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☕️Rampant Piracy

☕️Rampant Piracy

Denmark will send a naval vessel to West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea to aid the fight against rampant piracy.


 

Good morning. Dozens of cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point were caught cheating on a calculus final exam in May after they all made the same errors on the test, according to officials." 

Calculus? Why? Just study. It’s really not that hard.

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☕️QUICK BITES

China. Foreign citizens will be allowed to enter the country again if they've received a vaccine—but it has to be a Chinese vaccine.
United States. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said the number of migrants at the Southwest border could reach levels not seen in 20 years. It comes as the Biden admin's been facing criticism over reports of children going hungry, sleeping on the floor, and being held longer than legally allowed at overcrowded facilities. 
North Korea. The sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Kim Yo Jung, warned the United States to “refrain from causing a stink at its first step” if it wants to “sleep in peace.” Her comments come as Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin arrived in Asia to work with Japan and South Korea regarding regional issues
United Kingdom. Uber will assure its U.K. drivers a minimum wage and vacation time following a British Supreme Court ruling last month that said drivers are entitled to benefits. Britain's 70,000 Uber drivers will still not be classified as "employees," which means they will not receive sick pay or parental leave. However, drivers over 25 will receive access to a pension plan and be an assured a minimum wage of $12.16 an hour once they accept a request for a trip from a passenger.

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ONTHISDAY

1812 The first Spanish constitution is enacted, one of the earliest constitutions ever promulgated

1967 French Somaliland (Djibouti) votes to continue association with France

 

2003 Invasion of Iraq - Airstrikes by an American and British-led coalition signal the beginning of the invasion of Iraq, without United Nations support and in defiance of world opinion

SECURITY

Denmark helping Nigeria fight sea piracy

 

Image Source: Africa24

The Story
Denmark will send a naval vessel to West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea to aid the fight against rampant piracy.

Is Denmark obligated to do that?
The decision follows a call by A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S and shipping industry groups for a more assertive international response to kidnappings that occur in the region. The waters in the area are the most dangerous for seafarers worldwide, accounting for almost all maritime abductions in recent years. Besides, Copenhagen-based Maersk, the world’s biggest shipping company, is responsible for more than a third of maritime trade in the gulf, while as many as 40 Danish-operated vessels sail through the area daily.

When will this vessel be deployed?
The Danish government will deploy a frigate equipped with a helicopter to patrol international waters in the gulf from November for an initial period of five months, according to a statement published Tuesday. The vessel will combat piracy by providing escorts to civilian shipping and carrying out rescue operations following attacks, it said. Last year, 95% of the 135 seafarers seized worldwide were kidnapped in the gulf, a vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean stretching from Senegal to Angola, in 22 separate incidents, according to the International Maritime Bureau.

Hostages are usually taken to Nigeria, where ransoms are negotiated. Maersk said in January that “effective military capacity” needs to be dispatched to the region. Lending his voice to this, Danish Defense Minister Trine Bramsen in a statement on Tuesday said, “If we are to get serious about managing security in the Gulf of Guinea, an international military presence is necessary". “We are working for more countries to assume responsibility", Bramsen said. SOURCE

CORRUPTION

Eni and Shell Acquitted of Nigeria Bribery Charges in Milan

Image Source: Linda Ikeji

The Story
Eni SpA, Royal Dutch Shell and several of their current and former executives were acquitted of corruption charges related to a Nigerian oil deal by a court in Milan.

Tell me about it.
The verdict ends a three-year legal saga that loomed large over the tenure of Eni Chief Executive Officer Claudio Descalzi, who was among those found not guilty on Wednesday. Italian prosecutors had sought an eight-year jail term for him. Several former executives of the companies were also cleared of wrongdoing, including Malcolm Brinded, who ran Shell’s exploration and production division at the time, and Paolo Scaroni, who was Eni CEO before Descalzi. The companies and executives accused have consistently denied any wrongdoing.

What were the charges in the case?
The ruling is a blow for Nigeria’s government, which joined the case as a civil party in 2018 and was seeking compensation. Prosecutors had charged that executives involved in the 2011 deal to secure Offshore Oil Prospecting License 245 knew that much of the $1.1B they deposited into an escrow account controlled by the Nigerian government would be disbursed as bribes. Yet several of their key witnesses failed to back up those allegations when called to testify.

Was there evidence to support the allegations?
The verdict is also a setback for Global Witness, the non-governmental that seeks to expose corruption and human-rights abuses across the world. The group uncovered documents that informed the Italian prosecutor’s decision to take up the case. A representative of the Federal Republic of Nigeria said the country will wait to review the Italian court’s written judgement before considering its position. In Italy, sentences aren’t definitive until appeals are exhausted. It could take years before there’s a final decision.

In 2018, two middlemen were found guilty of corruption in a separate trial. The verdict doesn’t end the legal woes for Shell related to its Nigerian operations. In January a court in the Netherlands ruled that the Anglo-Dutch major was liable for damages from pipeline leaks in Africa’s most populous country. A few weeks later, the U.K.’s Supreme Court ruled that thousands of Nigerians can sue Shell in London over pollution. SOURCE

INTERNATIONAL

Too Much Funds To Manage

 

Image Source: Bloomberg

The Story
The Republic of Singapore is among the smallest and richest countries in the world, and is known for having a sophisticated financial sector and tax regime attractive to foreign investments and professional talent.

What's the news?
Wealthy tycoons and global hedge fund giants have been flooding into Singapore. Some firms opened amid recent turmoil in Hong Kong, while others are choosing it as their regional base. Family offices --- private companies created by the ultra-rich to manage their affairs --- have also poured in. Assets under management by Singapore-based hedge funds have more than doubled since 2016. All this financial activity has created a quandary: what to do about an increasing shortage of qualified fund management professionals.

How are they dealing with that?
Rather than importing talent from traditional hubs like Europe and the US, Singapore's government and investors are pushing to cultivate the industry's next generation --- aiming to boost local hires instead of relying on expatriates. The government launched training subsidies to help pay for asset management courses and will cover up to $75,000 in costs when financial institutions send selected staff overseas to obtain global experience. Incentives being granted to some would-be investors may include a requirement to hire Singaporeans.

What if there's a shortage of candidates interested in this field?
Many firms are retraining existing executives to solve talent shortages. Singapore's Investment Management Association launched its iLearn platform in May to help workers upskill. The Wealth Management Institute (WMI) is using part of a $25 million donation to train policy-makers and investment professionals. Tax experts, private bankers, lawyers, and others are teaching the finer points on managing fund, to educate the next group of certified specialists ready to move straight into family offices and hedge funds.

Other means to attract talents.
Still, other firms are offering internships, like Quantedge Capital, whose CEO said most of its new hires will likely come from internships. The firm recently winnowed 300 applications down to 30 sets of tests and interviews before giving five-week internships to the final 10. Ultimately just three were offered jobs. Raffles Girls’ School places students in a range of financial institutions, and recently ran webinars on hedge funds and the future of banking with industry professionals.

Last year a Raffles student, 16-year-old Yi Ke Cao, beat out 10 competitors to win an internship at Modular Asset Management. Cao spent two weeks crunching spreadsheet data, chatting with veterans, and watching nerve-wracking meetings where fund managers defended their investment ideas from peers. The youngest in a wave of Singaporeans being readied for the world of active asset management, Cao said the experience was valuable and gave her a boost of confidence. SOURCE

INTERNATIONAL

How To Get Away With Murder

 

Image Source: NY Times

The Story
Turkish men get away with murder --- literally. Since 2002, when President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Islamist Justice and Development Party took office, instances of domestic violence and femicide have soared, and the men responsible continue to go unpunished.

What's the data on this?
Murders of women rose from 66 in 2002 to 953 in the first seven months of 2009, after which the government stopped releasing the data. Turkey's interior minister said 266 women died from domestic violence in 2020, but women's rights groups say the number is much higher. They cite their own figures of 370 recorded femicides and 171 cases of women dying under suspicious circumstances. Add that to women's suicides, which get only cursory investigation. "In Turkey, at least three women are being killed every day," said an activist and women's issues commentator. She noted that femicide is becoming more violent, and some of the brutality is tantamount to systematic torture. The trial of Melek Ipek, a 31-year-old domestic violence survivor, could be the tipping point.

Are you saying a victim is on trial?
Melek says she was excelling in high school and hoped to become a math teacher when she was raped by Ramazan Ipek and forced to marry him. For years she endured brutal beatings and insults. In early January, 36-year-old Ramazan handcuffed his wife, hit her with a rifle butt, and beat her throughout the night while threatening to kill her and their two daughters aged 7 and 9. In the morning Ramazan left the house, having vowed to kill her and the traumatized children when he came back. Upon Ramazan's return, a still-handcuffed Melek grabbed the rifle. A struggle ensued, the gun went off and Ramazan was killed. After calling the police, Melek was arrested and charged with murder.

Wow! Wasn't that self-defense?
The first court hearing was Monday. In the indictment, prosecutors describe Ramazan as a family man, and contend the fact that Melek didn't seek help from police or her neighbors before or during the attack is evidence she intended to shoot her husband. Activists and lawyers say women have little faith in Turkey's legal system. Police often persuade battered women to return to their husbands, restraining orders are rarely enforced, and courts give violent men reduced sentences for good behavior, imparting a sense of impunity. In 2017, a Turkish court acquitted two men accused of helping kill their sister because of her Western lifestyle. Melek faces life in prison, and remains in jail awaiting her next court hearing on April 2.

Erdogan; an enabler of women's abuse?
In his first decade in power, Erdogan made a show of instituting democratic reforms as part of his country's bid to join the EU. Turkey became the first signatory of 2011's Istanbul Convention, the first international agreement to address domestic violence. But a decade later, women's rights campaigners say they are fighting attempts by Islamists to withdraw from the convention and roll back favorable legislation. Erdogan has encountered resistance from his own female supporters and family members, and it appears he has shelved the idea of withdrawing, for now at least. SOURCE

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PICKS OF THE DAY

From trash to treasure: The Nigerians recycling waste into wealth. Al Jazeera

The Women Who Shaped Hip-Hop. Pocket Collections

The sky-high pressures faced by flight attendants. The Verge

The top 50 cult movies, ranked. The Ringer

When depression wears a smile, even psychiatrists like me can be deceived. The Guardian

Anti-Racism Is Becoming Troublingly Racist. Level

Travelers: Of African Literature, Nomads and New Garments. Republic NG

Analects and abacus: How Japan’s stakeholder capitalism is changing. Economist

How Intelligent Could Life Be Without Natural Selection? Naulitus

7 Valuable Lessons You Can Learn from Watching “The Queen’s Gambit. Curious

Love them or hate them, the Kardashians changed business forever. Al Jazeera

TODAY'S TRIVIA

Football Trivia

1. Ronaldo is synonymous with the No.7, but what other number did he wear at Real Madrid?
a. No. 12
b. No. 9
c. No. 17

2. Ronaldo exclaims which word when celebrating a goal?
a. Si
b. Yay
c. C'mon

3. Messi has won a record number of Ballon d'Or awards - how many?
a. 6
b. 12
c. 4

QUESTION & ANSWER

QUORA QUESTION: 

Which person in history, if they lived 5 years longer, would make the biggest change to history?

 

George Martins

Évariste Galois.

He was killed in 1832 at age 20 in a duel over “une femme”.

On the night before the duel he wrote a letter containing 60 pages of his math findings. In 1846 Liouville published his results on group theory, but it was only around 1870 that Camille Jordan finally understood it and its implications... Unlike Gauss, whose math works were mostly questions that other persons later discovered on their own, all of Galois’s findings were original and revolutionary.

So we make Galois survive the duel and live five years longer. I assume the near death experience would motivated him to properly expose his ideas. This would accelerate math development of groups theory a whole four decades, but most important, the great math minds that were alive and productive during this time interval will have the chance to work upon it. Imagine Gauss and Riemann having access to Galois’s ideas and tools- it is like giving the minds behind the Manhattan project access to a modern PC to design and calculate his A-Bombs.

One can safely assume that magnetism theory and relativity would be formulated earlier as well- Cantor would achieve his own results earlier and likely expand upon them. Galois’s death delayed math development at least 40 years, in the time frame exactly before math gave birth to relativity and quantum mechanics.

Then we enter the speculation scenario: if between 17y and 20y Galois produced such revolutionary results, what would he do living five years longer? Would he solve Fermat’s last theorem?! Galois’s mind worked in ways alien to most humans minds, the kind of genius we are blessed with once a century, if that much. SOURCE

TRIVIA ANSWER

Football Trivia Answers

1. Ronaldo is synonymous with the No.7, but what other number did he wear at Real Madrid?
b. No. 9

2. Ronaldo exclaims which word when celebrating a goal?
a. Si
Answer:. Si(Spanish for 'Yes!')

3. Messi has won a record number of Ballon d'Or awards - how many?
a. 6

LITERATURE

Essay
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Poetry
Colour riots

Satire
330 Million Americans Sue Cardi B For Psychological Damage

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