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☕️ Teachers failed

☕️ Teachers failed

more than 20% of candidates failed its annual Professional Qualifying Examination.

 

Good morning. Proof that it's never too late to follow your dreams: a 74-year-old grandma just graduated from college alongside her granddaughter.

Nana rules. Grandma rules!

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☕️QUICK BITES

United Kingdom. The U.K. announced a new lockdown Saturday as research came back and found that there was a new variant of Covid-19 present in the country that is 70% more transmissible (yes, you read that correctly). Through Wednesday, the new strain had accounted for more than 62% of the cases.
Olympics. Russia’s doping ban has been cut in half, from four years to two, by a Swiss court. The country will not be allowed to field a team for the next two Olympics in 2021 and 2022, but should be cleared for Paris 2024. Individual Russian athletes can still compete before then, but they can’t use their flag or anthem. 
Somalia. Three senior Somali military officials and at least seven soldiers and civilians were killed Friday in a suicide-bomber attack targeting the country's prime minister. Another 20 people were injured in the explosion, which occurred where Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble had been scheduled to attend a political rally.
United States. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Russia is to blame for the months-long hack that has affected dozens of federal agencies and companies. Pompeo is the first Trump administration member to publicly link Russia to the hack, which infiltrated software systems tied to the defense, state, homeland security, and other federal departments.

‍RECOMMENDED

EDUCATION

Over 20% of teachers failed qualifying exam, says TRCN

 

Image Source; EduCeleb

The Story
The Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) has announced that more than 20% of candidates failed its annual Professional Qualifying Examination.

The figures?
According to the council's Registrar/Chief Executive, Prof Josiah Ajiboye, a total of 17,602 candidates wrote the qualifying examination that took place between November 12 and 14. While about 11,487 candidates passed, 3,650 candidates failed the exercise.

What else did he say?
Ajiboye, while putting the number of qualified teachers in Nigeria at about 2.2 million, said the council will, in not too distant time, release the figure of quacks operating in the nation’s teaching profession. He stated these in Abuja on Friday while briefing journalists on the achievements recorded by the TRCN.

What are these achievements?
Ajiboye said the announcement by President Muhammadu Buhari of a special salary package and other benefits for teachers remained its greatest achievement for 2020. He expressed delight that the National Council on Education recently approved all as announced by the President during the World Teachers Day.

Commending Buhari, the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, and Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, for their support to the teaching profession, Ajiboye said the TRCN in collaboration with other relevant bodies mobilised over 60,000 teachers for various digital skills training in 2020. SOURCE

ECONOMY

CBN orders closure of money transfer operators' naira accounts

Image Source; Vanguard

The Story
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed deposit money banks (DMBs) to close all naira accounts of international money transfer operators (IMTOs).

Why?
The directive was contained in a circular released on Friday and jointly signed by Bello Hassan, CBN’s director of banking supervision; and Musa Jimoh, the bank’s director of payments system management. “DMBs are to close all naira accounts for IMTOs. This is to ensure that diaspora remittances are received by beneficiaries in foreign currency only (cash and/or transfers to domiciliary accounts of recipients),” the circular read.

What's the objective of this?
This is another effort aimed at addressing the issues surrounding foreign exchange in the country. To deepen foreign exchange liquidity, the CBN had specified that beneficiaries of diaspora remittances through IMTOs would receive their proceeds in foreign currency (US dollar) through the bank of their choice. Then, they have the option of receiving the funds in foreign currency cash (US Dollar) or deposited into their domiciliary account.

In a previous circular, the CBN had cautioned IMTOs who continue to pay remittances in local currency (naira). It added that violators could lose their operational licences if they persist in disobeying the directive. SOURCE

INTERNATIONAL

The massive Solarwinds hack, explained

Image Source: WSJ

The Story
Vulnerability to the activities of hackers has always been of concern to organizations, but the recent massive SolarWinds hack may force widespread regulatory change.

What happened?
Last week, news of a massive hacking operation - likely Russia-sponsored - rippled through the tech community. At the center of the storm is SolarWinds, a $5B+ IT company that manages the network infrastructure for everyone: 425 of the US Fortune 500, all 10 of the top US telecom companies, key US government bodies; Pentagon, State, Treasury, Commerce, NSA, DOJ, etc.

Wow! How did it happen?
According to ThreatPost, SolarWinds was the “perfect target” because its network management software (Orion) has full visibility into an organization’s network. Sometime between March and June, 18000 SolarWinds customers installed a malicious upgrade. SolarWinds made some comically bad mistakes in securing its critical tools;
Passwords: “solarwinds123” was one password for access to update servers,
Antivirus: to make the installation process easier, the company advised customers to disable antivirus scanning.

How bad is it?
It's not clear what was taken, but with the target list and level of access, the data - which we can only assume is more than family photos - is incredibly valuable. Security analyst Brian Krebs writes that this breach could be an “existential event” for SolarWinds depending on how customers react. The aforementioned Orion product accounts for 45% of SolarWinds’ revenue, and lawsuits are almost certain.

Any solution to these cyber attacks?
Facebook’s former security chief Alex Stamos believes government-level change is needed to “create a mechanism to handle cyberattacks the same way [the US] reacts to failures in other complex industries.”
His suggestion: the creation of a cyber equivalent to the National Transportation Safety Board to find root causes and make recommendations on future prevention (e.g., literally any other password).

SolarWinds’ stock has shed 20%+ this week.
Additional losses will be dependent on how much the company knew. Per Krebs, researchers have told SolarWinds about its vulnerabilities for years (in fact, another tech firm - FireEye - broke the hacking news). Further, in what can only be described as “interesting,” key SolarWinds investors unloaded $286m of stock prior to the hack disclosure. SOURCE

FINANCE

Bitcoin doesn't want to go away

 

Image Source: Financial Times

The Story

Bitcoin is back.

What is this, 2017?

You'd think. The cryptocurrency (read: digital currency) started back in 2009. But unlike other currencies, it's decentralized. Meaning, it's not controlled by banks or the government. You can buy it, sell it, trade it, or even mine it. Transactions happen through a peer-to-peer network. Its value is volatile and can change from hundreds to thousands of dollars in a matter of a week. Three years ago, the currency nearly reached a $20,000 record. A year later, it fell to just a few thousand dollars. Now, bitcoin's surging again.

Tell me more.

Last week, the value of one bitcoin rose above $20,000 for the first time ever. And yesterday, it hit a new high of more than $23,000. The pandemic may have something to do with those new records. In times of uncertainty, some people look for different ways to store their money (could be in gold or silver or...bitcoin) and investors look for different assets. In areas like Africa and Venezuela, cryptocurrencies have served as a silver lining – reportedly helping locals avoid going through a banking system or government with high inflation in order to run their businesses. In Iran, cryptocurrencies may have allowed people to bypass US sanctions. Amid the pandemic, bitcoin has benefitted in part from low interest rates. One analyst says bitcoin's value could reach $55,000 by the end of next year.

Should I get some? Should I sell?

If only we knew. Bitcoin is still pretty new, and it hasn't done as well as more traditional forms of investing (think: stocks and bonds) – unless you hopped on before the 2017 surge. Some businesses have been accepting bitcoin for years (hi, Overstock.com, Expedia, Square, and more). And experts think other cryptocurrencies (Litecoin, Ethereum) could continue to become more mainstream. But while some crypto fans may think its new price tag proves it's legit, financial advisors say people need to understand the risks (little to no regulation, hacking).

A lot's still fuzzy...

There's still a lot we don't know about the long-term value of bitcoin and cryptocurrency. But amid a struggling economy, digital currencies have been looking more attractive. SOURCE

WHAT ELSE IS FRESH...

National assembly wants voting right for married underage girls.

NJC recommends retirement of two judges over ‘age falsification’.

Atiku to FG: Speed up prosecution of bandits before they take over our lives.

Yahaya Bello: Selfish politicians frustrating Buhari’s war against insecurity.

Ishaq Bello, Nigeria’s nominee to ICC, rejected after securing 5 votes out of 110.

The time for Igbo presidency is now, says Anyim.

Our time has come’ — Ekiti APC backs Fayemi for 2023 presidency.

Kanu fumes as South-East govs reject IPOB ‘police’.

Governor orders probe into alleged child abuse at Deeper Life College.

Panic As CBN Liquidates 42 Microfinance Banks.

APC: We’ll Make Sure Kankara Incident Never Repeats Itself.

Biden to continue Trump’s US-China policy.

DCP Kyari’s team tortured me for 14 days, stole my N41m’.

Mo Abudu launches Creative Academy in collaboration with Lagos’s LACI.
 

Boko Haram kidnaps 35 passengers on Damaturu-Maiduguri road.

You don’t have evidence’ — American Bar Association asks FG to drop charges against Sowore.

US wants WTO DG race reopened — fresh setback for Okonjo-Iweala.

FG orders cancellation of N20 NIN retrieval charge.

Vladimir Putin Shrugs Off Alexei Navalny’s Poisoning: ‘Who Needs Him?’.

Hassan Diab: Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister indicted over Beirut blast.

Coca-Cola will cut ~2.2K jobs worldwide as part of its workforce restructuring plan.

Biden Calls Cybersecurity a 'Top Priority' After Russian Hack.

Chile’s president fined $3,500 for no-mask selfie.

AC Milan’s Leao scores fastest goal in Serie A history.

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY

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The program is the perfect start for your career at Audi. Not only will you receive a deep insight into the company but also profit from an excellent network and a diverse curriculum. During the program, you will be mentored and guided – personally and technically. Right from the start, you will receive an unlimited employment contract. We have summarized the highlights of the program here. DETAILS

PICKS OF THE DAY

Where is Leah Sharibu? Does she know it’s Christmas? The Cable

This Is How To Express The Hardest 3 Words To Say. Forbes

6 big ethical questions about the future of AI | Genevieve Bell. TED Talks

Why the Self-Made Entrepreneur Is a Myth. Entrepreneur

Our year in grief. Mashable

How modern mathematics emerged from a lost Islamic library. BBC

The Best Things About the Worst Year Ever. GQ

There’s Rich, And Then There’s Jeff Bezos Rich: Meet The World’s Centibillionaires. NPR

43 Embarrassing Grammar Mistakes Even Smart People Make. Inc

Why African countries borrowed billions of dollars from China. Bloomberg

TODAY'S TRIVIA

Brain Teaser

What is harder to catch the faster you run?

QUESTION & ANSWER

QUORA QUESTION: 

Who was the most compassionate dictator in real life?

Jean-Marie Valheur

We often forget that dictators are still human beings. Even the most horrific among them have a human side, a sensitive and soft side. They can kill millions without losing a moment’s sleep… but they’re also deeply devoted to what few loved ones they have left. Hitler and Stalin, for example, were both mama’s boys. Hitler lost his mother early, which is a shame as she may have been a bit of a softening influence. Stalin’s mother, however, lived to a ripe old age.

As the story goes, Stalin moved his elderly mother into a huge palace that once belonged to the Tsar’s family. A modest woman, she did not know what to do with all this new-found wealth and instead of staying in the master’s bedroom, looked for the servant’s area and made the tiniest maid’s room into her own. She would never leave it for any of the grander rooms, being a humble woman.

She would often ask her son what he was now. What his position was. The Russian dictator would explain it thus:

“Mother, do you remember the Tsar?”

“Yes, son…”

“Well, I suppose you could say that I am the Tsar now.”

He loved that woman with a tender and beautiful love, while to the rest of the world and even his own sons being a cold and calculating monster. Because even the very worst of us have our soft spots. SOURCE

BESHEL'S ACROSTIC

TRIVIA ANSWER

Brain Teaser Answer

Your breath

LITERATURE

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