puri onTwitter

Why Your Brain Needs You to Exercise, Plus 3 Easy Ways to Work Out at Home. TED

How texting makes stress worse. BBC

TODAY'S TRIVIA

Finance Trivia

1. A rational investor will invest in a risky stock if

A. They think they will earn a large return on the investment

B. They have a high risk tolerance

C. Both a and b

2,. Compared to the DOW, the S&P 500

A. Is generally thought to represent a more valid sample

B. Includes small stocks

C. Includes less stocks than the DOW

3. Which stock would an investor with a high risk tolerance prefer?

A. Stock A has a mean return of 7% and a standard deviation of 2%

B. Stock B has a mean return of 7% and a standard deviation of 10%

C. Stock C has a mean return of 12% and a standard deviation of 10%

QUESTION & ANSWER

QUORA QUESTION: 

If we were able to send one human back in time to medieval times, how far could they realistically reform society? If they just went back with knowledge and no preparation?

Mats Andersson

Not at all.

Look at the sad story of Semmelweiss. He was a doctor of medicine about 1850. He had all staff in his maternity ward wash their hands. Deaths dropped almost to zero.

All other doctors flatly refused to believe he was onto something. To them, it was obvious that a highly educated doctor of medicine could have filthy hands just because he had just performed an autopsy with no gloves.

It doesn't matter what your time traveler says or does to persuade the medievals. They won't listen. Worst case scenario, he performs a demonstration that works and the Church gets wind of it. That does not end well. SOURCE

TRIVIA ANSWER

Finance Trivia Questions

1. A rational investor will invest in a risky stock if

C. Both a and b

2,. Compared to the DOW, the S&P 500

A. Is generally thought to represent a more valid sample

3. Which stock would an investor with a high risk tolerance prefer?

C. Stock C has a mean return of 12% and a standard deviation of 10%

LITERATURE

Short story
Fat Bodies by Forsyth Harmon

Poetry
on the fence between staying or leaving | Martins Deep

Satire
Boyfriend Upset About Something American Government Did In 1970s

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