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☕️ ICC Intervenes

☕️ ICC Intervenes

The human rights abuses of the EndSARS protests have gotten the attention of Internation Criminal Court...

 

Good morning. "Cannot risk missing" – An astronaut, who withdrew from going to the International Space Station so he can go to his daughter's wedding.

Love this to the moon and back. Nobody ever cried on their deathbed over time missed at work.

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OUR COVID WORLD

 Global         Nigeria
Total Confirmed 49,031,012 63,508
Total Recovered 34,983,279 59,748
Total Deaths 1,239,608 1,155

Australia: Australia reported zero new “local” cases of COVID for the first time since June—proof that it is possible to crush the curve.

Italy: Italy recorded its highest daily COVID-19 death toll in nearly six months on Tuesday as Hungary and the Netherlands tightened restrictions to further in an effort to combat the virus.

China: Some 60,000 people in China have now taken an experimental COVID vaccine , and so far none have reported any adverse side effects. The country is allowing citizens to take the drug even though it’s still in the trial phase.

Sweden: Sweden has joined many of its European neighbours and introduced new COVID-19 restrictions as cases surged on the continent. The new measures kicking in on Tuesday include limits on capacity in restaurants and cafés with a maximum of eight people at any table.

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‍#ONTHISDAY

2003 Philip Effiong, the first Vice President and the second and last President of the defunct Republic of Biafra, died.

1913 Mahatma Gandhi arrested for leading Indian miners' march in South Africa.

2001 TV drama series "24" starring Kiefer Sutherland premieres on Fox.

2018 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (New York) is the youngest person ever elected to the US House of representatives at 29 years.

INSECURITY

EndSARS Gets to ICC

 

Image Source: Aljazeera

The Story
The International Criminal Court says it is conducting a preliminary examination into the #EndSARS protests which resulted in the killing of scores of protesters and security personnel.

That's a good development, isn't it?
The ICC prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, in a statement to the BBC on Wednesday said her office had received information on the alleged crimes. The examination, ICC said, will “assess whether the legal criteria for opening an investigation under the Rome Statute are met.” The court said it would make findings of the preliminary examination public.

Who contacted the ICC?
Following the shootings of protesters by soldiers at the Lekki toll gate, Lagos, a coalition of civil society organisations had asked the ICC to commence a probe of arbitrary killings of the #EndSars protesters at different demonstration grounds across the country. The group which comprised 30 CSOs in a statement described the killings as unacceptable.

Is there a real chance of making the perpetrators pay?
The CSOs comprising the Centre for Democracy and Development, Global Rights, BudgIT and 27 others say they have documentary evidence on injustices against the peaceful protesters. About 51 civilians, 28 police officers and seven soldiers were killed during the violence that trailed the Lekki shootings of 20 October, 2020. SOURCE

BANKING

Access Bank Sued for Blocking Protest-Linked Accounts

Image Source: Vanguard

The Story
Access Bank, Nigeria’s biggest lender, is accused of illegally blocking an account used to promote media coverage of protests against police brutality that recently swept Africa’s most populous country.

Tell me about this.
Gatefield, a public affairs company, filed a case against the lender in a federal court in Abuja on 28 October, accusing the lender of “unilaterally restricting” its account and demanding damages of ₦100 million, according to court documents. When asked, a spokesman for Access Bank said the lender doesn’t comment on its customers to third parties.

Was the account suspected of being used for an illegal activity?
The account was used to raise funds to support independent Nigerian journalists that covered nationwide demonstrations that lasted almost three weeks, according to the firm. The lawsuit will test whether blocking Gatefield’s account without a court order was unlawful. “A successful challenge at the court could make the difference for others who were likewise targeted,” Adewunmi Emoruwa, the lead strategist for Abuja-based Gatefield told Bloomberg.

Were there others?
There were other allegations by individuals and organisations on social media that their accounts were restricted during the protests for apparently similar reasons. Gatefield was told by Access Bank that it was directed by the Central Bank of Nigeria to put restrictions on the account, implemented on 15 October, Emoruwa said. A spokesman for the CBN didn’t respond to emails and calls seeking comment.

Human Rights Watch, the New York-headquartered rights group, has “documented several cases of organisations and individuals whose bank accounts were frozen after receiving or disbursing funds to support the #EndSARS protests,” its Nigeria researcher, Anietie Ewang, said by email. SOURCE

AFRICA

From Nobel Laureate To Nearing Civil War

 

Image Source: France24

The Story
There are fears that tensions in Tigray and Ethiopia's north might descend into a civil war, and regional conflict.

What tensions?
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered the military to respond to an alleged attack on an army camp in the restive Tigray region, escalating a standoff between the federal and state governments. The intervention came after Abiy on Tuesday accused the region’s ruling Tigray People’s Liberation Front of orchestrating the raid on the camp. And according to Abiy's spokeswoman, Billene Seyoum, Military operations began in Tigray overnight and a six-month state of emergency has been declared in the northern region.

Origin of the crisis.
Relations between Tigray and Abiy’s government have been strained since Abiy took office in 2018 and sidelined the TPLF, once the pre-eminent power broker in Ethiopia, and analysts have warned that it risks deteriorating into a full-blown conflict that could draw in neighboring states including Eritrea, whose president has long been at odds with Tigrayan leaders. The Tigray region is already heavily militarized because of its proximity to Eritrea, which fought a war with Ethiopia from 1998-2000.

I thought Abiy's emergence was celebrated, what changed?
Abiy has attracted commendation for his approach, even from outside Ethiopia, but the country has been experiencing ethnic violence. Ethiopia, divided into 10 ethnically based and politically autonomous regions, has seen sporadic conflict since Abiy took power in 2018 and began opening up the country’s once-tightly regulated political space. He welcomed rebel groups and opposition members and released hundreds of political prisoners, and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019.

While the upper house of Ethiopia’s parliament warned that a military intervention against Tigray could be justified, Abiy had said he wouldn’t resort to force to quash dissent. But following his ordering of a military intervention, the Tigray Regional Administration banned flights in its airspace and all other forms of transport, warning it would respond to any acts of aggression, according to a statement read on state-run Tigrai TV. SOURCE

INTERNATIONAL

China Breaks ANT's legs

 

Image Source: Aljazeera

The Story
Earlier in the week, the Shanghai Stock Exchange called off Ant Group’s extremely un-antish IPO slated for Thursday.

What’s Ant Group?
An affiliate of sprawling Chinese conglomerate Alibaba, Ant is a fintech company...in the same way that Serena Williams is a ping-pong player. The public debut was expected to be the largest ever, raising at least $34 billion at a valuation north of $310 billion. Ant had planned to list in both Shanghai and Hong Kong, but it nixed Hong Kong after Shanghai pulled out.

Why did Shanghai pull out?
Ant has ruffled some dangerous feathers: the Chinese government’s. In a recent speech, Alibaba cofounder Jack Ma made critical comments about the country’s financial regulatory system. “Today’s financial system is the legacy of the Industrial Age,” Ma said. “We must set up a new one for the next generation and young people. We must reform the current system.” Then on Monday, four regulators summoned Ma and Ant Group’s top execs for a chat. We don’t know what was said, but it probably wasn’t “keep criticizing us.”

Was there no official statement on the suspension?
On Tuesday, the Shanghai Stock Exchange referred to that meeting in explaining why it has suspended the IPO. It said Ant has reported “significant issues such as the changes in financial technology regulatory environment,” according to a CNBC translation of the statement from Mandarin. “These issues may result in your company not meeting the conditions for listing or meeting the information disclosure requirements.” As a result, the exchange decided to suspend the company’s listing on the Science and Technology Innovation Board, also known as the STAR Market — China’s version of the tech-heavy Nasdaq.

Ant Group and the government are frenemies; the Chinese Communist Party wants to cultivate the country’s capital markets, but not to the point where it’ll tolerate dissent. Looking ahead, Ant may still IPO, but it’ll have to pull off some major reorganizing to get right with regulators. SOURCE

WHAT ELSE IS FRESH...

Stop Buhari from medical trips, Senate tells State House officials.

Why I preferred Yar’Adua to Falae for presidency in 1993 ― Obasanjo.

Dangote Refinery reaches 80 per cent completion.

US election results: Trump sues as path to victory over Biden narrows.

Judge dismisses Trump’s suit on absentee ballots.

Oregon becomes first US state to decriminalize hard drugs like heroin and cocaine.

MASSOB: Army carrying out genocide in Oyigbo.

Strange disease ‘kills 40’ in Enugu.

Registrar who stole N80m from court jailed four years.

Saudi Arabia Relaxes Rules for Millions of Migrant Workers.

Researchers reconstruct first complete brain of one of world’s oldest dinosaurs.

Financial scandal: Pope moves against secretariat of state.

What a spectacle!’: Iran’s Khamenei mocks US democracy in tweet.

Kosovo’s president resigns to face war crimes charges in The Hague.

Africa remittances fall in pandemic not bad as feared, World Bank.

U.S. formally leave the Paris Agreement.

Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil giant, said profits fell nearly 45% last quarter.

Canada makes plan to evacuate its citizens from Hong Kong.

SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY

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Mohamed Bin Zayed University is providing International Scholarships for the academic session 2021/2022. The programme is available for International students.

 

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PICKS OF THE DAY

Our existential flight from death -- and wisdom on connecting to grief. TED Talks

How to Thrive When Everything Feels Terrible. Harvard Business Review

Trump’s tactics: calculated brazenness. The Guardian

We Know Now What America Is. Aljazeera

Why the polls overestimated support for Joe Biden. The Economist

TED Talks: The radical act of choosing common ground. Ted Talks

The Easiest Way to Sanitize Your Bed Sheets, According to a Laundry Expert. Apartment Therapy

Feeling Overwhelmed? Here’s How to Get Through the Workday. Harvard Business Review

38 Wonderful Words With No English Equivalent. Mental Floss

Wesley Snipes on Art, Excellence and Life After Prison: ‘I Hope I Came Out a Better Person’. The Guardian

TODAY'S TRIVIA

CURRENCY QUIZ

1. Two dinar currencies are worthier than USD, EUR and GBP, what are they? 
a. Bahraini and Kuwaiti
b. Bahraini and Serbian
c. Bahraini and Libyan
d. Bahraini and Macedonian

2. Name the only woman who has appeared on a US paper currency?
a. Queen Elizabeth
b. Martha Washington
c. Queen Victoria
d. Nira Loius

3. The first set of British India notes had whose portrait?
a. Indira Ghandi's
b. Queen Victoria's
c. Mahatma Ghandi's
d. Abraham Lincoln's

4. For decades, which currency has been the world's principal reserve?
a. Dollar
b. Euro
c. Pound sterling
d. Naira

QUESTION & ANSWER

QUORA QUESTION: 

Russia has fewer than 10 oversea bases, US has over 600. Russian economy is 1/12th of the US and 1/11th of the E.U. Why is the West still afraid of Russia?

Dima Vorobiev

Apart from North Korea, Russia has been the only nuclear power that keeps promising the West to incinerate them. Several CGI animations, showroom weapons demonstrations, and press-conferences were arranged in order to elaborate on how exactly we’re going to do that.

Here in Russia, we know, deep down inside, that this is just for show. Unlike our past rulers, President Putin thinks that blood, devastation and suffering are for losers. Georgia ‘08, Ukraine ’14 and Syria ’15 have all shown that President Putin only shoots at those who don’t really know how to shoot back. We feel safe with him, the rhetoric notwithstanding—which is why we love the man so dearly.

The West doesn’t know what we know. On the opposite side, they seem to have absorbed the wisdom that European Jews acquired in the 1930s-40s: if someone keeps promising they’re going to kill you, you better take their word for it.

Below, a piece of Russian patriotic art. A lonesome dreamer in the night follows the trace of Russian missiles in the sky flying on their peaceful revenge mission. The missiles are led by the ghost of our folkloric hero Ivan the Fool in ethnic clothes, who steers a troika of fiery stallions toward the strategic targets.

SOURCE

TRIVIA ANSWER

CURRENCY QUIZ ANSWERS

1. Two dinar currencies are worthier than USD, EUR and GBP, what are they? 
a. Bahraini and Kuwaiti

2. Name the only woman who has appeared on a US paper currency?
b. Martha Washington

3. The first set of British India notes had whose portrait?
b. Queen Victoria's

4. For decades, which currency has been the world's principal reserve?
a. Dollar

LITERATURE

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