Heated arguments following the state Government's approval of the wearing of hijab (veil) by pupils of government grant-aided mission secondary schools in the state.
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This is probably a great move.
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World. Around the world, 231 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been administered in 100 different countries, up from 193 million doses in 87 countries last week.
European Union. Its Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has threatened to block certain companies' (i.e. AstraZeneca's) vaccine exports from the EU if they (AstraZeneca) again fail to deliver all the doses they promised to deliver within the bloc.
African Union. Russia's Sputnik V vaccine is reportedly costing the African Union over three times as much as vaccines from Oxford/AstraZeneca and Novavax. The only per-dose price for an authorized vaccine that is higher is for J&J's jab, and that only requires one dose to Sputnik V's two.
India-Pakistan. India and Pakistan have agreed to a ceasefire that could potentially end a decades-long border dispute. Indian and Pakistani soldiers regularly exchange fire along the unofficial frontier in the disputed region of Kashmir. According to Indian data, there were thousands of confrontations between Indian and Pakistani soldiers in 2020 alone.
1896 Battle of Adwa: 80,000 Ethiopians destroy 20,000 Italians in Ethopia, killing two generals and capturing General Matteo Albertone
1896 Henri Becquerel discovers radioactivity
1927 Bank of Italy (later Bank of America) becomes an American National Bank
1953 After an all-night movie and dinner session with his top advisers, Joseph Stalin suffers a stroke and collapses. He dies four days later.
The Hijab controversy in Kwara
Image Source: Legit.ng
The Story The Christian and Muslim communities in Kwara state have again engaged each other in a heated argument following the state Government's approval of the wearing of hijab (veil) by pupils of government grant-aided mission secondary schools in the state.
What's the problem? Wearing of hijab in mission schools has always been a subject of controversy and in the last one week it's generated a lot of furore between Muslim stakeholders and authorities of some grant-aided schools in the state. The Kwara State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria(CAN) has also kicked against the approval, citing security reasons. The body argued that the new policy would “cause discrimination in schools and allow terrorists to easily identify our children and wards”.
How's the government handling the issue? Accordingly, the state government took preemptive measure by shutting down 10 of such schools to forestall break down of law and order. It, however, directed the reopening of all the shut schools on March 8, 2021. Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof Mamma S. Jubril, noted that the state government has considered the submissions of all major interest groups on the subject and enjoined stakeholders to exercise restraint in their reactions to the matter.
Affirming the right of every child in public schools to freedom of worship, Jubril said; "Consequently, the government hereby acknowledges and approves the right of the Muslim schoolgirl to wear the hijab, and directs the Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development to come up with a uniform hijab for all public/grant-aided schools, which will be the accepted mode of head covering in schools." “Any willing schoolgirl with the approved (uniform) hijab shall have the right to wear same in public/grant-aided schools", he added.
CBN confirms naira devaluation to 410/$ at official market
Image Source: Punch
The Story Nigeria's currency issues have continued to worsen as the naira just took another fall against the US dollar.
What's the rate now? The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, has said the naira has depreciated at the official market to 410 against the dollar. “In order to adjust for the decrease in supply of foreign exchange, the naira depreciated at the official window from N305/$ to N360/$ and now hovers around N410/$,” he said.
What's responsible for the decrease in Forex supply? Emefiele, who spoke at a summit on the economy by Bank CEOs on Friday, said the drop in crude oil earnings and the associated reduction in foreign portfolio inflows significantly affected the supply of foreign exchange into Nigeria. The latest depreciation resulted in the naira exchanging for 478/$ at the parallel market on Friday.
What measures are being taken by government to address this continuous decline? The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo, while addressing the subject, said the Federal Government would address the shortage of foreign exchange by combining limited resources to expand the supply base. “We have accepted that we need to take more dramatic step to boost exports in order to earn foreign exchange,” he said. Osinbajo added that the government would ensure the expansion and promotion of export trading houses, ensure that companies in the special economic zones exported most of their productions, as well as expand the export grant scheme. SOURCE
The White House Implicates MBS, but...That's It
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The Story The assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi has again drawn attention as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was officially declared complicit in the killing.
Finally! The US has concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved an operation to “capture or kill” Khashoggi, according to an intelligence report released at the weekend. Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and critic of the Saudi royal family, was assassinated in 2018 in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Did they find evidence to support this? Khashoggi's killing drew outrage from the international media and US lawmakers, and investigations zeroed in on the role of Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), the 35-year-old de facto ruler of the kingdom. In the report, we learned the CIA’s reasoning for implicating MBS: He’s so powerful and controls so much of the Saudi intelligence apparatus that there’s simply no way this operation would’ve happened without him giving the thumbs up.
Will there be consequences for the perpetrators now? It is not certain. Following Khashoggi’s murder in 2018, corporate America tried to distance itself from the kingdom by skipping the buzzy “Davos in the Desert” investment conference held in the Saudi capital, Riyadh. But many returned the next year as pressure died down, partially because President Trump tried to squash any tensions that would interfere with the US-Saudi relationship. While Biden is aiming to “recalibrate” the US’ stance toward Saudi Arabia, he’s still tiptoeing around. According to the NYT, the president isn’t planning on directly penalizing MBS for his role in Khashoggi’s murder because the price of alienating a geopolitical ally is “too high.”
How is that? As the world’s largest oil exporter, Saudi Arabia has always been influential in the global energy market. But its recent push to diversify away from fossil fuels means it’s become a muscular player in defense, high tech, and even entertainment. The kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF), has invested in more tech companies than the average college sophomore on Robinhood. It acquired a large stake in Uber, and it’s also funded Tesla, Virgin Galactic, and Lucid Motors. Saudi Arabia is also the largest buyer of US defense goods. SOURCE
Germany Is Taking Human Rights Abuses Syria-sly
Image Source: France24
The Story A German court has convicted a former Syrian secret police officer of crimes against humanity in a case hailed by rights groups as a landmark.
What were the exact crimes committed? On Wednesday, Eyad al-Gharib was sentenced to four and a half years in prison for arresting and transporting protesters to an interrogation center known for torture in the early days of the 2011 uprising against President Bashar al-Assad. Al-Gharib is the first former Syrian official to be found guilty of human rights violations in the country's now decade-long civil war.
Why was the trial in Germany? Justice was sought in Europe after Syrian courts and the International Criminal Court failed to act. European courts have been willing to step up and try foreigners in their countries for grave crimes under the principle of universal jurisdiction. Al-Gharib entered Germany in April 2018 and was arrested along with a more senior Syrian intelligence officer, Anwar Raslan, in February 2019.
Raslan is being tried separately. Al-Assad, who remains in power, has waged a campaign of violence and torture with Russia's assistance to quell any uprising against him. Meanwhile, Syria is scarred by destruction, poverty, and hunger, and continues sinking into a profound economic crisis. SOURCE