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?? Merry Christmas!

?? Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas. Till next year...

 

Good morning. Merry Christmas and we wish you a Happy New year!

Why are we wishing you a Happy New Year on Dec. 25? Because the next edition of FP will come to you on January 4, 2021.

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Thank you for the happiness you have brought to us this year with your emails, chat and general feedback.

☕️QUICK BITES

Journalism. The documented number of journalists murdered across the globe in 2020 more than doubled over the past year to 30, with at least 21 in direct retaliation for their investigative reporting. 
United States. The U.S. is on track to record 3.2 million deaths in 2020, marking the first time in its history it will surpass three million deaths in a single year. The grim milestone is largely linked to the coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed more than 320,000 American lives so far.
Israel. Israel’s government has collapsed again, triggering new elections that will be held in March. It will be the fourth election in two years for that country. After failing to pass a budget, the short-lived unity government fell apart and Parliament was automatically dissolved. 
United Kingdom. Just a week before the deadline, Britain and the European Union struck a free-trade deal Thursday that should avert economic chaos. The agreement will ensure Britain and the 27-nation bloc can continue to trade in goods without tariffs or quotas after the U.K. breaks fully free of the EU on Jan. 1.

‍RECOMMENDED

How is your creativity index? Do you want to unleash your creativity juices? Or simply want out of any creativity drought you are right now? 

Introducing Getting In Shape For Creativity. A free download for Freshly Pressed subscribers. Click HERE for your own copy.

‍#ONTHISDAY

1 1st Christmas, according to calendar-maker Dionysus Exiguus.

1741 Astronomer Anders Celsius introduces Centigrade temperature scale.

EDUCATION

ASUU calls off strike with conditions...

 

Image Source: Punch

The Story
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has called off its 9-month-old strike.

Finally! Has the FG met their demands?
Bidoun Ogunyemi, the union's national president, broke the news on Wednesday during a briefing of the union in Abuja. He disclosed that the decision was reached after consultations with its national executive council (NEC). According to ASUU, the suspension of the strike is a conditional one. Education Minister, Adamu Adamu, had said earlier that there was hope of the schools resuming soon. He noted that while other negotiations were still ongoing between both parties, the government has accepted ASUU's demand to exempt its members from the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) pending the approval of the union's proposed payment system – the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).

How long before another round of hostilities?
The ASUU president cautioned the federal government against reneging on the agreements reached with the union. Ogunyemi said the union would embark on another industrial action without notice if the government fails to meet parts of the agreement reached with the university lecturers.

When are the schools resuming?
The union did not announce a resumption date for the schools, as it stated that the date depends on the government (because of new Covid-19 protocols) and each school's senate. In addition to its demand for the payment of salary arrears and earned academic allowance for its members, more funding for universities amongst others, ASUU had also opposed the adoption of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) while presenting its University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) as alternative payroll software. SOURCE

SECURITY

CP: Criminals plotting to attack churches, mosques in Lagos

Image Source: The Cable

The Story
Lagos state commissioner of police, Hakeem Odumosu, says the command has received intelligence on plot to attack churches and mosques during the yuletide.

When?
Odumosu disclosed this at a briefing in Lagos on Wednesday, when he was asked about the security alert released by the Department of State Services (DSS) on Tuesday. The DSS had raised the alarm over a plot to carry out violent attacks on public places and vulnerable points during the yuletide.

What measures have they taken to address this?
The DSS had asked Nigerians to be on the alert, saying it is collaborating with other agencies for the protection of lives and property. At the briefing, the police commissioner said the intelligence came from Abuja and that the police force is already taking steps to ensure that the sinister plot is “nipped in the bud”. He also said that the force has identified vulnerable areas in the state and made adequate deployment to forestall any attack.

Odumosu assured the public to go about their activities without fear, as the police force was working to stop any security threat. “We are working on that, everyone should rest assured that there is adequate security and they go about their lawful businesses without fear", he said. SOURCE

INTERNATIONAL

Tesla joins the big league

 

Image Source: Irish Times

The Story
On Monday, electric automaker Tesla will join the U.S. stock market’s equivalent of Top 40 radio: the S&P 500 index.

Okay, but what's the significance of this?
The induction caps a sensational year for the company, whose shares have gained more than 700% as it smashed vehicle delivery records. Now, we wouldn’t normally write about the reshuffling of the S&P 500 (typically a mundane affair), but Tesla is not an ordinary stock.

How do you mean?
For one, it’s absolutely humongous. With a market capitalization of $659 billion, Tesla will be the largest company to ever enter the S&P 500. And once it’s in, it’ll be the sixth-biggest company in the index—sitting behind only Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Google parent Alphabet, and Facebook. It also dwarfs other car stocks. Tesla’s market value is 18x Ford’s and 10x GM’s.

I see.
That's not all. The stock is extremely volatile, meaning it’s prone to dramatic daily swings based on company news that might not be a huge deal. Because of Tesla’s size, the value of those daily undulations can sometimes surpass the entire market capitalization of automakers such as BMW or Fiat Chrysler. Also, for many years Tesla wasn’t profitable. Only in the past several quarters did it actually make money, which is one of the qualifications for inclusion in the S&P.

What does it mean for the stock market?
More than $4.5 trillion is managed by index funds that track the S&P 500. So those fund managers have gone on a Tesla stock buying binge for over a month in order to mirror the index’s new composition. Because of everything we mentioned above, Tesla’s inclusion should have a noticeable impact on the S&P. Goldman Sachs wrote that the index would be two percentage points higher this year had Tesla been a member.

Looking ahead: Could Tesla stock become...boring? Potentially. Finance professor Anna Pavlova told the NYT that over time, stocks included in the S&P tend to move more as a group and their volatility goes down.

Then again, it's Elon Musk we're talking about. SOURCE

INTERNATIONAL

COVID does the unimaginable...

 

Image Source: USA Today

The Story

COVID-19 has reached the South Pole.

That's where the angry elves are…

If that's how you want to see it, sure. Antarctica was the only continent not affected by the coronavirus until now. Earlier this week, the Chilean Army said 36 people at the nation's research base there tested positive for COVID-19, marking the first time cases have been recorded on the continent. Officials said that 26 members of the Chilean military and 10 maintenance workers have been evacuated to Chile, where they are reportedly in isolation and doing well. But while Santa may be immune to the virus, not everyone is. And Antarctica isn't the only place raising alarms.

Where else?

The UK. The country's dealing with the spread of a new strain of the coronavirus. According to experts, this mutation spreads faster than other variants of the virus but it isn't deadlier. And the CEO of BioNTech (who partnered with Pfizer to create a vaccine) said it's "highly likely" their COVID-19 shot is still effective against the new variant. While 40+ countries have halted travel from the UK (some temporarily), US health officials are saying there's no need for that kind of restriction.

Best thing to do...

The best thing you can do is not travel and celebrate virtually or with members of your own household. But if you're a rebel without a Claus, keep an eye on state travel restrictions and continue to follow other NCDC rules and guidelines like washing your hands, using Santa-tizer, er, sanitizer, wearing a mask, and not sharing utensils. Also, disinfect commonly touched surfaces, limit the number of people at a gathering, and maybe (definitely) avoid the mistletoe.

This 2020!

We know, we can't believe it's late December either. But as Americans stay home for the holidays it's important to stay safe amid a surge of cases in parts of the country and the world. Let's continue sleighing the pandemic together. SOURCE

WHAT ELSE IS FRESH...

Another new COVID strain found in Nigeria, says Africa CDC.

FG announces fresh rules for passengers from UK, South Africa.

No room for cross-over service in Lagos, Sanwo-Olu warns churches.

Buhari to Nigerians: Use this season to reinvest your trust in our administration.

NSE market capitalisation hits the N20trn mark — highest in history.

Metuh released after 10 months in prison.

Discos assure consumers of stable power supply.

ACF, others fume as Buhari declares Borno, Yobe safe.

CBN revokes seven payment service providers’ licences.

Bakare: God does not need anybody’s permission to put Tinubu in his hall of fame.

Our customers have deserted us for trade-friendly nations’ — traders speak on 16-month border closure.

Yahaya Bello: FG should focus on economic recovery NOT procuring COVID-19 vaccines.

Imo gov dissolves council of traditional rulers.

US population growth smallest in at least 120 years.

SEC sued cryptocurrency company Ripple and two of its execs for allegedly violating investor protection laws.

Syria’s air defences ‘intercept barrage of Israeli missiles’.

Israel says Pakistan not among states it may have ties with.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP CHALLENGE

African Development Bank Fashionomics Africa Contest 2020 (USD 2,000 cash Prize)  

 

Environmentally friendly measures, sustainability and circular economy actions applied to fashion are the focus of Fashionomics Africa’s first online contest. The first Fashionomics Africa contest is a challenge prize run by the African Development Bank, in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme, Parsons School of Design and Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Make Fashion Circular initiative, across the Continent.

 

This year’s competition is looking for African fashion brands that will change the ways we produce, buy, use and recycle fashion and encourage a more sustainable change in consumer behaviour – as well as to raise further awareness around the topic itself. 

 

Applications must be received no later than 31 December, 2020. DETAILS

PICKS OF THE DAY

Twenty positive things that happened in 2020. Wired

Telling 2020's story in 20 charts. Chartr

FiveThirtyEight's 40 weirdest charts of the year. FiveThirtyEight

Best movies of 2020 ranked. Thrillist

Top 10 Amazing Art Installations That Defined a Year Like No Other. MyModernNet

‘Headache, tiredness, cough’ — Sanwo-Olu narrates terrible COVID-19 experience. The Cable

INVESTIGATION: Nurses turned cleaners — and other sour tales from hospitals raising quacks in Akwa Ibom. The Cable

Which countries have rolled out COVID vaccination? Aljazeera

TODAY'S TRIVIA

Grammar Quiz

There is something that is present on Christmas day - Food...plenty of it.

Take a stab at spotting the stylistic or grammatical errors in these food-related sentences from the WSJ editors.

  1. It measures nearly three inches by five inches, and it's made from enriched flour, corn syrup and creamy peanut butter.
  2. The half—or even quarter—bottle of wine scores points in both the pocket and on the palette.
  3. Most people in the food industry believed the frozen dessert was at lower risk…in part because the bacteria doesn't grow when the food is frozen.
  4. Behind McDonald's Corp.'s worst slump in a decade is a trend that may auger even tougher times ahead.

QUESTION & ANSWER

QUORA QUESTION: 

Alexander or Napoleon, who was the better general?

Dan Houser

When asked who the best general was Wellington responded "In this age, in any age, Napoleon"

Many may argue for Alexander being the best that “He was undefeated" and that is true and why he had earned the title of ‘Great' by later historians and was an inspiration for countless generals ranging from Hannibal, Caesar and Napoleon himself. Of course warfare was completely different in both eras but both of these men are undeniable masters of their craft for their respected times.

But Alexander never competed in much battles as Napoleon who out of the 60 battles he fought only lost 7. He was a masterful general whose successes outweighed his loses as shown in Austerlitz when the coalition fell for his feint or during the Six Day Campaign when the odds were 10 to 1. Napoleon had gained such a reputation that the Coalition's strategy became to avoid contact with his forces but instead target his generals which when they failed to do at the Battle of Dresden cost them the battle.

His logistics, tactics, adaptability, use of equipment and micromanaging for the most part are truly unmatched. Also unlike Alexander who had inherited his fathers army, Napoleon had made his himself and turned it into the most elite force in Europe with the Grande Armée. Even despite Russia, Napoleon was also a master of morale and highly revered among his troops, something Alexander had began to lose by alienating his men by adopting foreign customs and overextending his troops when they desired to return home.

‍While Alexander is rightfully called the Great due to his military achievements, I believe Napoleon himself is a more impressive leader who fought a far more impressive enemy. SOURCE

TRIVIA ANSWER

Grammar Quiz Answers

 

  1. Per the WSJ Stylebook, use numerals for measurements: 3 inches by 5 inches.
  2. This is a double whammy. "In both" should be "both in." And a "palette" is what you use to mix paint; a "palate" is the roof of your mouth.
  3. Because it's not referring to a single strain, the word "bacteria" is technically plural. In this case, it should be written as "bacteria don't" or "bacterium doesn't."
  4. An auger is a boring tool, so unless McDonald's is physically drilling into hard times, this should be "that augurs even tougher times."

LITERATURE

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