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☕️ Students kidnapped, again!

☕️ Students kidnapped, again!

Pupils feared kidnapped after raid on school in Katsina...

 

Good morning. China has advised flight attendants to wear disposable diapers to avoid using restrooms on flights amid the coronavirus pandemic.

At the rate at which 2020 is going, it may be difficult to come up with decent April Fools' Day stories come next year...

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☕️QUICK BITES

Lagos. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos state, has tested positive for COVID-19. Akin Abayomi, commissioner for health, broke the news in a statement on Saturday evening.
United Kingdom. Boris Johnson is warning businesses and the British public that a no-deal Brexit is now “a strong possibility.” The FTSE and pound sterling slumped further as investors worry about the economic uncertainty to come.
Award. Time magazine has named President-elect Joe Biden and VP-elect Kamala Harris as its 2020 persons of the year. They edged out the other finalists: Dr. Fauci and frontline healthcare workers, the racial justice movement and President Trump. 
Iran. A dissident journalist in Iran, Rouhollah Zam, was executed on Saturday morning, according to Iranian state television. Zam was found guilty of "corruption on earth," a phrase often used in Iran in reference to attempts to overthrow the government. No specific crimes were detailed.

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‍#ONTHISDAY

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SECURITY

About 400 pupils allegedly kidnapped in Katsina

Image Source: Aljazeera

The Story
Following last Friday's attack on the Government Science secondary school in Kankara, Katsina state, during which several students were abducted, reports say that the Nigerian military has located and exchanged fire with gunmen who may have carried out the attack.

How do these things happen with various security agencies around?
It's been seen over time that the security agencies are overwhelmed. According to police spokesman Gambo Isah, police at the scene on Friday exchanged fire with the attackers, allowing some students to run for safety. “The bandits came on motorcycles firing sporadically and tried to enter the school. Our men with the assistance of the army engaged them in a shoot-out lasting one and a half hours,” he said.

How many students were abducted?
The number of abducted students has not been established as there are still several missing. “The kidnappers fought with security personnel. While the fighting was ongoing, another group went into the school and took away several students,” Nura Abdullahi, a local resident, told AFP. “Some of the students who escaped returned to the town this morning but others took a bus home,” he said. While the police and military continue work to determine how many were kidnapped and missing, a parent and school employee told Reuters News Agency that roughly half of the school’s 800 students were missing.

A disappointed citizenry.
While the presidency and the national assembly bicker over constitutional power, violence and insecurity across Nigeria have enraged citizens. This school attack came after dozens of farmers were attacked and killed last month by insurgents in Borno state. Bint’a Ismail, the parent of an abducted child, said the residents of Katsina state live “in a terrifying condition”. “We don’t see the value of the government, in fact. I have a younger brother and a child taken by the kidnappers.”

This is the second time such attack and abduction of school children would take place under president Buhari, who came to power on the promise of ending Nigeria's security problems. In 2018, the Boko Haram terrorists carried out a similar attack in the northeastern town of Dapchi, kidnapping more than 100 school girls. Though some of them have been reportedly rescued, others remain captives to the armed group, including Leah Sharibu, who was reported to have refused to renounce her christian faith. SOURCE

SECURITY

Black Lives Matter: Activists demand #EndSARS protesters' release

Image Source: Yahoo

The Story
It doesn't seem like we've seen the last of events surrounding the #EndSars protests as prominent 'Black Lives Matter' activists and celebrities have written to Nigeria's president Buhari, demanding justice over the treatment of people during and after the protests.

Wow! What's in the letter?
The activists called for a "transparent investigation" into the alleged killing of protesters by armed forces. The group, which includes singer Alicia Keys and campaigner Greta Thunberg, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to free jailed protesters. "We cannot stay silent," they said. Pointing to the global attention the protests got, the letter condemned what it tagged 'state-sanctioned violence and suppression' against protesters. "In the midst of a global pandemic, your people sought to bring peace and justice to their land, and they made Africa and its diaspora proud in doing so," the letter read.

Were the BLM activists contacted by the EndSars protesters?
According to the Black Lives Matter, highlighting injustices on the African continent is part of its wider mission to intervene in violence inflicted on black communities by the state. "As people who have supported the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States and throughout the diaspora, we cannot be silent when similar atrocities take place in African countries," the letter said. "We demand respect for the Nigerian people, especially as they engage in their constitutional right to protest grave injustices", it added.

Other signatories to the letter included actors Kerry Washington, Danny Glover and Mark Ruffalo, as well as writers Afua Hirsch, Reni Eddo-Lodge and Naomi Klein. As well as demanding the release of all jailed protesters, activists and journalists, the signatories demanded that all soldiers and security officials responsible for the shootings at the Lekki Toll Gate are held to account, and that the ban on peaceful protests is lifted. SOURCE

INTERNATIONAL

Protests Erupt as South Korea’s Most Notorious Rapist Walks Free

Image Source: New York Times

The Story
South Korea is the latest spot in a wave of protests moving across the globe, as citizens demand more from their governments.

What's happening in South Korea?
South Korea’s most infamous rapist was released on Saturday after 12 years in prison, sparking angry demonstrations and anonymous death threats that led to an increased police presence outside the predator’s home. Protesters gathered outside a prison in southern Seoul on Saturday, shouting “Send him to hell!” and “Castrate him!”, as the rapist, Cho Doo-soon, was released.

Was he released before completing his sentence?
No, but protesters argue that he didn't get the right punishment for his crime. Cho was arrested in 2008 and later convicted of raping an 8-year-old girl. He was drunk when he kidnapped the first-grader on her way to school and raped her in a church restroom in 2008. His drunkenness, age and “weak mental state” were cited as mitigating factors when the court sentenced him to 12 years in prison. Prosecutors in South Korea can appeal after sentencing to push for stiffer punishments, but in this case they chose not to do so.

The 'Cho Doo-soon' law.
South Korean courts have long been accused of leniency in meting out justice to white-collar criminals and sex offenders. Public anger has surged in recent months as the date of Mr. Cho’s release approached. Last Wednesday, the National Assembly passed a bill, nicknamed the “Cho Doo-soon law,” which banned people convicted of sexually assaulting minors from leaving their homes at night or during hours when students commute to and from school. The law also bans such sex offenders from going near schools.

Women’s rights advocates have said the justice system’s inability to properly punish sex offenders has allowed sexual abuse to proliferate nationwide. As residents of Ansan, where Cho planned to live with his wife, protested his return home, saying that they don’t feel safe with him in their neighborhood, the police promised round-the-clock monitoring. Cho was seen wearing an electronic ankle monitor when he left prison on Saturday and has been ordered to wear it for seven years. SOURCE

INTERNATIONAL

Can Funding AI Fix Japan’s Fertility Rate?

 

Image Source: Financial Times

The Story
Japan’s workforce is aging, and in an effort to boost the birth rate, the government plans to fund artificial intelligence (AI) matchmaking schemes to help its young people find love.

Is the situation that serious?
Last year’s birth rate fell below 865,000, which was a record low. The country’s population is projected to scale back from a peak of 128 million in 2017 to less than 53 million by the end of the century. Policymakers are racing to ensure that Japan has an adequate labor force to meet the expanding costs of welfare. So the government has decided that next year it will allocate 2 billion yen ($19 million) to local authorities already running or starting projects that use AI to pair people up.

What's the objective of the proposed funding, especially in respect of the declining birthrate?
Many localities already offer human-run matchmaking services, and some have introduced AI systems hoping they will perform a more sophisticated analysis of the standardized forms where people submit their details. A few of the existing systems are limited to considering criteria such as income and age, only producing a result if there is an exact match. The goal for providing funding is to allow authorities to access more advanced systems that will take into account factors like hobbies and values. “We are especially planning to offer subsidies to local governments operating or starting up matchmaking projects that use AI,” a cabinet official said. “We hope this support will help reverse the decline in the nation’s birthrate.”

Is it so difficult to find a partner in Japan?
Some say matchmaking isn’t really the problem. Sachiko Horiguchi, a socio-cultural and medical anthropologist at Japan’s Temple University, thinks raising wages for young workers would do more to help. A recent report suggested a link between lower income levels and the loss of interest in romantic relationships among young Japanese adults. “If they’re not interested in dating, the matchmaking would likely be ineffective,” she said.

Analysts have long pointed out the lack of support for working mothers in Japan, where tradition has dictated that women will do all the housework and raise children while still doing their jobs. “If we are to rely on technologies, affordable AI robots taking over household or childcare tasks may be more effective [than mere matchmaking],” Dr. Horiguchi said. SOURCE

WHAT ELSE IS FRESH...

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Bandits didn’t kill 16 Kano travellers’ — police counter Ganduje.

Sam Nda-Isaiah, publisher of Leadership Newspapers, is dead.

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World Bank: 20m more Nigerians to become poor by 2022.

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Zaria massacre: El-Zakzaky group protests in Abuja, marks five years of bloody clash.

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US election: Five injured as pro-Trump rallies turn bloody.

Iran says Morocco Israel deal 'betrayal of Islam'.

EU urges China to free reporters after Bloomberg employee arrest.

Nearly 150 arrested at Paris protest over security bill.,

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY

Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEDC) Graduate Engineers Programme 2021 

 

Successful candidates will be expected to work within the power distribution sector with experienced engineers, developing skills and experience in order to become a competent and effective professional Engineer within the Power Sector and provided with challenging job opportunities.

 

Minimum qualifications

- Preferably fresh from the university but certainly with not more than 2 years’ experience

- Minimum B.Sc. or, preferably, M.Sc. Degree in Engineering, in one of the following disciplines Electrical Engineering and Electronics Engineering from reputable Universities with a minimum of 2nd class upper

- Maximum age of 27 years as of December 2020

 

 

Application Deadline: December 20th 2020 DETAILS

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How California prisoners raised $30,000 for a high school student in need. CNN

Check out how earth looked to astronauts aboard SpaceX capsule. CNN

Tongue-tied, brain fried? Why you lose words on the tip of your tongue. BBC

Can’t visit the dentist? Here’s how to take better care of your teeth. Guardian

The End of Credits: Why Doesn’t Netflix Want Us to Watch Them? Guardian

Your Brain Doesn’t Work the Way You Think It Does. GQ

TODAY'S TRIVIA

Brain teaser


What has cities, but no houses; forests, but no trees; and water, but no fish?

QUESTION & ANSWER

QUORA QUESTION: 

What was the most important one hour in human history?

Jonathan Trueman

Sumer, Mesopotamia, between 3,000 and 3,500 BCE - one afternoon about three-ish.

“Adini, I keep forgetting what His Majesty told me to do about those crops. I wish there were some way of making a permanent record of what he said.”

“You think you’ve got problems, Nabopalassar? This clay pot has all kinds of dents and marks in it. Now it’s dried and they’re stuck in there permanentl… wait a minute - I think I’ve got an idea!”

One pretty important hour later: writing. SOURCE

TRIVIA ANSWER

Brain Teaser Answer

A map.

LITERATURE

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