The FG has asked Nigerians to register for COVID-19 vaccination via the portal of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).
Good morning. Building on the success of RNA-vaccines in the fight against Covid, scientists are now developing promising RNA-vaccines against malaria.
If they pan out, the current pandemic could, bizarrely, end up saving many more lives.
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Antarctica. An iceberg the size of New York City has broken off in Antarctica. It is unclear whether the iceberg will remain close to the ice-shelf from which it originated or run adrift, glaciologists said.
Latin America. Many Latin American governments have turned to China and Russia to ensure that their populations get inoculated, after struggling to secure supplies of Western-made coronavirus vaccines.
China. President Xi Jinping stated last November that China could double its GDP by 2035. Economists now believe that while this will be difficult, the task is achievable. It is estimated the Chinese economy will surpass the U.S. in 2027/2028.
United States. Former President Trump made his first public appearance since leaving office, closing out CPAC with a 90-minute speech in which he tore into his opponents in both parties. Trump is hands-down the first choice of Republican voters for 2024, coming in at 55 percent in the CPAC straw poll.
1956 Morocco gains independence from France (Anniversary of throne)
1966 Kwame Nkrumah flees Ghana to Guinea after coup
2004 Belgian brewer Interbrew and Brazilian rival Ambev agreed to merge in a $11.2 billion deal forming InBev, the world's largest brewer
2005 50 Cent releases his album “The Massacre” (2005 Billboard Album of the Year, Grammy Award nomination for Best Rap Album 2006)
2013 A 2-year old US girl becomes the first child born with HIV to be cured
COVID-19 Vaccine Arrives Nigeria
Image Source: The Punch
The Story The FG has asked Nigerians to register for COVID-19 vaccination via the portal of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).
Are the vaccines here? Nigeria is expected to receive 3.92 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine this week from COVAX. According to the NPHCDA, the delivery of the AstraZeneca vaccine is part of an overall 16 million dose allocation to be delivered to Nigeria in batches “over the next months by the COVAX facility.” “Please visit the website http://nphcda.gov.ng and click on ‘COVID-19 Vaccination e-registration’ to register for #COVID19 vaccination,” the government said in a tweet.
How about the storage concerns previously raised? Ghana was the first country in Africa to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine from COVAX, followed by Côte d’Ivoire. NPHCDA CEO, Faisal Shuaib, said the country has enough cold chain systems to store all types of vaccines. “We are fully prepared to receive and deliver the vaccine to eligible Nigerians as we have commenced the training of health workers and ensured that cold chain facilities are ready at all levels,” Mr Shuaib said.
Who are these eligible Nigerians? Speaking earlier on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily, Minister of State for Health, Olorunnimbe Mamora said frontline workers would be prioritised because they are facing the battle against the virus. “Secondly, the elderly; those above 60 and 65 particularly with existing health conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes and things like that,” he said. Dr Mamora had also said the President and other strategic leaders of the country will take the vaccines in public to boost the confidence of Nigerians. SOURCE
Relief as movement of food trucks resumes from north to south
Image Source: Tribune Online
The Story Business operators in Kwara and neighbouring states have heaved a sigh of relief as free movement of foodstuffs resumed after some hoodlums reportedly blocked the Ilorin-Jebba Expressway over the weekend.
Tell me! Truckloads of food items from the northern parts of the country were denied entry into Kwara State and other states of the South-West zone. Some Hausa youths stationed at the outskirts of Niger State, Kara-Jebba, near Jebba in Kwara State, had stopped many truck drivers carrying food items such as tomatoes, beans, yams, cattle, peppers among others, from going further from Kara into Kwara and other states in the South-West.
How was movement restored? The situation saw the trucks being parked along the road, creating gridlock. The free movement of goods and vehicles, however, resumed on the Ilorin-Jebba Expressway early Monday morning. Confirming the reopening of the road in Ilorin on Monday, Ibrahim Adebara, son of the traditional ruler of Jebba, said that a troop of military operatives drafted by the FG effected the free movement.
Will the blockage not return when the army leaves? Mr Adebara, who said that the military personnel had been stationed along the road to maintain law and order, added that they threatened to treat anyone who blocked the road as terrorists. One of the affected traders, who gave her name as Madam Balogun, said she was happy with normalcy that had returned. She, however, lamented the loss caused by some perishable items that got bad while the situation lasted. SOURCE
Nigeria's school abductions: Why children are being targeted
Image Source: France24
The Story While Nigerians groan under worsening insecurity in the country, the BBC has released a report explaining the latest turn in which school children are the target victims of kidnapping.
What's in it? Friday's kidnapping of nearly 300 students from the Government Girls Science Secondary School in Jangebe, Zamfara state, which ended with their release, was the second mass kidnap from schools in less than 10 days. Until now, kidnap victims have generally been road travellers in Nigeria's north-west, who pay between $20 and $200,000 for their freedom, but since the well-publicised abduction in 2014 of 276 schoolgirls from Chibok secondary school by Boko Haram Islamist militants in Borno state, more armed groups have resorted to mass abduction of students.
Why is that? It has been largely blamed on the ransom payments by government. Kidnapping hundreds of students rather than road travellers, guarantees publicity and government involvement in negotiations, which could mean millions of dollars in ransom payments. Security expert Kemi Okenyodo believes that this has made the abductions lucrative for criminal gangs. "The decision on payment of ransom should be reviewed. What are the best steps to take in preventing the abductions so we avoid the payment of ransom?" she asked.
What exactly is the reasoning behind payments to criminals who should be prosecuted? The approach has been widely condemned, with many accusing the governors of making mass abductions a lucrative source of income. It is an accusation the governors deny. Zamfara state governor, Bello Matawalle, who in the past has promised "repentant" bandits with houses, money and cars, said people "not comfortable [with his] peace initiative" were sabotaging his efforts to end the crisis.
Aren't there regular security measures to take instead of ransom payment? A "Safe School Initiative" was launched after the Chibok girls were abducted to bolster security in schools in north-eastern Nigeria by building fences around them. Questions have, rightly, been raised about the success of the initiative, which drew about $20m in pledge, and which was supported by the United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown, the former UK Prime Minister. Nigeria's military also built posts close to some schools, but the number of schools in the north means many are left unprotected.
"Security in Nigeria has deteriorated under Mr Buhari - there have been four reported mass abductions of students under his watch. That three of those have happened in the north-west highlights the worsening insecurity in that part of the country, while much international attention is focussed on the Boko Haram insurgency hundreds of miles away in the north-east", the report read. SOURCE
French former president sentenced to jail
Image Source: CNN
The Story A Paris court has found former French President Nicolas Sarkozy guilty of corruption and influence peddling, and sentenced him to a year in prison.
Wow! What's the exact thing he did? The 66-year-old, who was president from 2007 to 2012, was on Monday convicted of trying to bribe a magistrate in exchange for information about a legal case in which he was implicated. Sarkozy’s co-defendants — his lawyer and longtime friend Thierry Herzog, 65, and now-retired magistrate Gilbert Azibert, 74 — were also found guilty and given the same sentence as the politician. The court found that Sarkozy and his co-defendants sealed a “pact of corruption,” based on “consistent and serious evidence”.
Is there a precedent for this ruling? Not exactly. It's the first time in France’s modern history that a former president has been convicted of corruption — and 'given a prison term'. His predecessor, Jacques Chirac, was found guilty in 2011 of misuse of public money during his time as Paris mayor — not considered a corruption offense — and was given a two-year suspended prison sentence. Sarkozy, the court said, is entitled to ask to be detained at home with an electronic bracelet — as is the case for any sentence of two years or less.
Did he plead guilty to the charges? No, and his lawyer, Jacqueline Laffont, said he would appeal. Sarkozy did not deny offering to help the magistrate (Azibert) get a job in Monaco, but he firmly refuted that he had done anything wrong during the 10-day trial at the end of last year. He showed no reaction when the verdict was read out, and quickly left the courtroom. “What insane harassment, my love,” his wife Carla Bruni said in a post on Instagram. “The fight goes on, truth will see the light", she added.
He will remain free while he appeals, but it was a blow to the retired politician who still plays an influential role in French conservative politics. It’s not the end of his legal troubles either: He faces another trial later this month and is also under investigation in a third case. SOURCE
WHAT ELSE IS FRESH...
Reveal identities of those behind kidnappings, ACF tells Matawalle
Why Biden must stop Erdogan's abuse of counterterrorism rhetoric. CNN
Sarkozy's conviction shows, at last, French presidents may no longer be above the law. The Guardian
1. It is generally thought that an investor is fully diversified if she owns __ stocks. A. 1 C. 20 D. 30
2. What risk does the standard deviation measure? A. Specific B. Market C. Total
3. Investors profit from investments in stock by A. Receiving dividends B. Price growth C. Both a and b
QUESTION & ANSWER
Do spy movies influence the work of spy agencies?
Yes, they do.
There is a fascinating story about how the CIA was influenced by movies in the book "The Moscow Rules".
The author, Jonna Mendez, was the CIA's former "chief of disguise", from the agency’s office of technical services.
She describes that the CIA had been absolutely fascinated by the ape masks in the movie "Planet of the Apes” (1968).
These masks had been created by a makeup artist named John Chambers. The CIA decided to send someone to Hollywood to learn the art of making facemasks from him.
Jonna Mendez meets President Bush in a state-of-the-art mask (Photo: From the book “The Moscow Rules”).
When Chambers worked on his next movie, "The Island of Dr. Moreau”, a CIA agent was with him. Chambers later won an Academy Award for the best makeup work for this movie
The CIA then acquired its first latex mask which was the one that the stunt double of Hollywood actor Rex Harrison had been wearing to look like him.
Based on the Rex Harrison mask, the CIA started to experiment. Mendez described their work with the words: "We could turn him (Rex) into anything, we could even turn him into a woman, not a very pretty one, though.“
One day, Jonna Mendez was even wearing a mask when she went into the White House to meet with the then-president H.W. Bush.
In the oval office, she showed the president some pictures about the CIA's mask technology and then said, "Well, Mr. President, we are much better now than in the photos".
Bush senior was fascinated and said, "then show me!" Mendez did what she later described as the "Tom Cruise" moment. The president almost fell from his chair.
Another CIA technology that was inspired by a movie was their face recognition technology. After having watched the James Bond movie "Goldfinger", then CIA director Bill Casey went to the office of technical services and asked, "Can we do something like this?" They answered him, "We don't think so." and Casey just said, "then do it!"
This was the birth hour of modern facial recognition technology. SOURCE
Finance Quiz Answers
1. It is generally thought that an investor is fully diversified if she owns __ stocks. C. 20
2. What risk does the standard deviation measure? C. Total
3. Investors profit from investments in stock by C. Both a and b