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☕️ Nigeria backs down

☕️ Nigeria backs down

FEC approved the recommendation of a committee for reopening of...

 

Good morning. A Canadian father said his son became self-conscious about a large brown birthmark on his body, so he went under the needle for 30 hours in order to get a tattoo that replicated the birthmark on his son’s chest so that his boy wouldn’t feel uncomfortable in his own skin.


Now that's a true mole model.​​​​​​​

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☕️QUICK BITES

Cryptocurrency. Bitcoin is back above $20,000 and closed the day above $20,800, a new record. Although some news outlets claimed that today is bitcoin's "first-ever" moment above $20K, there have been prior days where it has hit that mark. Bitcoin is up more than 180% this year. 
Health. WHO will deploy a team of 12-15 experts to Wuhan, China, in January to investigate the origins of COVID-19. The six-week mission is aimed at gathering data to prevent similar outbreaks. Biologist Fabian Leendertz, who is part of the team heading to China, said the WHO isn't seeking to blame anyone for the pandemic.
Philanthropy. MacKenzie Scott, who helped launch Amazon with her ex-husband, Jeff Bezos, has disclosed that she’s been giving away $1 billion a month to charity. She’s been targeting organizations that help underprivileged and chronically underfunded communities. The philanthropic world is amazed at the speed at which Scott is giving away her fortune. 
France. France's presidential palace said President Emmanuel Macron tested positive for the coronavirus. Officials say the 42-year-old president was showing symptoms, and will now isolate for seven days while continuing to work.

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‍#ONTHISDAY

1917 Kenneth Dike, historian and the first Nigerian Vice Chancellor of the nation's premier college, the University of Ibadan, was born.

1271 Kublai Khan renames his empire "Yuan" (元 yuán), marking the start of the Yuan Dynasty of China.

2019 US House of Representatives votes to impeach President Donald Trump for abuse of power (230-197) and obstruction of Congress (229-198).

ECONOMY

Nigeria backs down after 16-month border closure

 

Image Source: Punch

The Story
The Federal Executive Council (FEC), on Wednesday, approved the recommendation of a committee for reopening of four of Nigeria’s land borders with immediate effect.

Finally! But why did the FG change its stance?
Despite suggestions by analysts for the reopening of the borders, they have remained closed for more than a year. This reopening is coming after the submission of a report by the committee set up by the FEC to examine the implications of the closure among others. According to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, who led the committee, others would be “reopened in due course.

Which of the borders are these four?
Addressing State House Reporters after Wednesday’s meeting of the FEC, Ahmed named the borders set for an immediate opening to include Seme in the South-West, Mfun in the South-South, as well as Ilela and Maigatari borders in the Northwest. There had been concerns about Nigeria’s readiness to implement the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), leading some to suggest that the race to meet the January 1, 2021 deadline may have forced the Federal Government to reopen the land borders.

What gains were recorded from the closure?
The Minister, who explained that the other borders would be reopened before December 31, added that restrictions on the importation of some commodities, including rice, would remain. Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, said the closure afforded the authorities the opportunity to assess the security problems with a view to addressing them. Speaking on other benefits of the closure, Adebayo said it had helped in addressing the smuggling of petroleum and other products. “The issue of smuggling of rice to the country has reduced drastically and we are hoping that our agencies will be able to sustain that, so also is the issue of poultry smuggling", he said.

However, analysts have insisted that the loss from the closure far outweigh whatever gains government may claim. With worsening insecurity, a continuous rise in inflation, among other woes, facts show that the closure has really not had a positive impact. According to the Q2 2020 foreign trade data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Nigeria’s trade with ECOWAS has been on the decline. While import dropped from N215.79billion in 2019 to N59.41 billion as of 2020 Q2, export shrunk from N2.24 trillion in 2019 to N445.6 billion this year. SOURCE

SECURITY

We're tired of advising Buhari on security, says ACF

Image Source: Vanguard

The Story
The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has said it is tired of advising President Muhammadu Buhari on security matters.

Really! Why?
After its Board of Trustees (BOT) meeting on Tuesday, the Forum expressed its frustration, saying that the government appears not to be serious in taking proactive measures to end the ugly insecurity situation. Speaking to journalists shortly after the meeting, the National Publicity Secretary of ACF, Emmanuel Yawe, lamented that the Federal Government had failed to heed its advice on how to tackle insecurity in the country, thereby leaving citizens at the mercy of bandits.

What are their suggestions for addressing the problem?
Explaining that the Forum is looking at the immediate and long term ways of improving security, Yawe said that massive employment of youths by governments at all levels would reduce crime rate and check rising insecurity across the country. “Today’s (Tuesday) meeting is very crucial to the operations of ACF because it is the first meeting of the newly-constituted BOT. We discussed security, and we are worried because Nigerians are not secure. We are not happy about insecurity in the country", he said.

Government's questionable approach.
Reintegrating the need for a change in the way government is handling the problem, Yawe said the issue was raised at the ACF's meeting in October, yet nothing is being done. “It has been in the news that over 300 students were kidnapped and taken away in Katsina, and the government is saying they are negotiating with the kidnappers to free the students. These are some of the things that are very distressful and disturbing to all members of ACF,” he said. SOURCE

INTERNATIONAL

Not Eager To Help The Uighurs

 

Image Source: New York Times

The Story
Prosecutors for the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague have declined, for now, to pursue an investigation into China’s mass detention of Muslims.

Were they contacted for it?
Activists had been lobbying the court to investigate allegations of genocide and crimes against humanity regarding Uighurs, a predominately Muslim ethnic group, and to hold Beijing accountable for its repressive policies against ethnic and religious minorities.

Okay. Why did the prosecutors decline?
The chief prosecutor said in a report that the allegations would not be investigated because the abuses described “have been committed solely by nationals of China within the territory of China,” which is not a party to the court. China has faced growing international condemnation for its harsh treatment of Muslims, including confining them in vast indoctrination camps in the western region of Xinjiang.

So the Uighurs are on their own?
Well, they can't really expect any help from the ICC, at least for now, going by the explanation of its chief prosecutor. While several countries have condemned China's actions in Xinjiang, the closest to reprieve that the Uighurs can hope for might be the United Nations Security Council. A disappointed Uighur activist who lives in Australia exclaimed that the ICC had been formed for just one reason: “to confront the most horrific international crimes.” US President-elect Joe Biden’s campaign also labeled China’s actions in Xinjiang as genocide. SOURCE

HEALTH

Poor countries face long wait for vaccines despite promises

 

Image Source: APNews

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Parents of abducted Kankara schoolboys dismiss Boko Haram video.

Buhari Approves Establishment of 10 New National Parks.

Oil prices surge above $50 as US stockpiles shrink.

Northwest governor behind banditry ― APC.

European, French Officials Rush Into Self-Isolation After EU Summit With Macron.

Ghana 2020 elections: John Mahama of NDC blame EC for Techiman shooting ask Jean Mensa to resign.

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Twitter says it will start removing COVID-19 vaccine misinformation.

Denmark to define sex without explicit consent as rape.

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Internship will provide you with the opportunity to become familiar with Health, Safety and Environment (HS&E). You’ll participate in technically focused training, team meetings and work on projects and present your results. During your internship you will be supported by a buddy and your manager who will ensure that you have a valuable learning experience. SOURCE

PICKS OF THE DAY

Fake COVID-19 test results on sale at Lagos airport — for N20,000 only. The Cable

Cai Xia: An Insider Breaks with the Chinese Communist Party. Foreign Affairs

Six Reasons Why Google Maps Is the Creepiest App On Your Phone. Vice

The Rise and Fall of Carl Lentz, the Celebrity Pastor of Hillsong Church. New York Times

Why Are Great Athletes More Likely To Be Younger Siblings? FiveThirtyEight

How One Company Is Redefining Hiring And Working With People With Autism. Forbes

Financial inclusion, the digital divide and other thoughts on the future of money | Ajay Banga. TED Ideas

Healthtech Is the New Healthcare. Entrepreneur

Mathematicians Explore Mirror Link Between Two Geometric. Quanta Magazine Worlds

5 Ways To Persuade Yourself To Be Productive. Fast Company

What My Son’s Final Words Taught Me About Happiness. Medium

TODAY'S TRIVIA

Technology Quiz

1. What is the name of the digital file format that was devised in 1987 to reduce the size of images and short animations?
A. Png
B. Jpeg
C. Gif

2. What type of electromagnetic waves does Wi-Fi use?
A. Infrared
B. Microwave
C. Radio waves

3. A number that uniquely identifies each computer on the Internet is called:
A. Gopher
B. Ip address
C. DNS

QUESTION & ANSWER

QUORA QUESTION: 

What were the scariest coincidences that happened in history?

Hazel Lockey

You’ll have heard of Albert Camus - the guy who won the Nobel Literature Prize and wrote The Stranger and The Myth of Sisyphus.

On the day he died, January 4th, 1960 (aged only 46), he was planning to take a train up to Paris. That was until his friend and publisher, Michel Gallimard, persuaded him to take an automobile instead.

They lost control on an icy road in the small town of Villeblevin. The car swerved and crashed into a tree, killing Camus, and Gallimard five days later. The unused train ticket was found in Camus’ pocket.

It turns out Camus had intense motorphobia - a morbid fear of automobiles. Instead of driving, he mostly took trains wherever he went. And the one time that he decided to take a car, he was killed in a car crash.

According to Literary Kicks, Camus said:

‘I know nothing more stupid than to die in an automobile accident.’

Oh, the irony. SOURCE

TRIVIA ANSWER

Technology Quiz Answers

1. What is the name of the digital file format that was devised in 1987 to reduce the size of images and short animations?
C. Gif

2. What type of electromagnetic waves does Wi-Fi use?
C. Radio waves

3. A number that uniquely identifies each computer on the Internet is called:
B. Ip address

LITERATURE

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