Bitcoin. JPMorgan said that bitcoin could trade as high as $146,000 (not a typo) if it continues to compete with gold as a safe-haven asset for investors. Remember, not too long ago JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon called bitcoin a "fraud."
United States. Democrats will control the Senate for the first time since 2015, and both houses of Congress for the first time in a decade. The 100 member Senate is now evenly split at 50-50, and since the Veep serves as President of the Senate, Kamala Harris will break any tie votes.
North Korea. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said that his economic policies have been a total failure. He stated that the five-year economic plan that he unveiled in 2016 "tremendously" failed to achieve its goals, which included higher economic growth and an increase in electricity supplies.
Ghana. Ghanaian lawmakers exchanged blows during the dissolution of the seventh parliament Wednesday night. Mayhem erupted after a lawmaker from the ruling party tried to seize the ballot box during the vote for parliament speaker. The ensuing clash lasted several hours until the army moved in, with national television broadcasting the drama live.
1902 New York state assemblyman Francis G. Landon gets a bill passed to criminalize men turning around on a street and "looking at a woman in that way".
1926 Abdulaziz Ibn Saud becomes King of Nejd and Hejaz; forerunner of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
1959 Charles de Gaulle inaugurated as president of France's 5th Republic.
1992 George H. W. Bush gets ill & vomits on Japanese prime minister's lap.
Second wave: One in five persons tested in Nigeria has COVID-19
Image Source: Vanguard
The Story One in five persons tested for COVID-19 in Nigeria is positive, according to official data.
Official data from where? Data from the World Health Organisation (WHO) compiled here show that the country’s positive rate jumped from 4.2% to 21.3% in the last month. As of December 3, only 4.2% of all coronavirus tests — or roughly one in 25 samples — in Nigeria returned positive. But as the second wave sweeps across the country, so is the number of positive cases rising.
Isn't that worrying? The WHO data show that the positive rate stood at 21.3% as of January 3, a steep rise in the number of positive diagnoses. When a country’s positivity rate for the coronavirus is high, experts believe this indicates how widespread the virus is in the community. It could also mean that the number of total tests being carried out is too low. According to Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, “a higher positive percentage suggests higher transmission and that there are likely more people with coronavirus in the community who haven’t been tested yet.
Could this rise be because of increased testing? It might not be unconnected to the recent widespread non-compliance with official safety protocol. Nigeria has had a chronic testing problem since the pandemic, with less than one million tests carried out so far, unlike South Africa that has tested over 6.7 million samples. Data from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) situation reports show the country’s testing capacity still hovers between 35,000 and 45,000 weekly.
How's government dealing with this? In a similar development, the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 said on Tuesday that at least 731 members of the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) Batch B had tested positive for COVID-19. This compares to 108 positive test results during the Batch A exercise. While governments are considering another round of lockdown and other measures, Nigeria hopes to get 42 million COVID-19 vaccines to cover one-fifth of its population through the global COVAX scheme, Faisal Shuaib, head of the country’s primary healthcare agency, said on Tuesday. SOURCE
FG to borrow unclaimed dividends, dormant accounts' balances
Image Source: Punch
The Story Unclaimed dividends and bank account balances unattended for at least six years will now be available as special credit to the federal government through the Unclaimed Funds Trust Fund.
How? Recall that the government announced not long ago that there were plans to find ways to put such unattended funds to use. According to the Finance Act 2020 recently signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari, the trust fund will be a sub-fund of the Crisis Intervention Fund. The Act, however, exempts official bank accounts owned by the FG, state or local governments or any of their ministries, departments or agencies.
How can the government just lay claim to people's money? According to the Act, the monies transferred to the trust fund will be a “special debt owed by the federal government to shareholders and dormant bank account holders”. It also states that the original owners of the money can claim it at any time. The operation of the trust fund will be supervised by the Debt Management Office (DMO) and governed by a governing council chaired by the finance minister and a co-chairperson from the private sector appointed by the president.
What's the government's reason for this? This move will make needed funds available to the federal government without foreign exchange worries or conditions attached to loans from multilateral lenders. Other members of the governing council shall include the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, director-general of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), managing director of the National Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), a representative of the registrars of companies, two representatives of the shareholders’ association, a representative of the Bankers’ Committee and the director-general of the Debt Management Office as the secretary of the trust fund. SOURCE
Norway Sells The Most EVs. Shocking, Isn’t It?
Image Source: ahoo News
The Story Norway might be leading in the race to a world of electric vehicles, according to records for the year 2020.
Tell me about it. Norway is the first country where electric car sales have overtaken sales of those powered by any other means. Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) made up 54.3% of all new cars sold in Norway in 2020. That’s a global record, up from 42.4% in 2019 and from a mere 1% of the overall market a decade ago.
Wow! No wonder Tesla is doing so well. Well, Tesla is not alone in this, as various auto manufacturers are investing significantly in the switch to electric vehicles. Volkswagen’s Audi brand topped the 2020 leaderboard with its e-tron sports utility and sportsback vehicles as the most sold new passenger cars in Norway last year, while Tesla’s mid-sized Model 3, the 2019 winner, was relegated to second place.
Any reason for these Norway sales? As relevant authorities intensify efforts in reducing the burning of fossil fuel(a major contributor to climate change), the switch to electric vehicles has continued to draw attention. Despite being an oil-producer, Norway exempts fully electric vehicles from taxes imposed on those relying on fossil fuels. The policy has turned the country’s car market into a laboratory for carmakers seeking a path to a future without internal combustion engines. SOURCE
An assault on democracy. Wednesday night, as Congress gathered to certify President-elect Joe Biden's electoral win, a mob of Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol: scaling walls, shattering windows, breaking into federal offices, taking over the Senate floor, and stealing furniture. Lawmakers were evacuated and the Capitol was put on lockdown. Four people died. At least 14 officers were injured. Videos show groups attacking the press, destroying equipment, and yelling an all-too-familiar message from the president himself: the media is the "enemy of the people." The National Guard was eventually called to quell the rioters. At least 52 people were arrested.
I still can't believe this happened in the US.
It did. And it was the first major attack on the Capitol since 1814 – when the British burned it down during the War of 1812. Many are blaming President Trump. For months, he's rallied supporters to believe that the election was rigged despite all evidence to the contrary. And made comments in the past that were perceived as inciting violence. At a rally two days ago, he vowed to "never concede" and urged his supporters to march to the Capitol, telling them "you will never take back our country with weakness." His personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, pushed for a "trial by combat."
And what did Trump say about the violence?
While his Congress barricaded in the Capitol, the president released a video. He told the rioters that they should go home, but "we love you, you're very special." He later added this is what happens when "a sacred landslide election victory" is "viciously stripped away from great patriots." The posts were removed by social media outlets. And he has been temporarily banned from Twitter and Facebook.
And what are others saying?
Lawmakers across the aisle are condemning the violence. Biden said it "borders on sedition" (inciting rebellion against a gov). And activists are calling out the stark discrepancy in police response compared to Black Lives Matter protests. The day's events also seemed to deliver a jolt to the Republican Party, inspiring some longtime Trump allies to speak out forcefully. VP Mike Pence resisted pressure by Trump to defy the Constitution and reject the electoral results. Some lawmakers are calling for impeachment or an early removal of Trump from office. And while several Republicans backed off their challenge to the election results, others pushed on – to no avail. In the early hours of the morning, Pence officially declared Biden the winner of the Nov 3 presidential election. And Trump acknowledged he will leave the White House, adding that there would be an "orderly transition" of power.
Democracy can be fragile...
Americans live in a democracy. A democracy that has been in place for centuries – allowing us the right to vote and ensuring a peaceful transfer of power. Yesterday's events showed how fragile that is. And the damage that can be done by a president unwilling to protect it. SOURCE
WHAT ELSE IS FRESH...
Kaduna arraigns PDP spokesman for attempted adultery in ‘sex party’ saga.
Buhari, Osinbajo to take COVID-19 vaccine ‘on live TV’.
Niger governor: Bandits from Mali and Sudan operating in the north.
Rapper Dr. Dre hospitalized after suffering a brain aneurysm.
Crypto market value tops $1 trillion as Bitcoin hits $37,000.
2021 Machel-Mandela Funded Fellowship Programme
The Brenthurst Foundation is inviting applications from young graduates for the Machel-Mandela Fellowship Programme, named in honour of former South African President Nelson Mandela and his wife Graca Machel.
The Fellowship will be available full-time for a minimum of six months and the selected candidate will be expected to take up the appointment in April 2021. The Fellow may be from South Africa or farther afield. They will be based at the Brenthurst Foundation’s headquarters in Parktown, Johannesburg. Fellows will work directly with and assist the Foundation’s staff on a range of projects and activities, some of which will require foreign travel. SOURCE
The best response to uncertainty is a master plan. QZ
6 unconventional productivity tips for a calm and focused 2021. Fast Company
Dog Domestication May Have Begun because Paleo Humans Couldn't Stomach the Original Paleo Diet. Scientific American
What Do You Understand About Innovation? We Present the Case of Pepsi. Entrepreneur
The Body Records, But the Mind Transcribes. Medium
FILL IN THE BLANK
The World Health Organization reported that Russian _____________ decreased by 43% from 2003 to 2016.
QUESTION & ANSWER
What are the most shocking facts in history?
Originally Answered: What is a history fact that will shock anyone?
This man, Mansa musa beat all the billionaire CEOs in the world with his wealth 7 centuries back! Estimated Net worth - three times richer than Jeff Bezos!
Just like Wakanda, the resources of Mali kingdom remained in dark until Musa set for a spectacular journey to Mecca. Entire world was stunned on sight of the journey.
He set out with 60000 porters; 6000 slaves carrying Persian silk; 500 slaves bearing gold staffs; 80 Camels carrying 140Kg of gold each; Interestingly, when he reached Cairo, took pity on the people and gifted almost all the gold to poor he saw. This flooded Cairo with gold and sudden wealth in everyone’s hand caused a heavy inflation that lasted more than a decade. Such immense wealth naturally swelled none other from the Mali gold mines.
No need to mention, he had to borrow money from a ruler for his return Journey! SOURCE