United States. Today’s presidential inauguration will be among the tensest in modern history, coming two weeks after the riots at the Capitol, without the customary handoff from the outgoing president and in a city that is essentially locked down to the public.
China. The Chinese economy has grown 2.3%, beating the IMF's expectation of 1.9%. The country's growth continues to increase with a 6.5% GDP growth in Q4 2020 compared to a 4.9% growth in Q3 2020. This is still the lowest growth for the country since 1976 when its economy shrunk by 1.6%.
South Korea. Samsung heir Jay Y. Lee has been sentenced to prison for two-and-a-half years. Lee was initially sentenced to five years of prison in 2017, following the alleged bribery of a friend of former South Korean president, Park Geun-Hye, to gain support for his succession at Samsung. Lee was released in 2018 after suspension of his initial prison term.
Russia. Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was arrested upon returning to his home country on Sunday. Following a hearing on Monday, a judge said that Navalny will remain in custody for at least 30 days. Navalny, a fierce critic of President Vladimir Putin, spent approximately five months in Germany, where he received treatment for a suspected nerve-agent attack.
1841 China cedes Hong Kong to the British during the 1st Opium War.
1945 Franklin D. Roosevelt sworn-in for an unprecedented (and never to be repeated) 4th term as US President.
1961 The Democrat J.F. Kennedy is inaugurated as President of the United States, the youngest ever sworn in at 43 years.
1981 The US diplomats and citizens held hostage at the US embassy in Tehran are released and begin their journey home after 444 days.
2008 "Breaking Bad", created by Vince Gilligan and starring Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul premieres on AMC.
2009 Barack Obama, inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States of America, becomes the United States' first African-American president.
Ondo orders herdsmen to vacate Ondo forest
Image Source: The Cable
The Story Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, has issued a seven-day ultimatum to herdsmen to vacate forest reserves in the state.
Why? The order is part of several measures taken by the state at addressing the root cause of kidnapping and other nefarious activities. In a statement issued on his official Twitter handle, Akereolu said the forests have been turned into a place for felons to carry out their criminal activities. He said, “Today we have taken major steps at addressing the root cause of kidnapping, in particular, and other nefarious activities detailed and documented in security reports, the press and debriefings from victims of kidnap cases in Ondo State".
Are there evidences to the herdsmen's complicity? He said that as the Chief Law and Security Officer of the state, it is his constitutional obligation to do everything lawful to protect the lives and property of all residents of the state. “These unfortunate incidents are traceable to the activities of some bad elements masquerading as herdsmen. These felons have turned our forest reserves into hideouts for keeping victims of kidnapping, negotiating for ransom and carrying out other criminal activities", Akeredolu said.
How about legitimate herdsmen who don't commit crime? The Governor gave the following orders saying, “All Forest Reserves in the state are to be vacated by herdsmen within the next 7 days with effect from today, Monday 18th January 2021. “In its usual magnanimity, our administration will give a grace period of seven days for those who wish to carry on with their cattle-rearing business to register with appropriate authorities.” SOURCE
Nigerian sea pirates arrested for kidnapping Americans
Image Source: Guardian Nigeria
The Story Three suspected sea pirates have been arrested in Bayelsa and Rivers states in connection with the kidnapping of four expatriates from the United States of America.
How were they identified? The suspects – Tony Ebiyepade, General Karinatei Timidiseghe and Godbless Oruboro – were reportedly tracked down through leaked telephone conversations. They allegedly specialised in kidnapping expatriates and collecting huge sums for their release. Detectives from the Intelligence Response Team began tracking the syndicate in August 2020, which consequently led to the arrest of a member.
Have they confessed to the crime? It was gathered that two other suspects were later apprehended by the operatives recently. Ebiyepade, who lived on Ebi-Sam Road, Agudama in Bayelsa, said he participated in several kidnappings but was not involved in the abduction of the Americans. He stated, “I was a fisherman from my childhood. I was arrested by the police in Yenagoa in August 2020. At first, I did not know why I was arrested but when I got to the station, I was told that I was involved in kidnapping and sea piracy.
Ineffective Amnesty? Timidiseghe, 35, who also denied his involvement in the kidnapping of the Americans, confessed that he specialised in drugs and made a fortune from them. Oruboro, father of two, stated that he got amnesty in 2009 and stipends from the FG but was lured into illegal bunkering, sea piracy and kidnapping. SOURCE
China - We're ready to help Kenya deal with its debt challenges
Image Source: Reuters
The Story China stands ready to help Kenya deal with its debt challenges and both sides are holding “smooth” talks over the issues, the Chinese embassy in Nairobi said on Monday.
How indebted is Kenya to China? China is one of its biggest external creditors, having lent it billions of dollars for the construction of rail lines and other infrastructure projects in the past decade. China has signed debt service suspension agreements with 12 African countries and provided waivers of matured interest-free loan for 15 African countries under the G-20 debt service suspension initiative, the embassy in Nairobi said.
What do they plan to do with Kenya's? “China attaches great importance to debt suspension and alleviation in African countries including Kenya,” the embassy said in a statement. The East African country’s revenues have been pummelled by the coronavirus crisis, at a time when more of its debts are falling due and as it is still grappling with gaping fiscal deficits.
The embassy did not say whether Kenya will get relief through the same initiative as the other African countries or if a separate deal will be struck. Kenya secured a debt repayments relief deal with the Paris Club of international lenders last week and it is seeking further relief from non-Paris Club bilateral creditors. SOURCE
Tunisia: Protests over moribund economy spread to a dozen cities
Image Source: BBC
The Story Tunisians have taken to the street in a protest that has continued to spread to various cities across the country.
What's the protest about? It's been majorly about the economy. Tunisians are angry that the country is on the verge of bankruptcy and has dire public services. Many feel disappointed that, on the 10-year anniversary of the revolution that ousted autocratic President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, there is little to show in terms of improvement. GDP shrank by 9% last year, consumer prices have skyrocketed, and one-third of young people are unemployed. The key tourism sector, already on its knees after a string of deadly attacks by armed groups in 2015, has been dealt a devastating blow by the coronavirus pandemic.
How are the authorities responding? Tunisian authorities have responded with force. The Interior ministry spokesman, Khaled Hayouni, said on Sunday that a total of 632 people were arrested, notably “groups of people between the ages of 15, 20 and 25 who burned tires and bins in order to block movements by the security forces”. The defence ministry also said the army had been deployed in several cities.
So protests are not allowed in Tunisia too? The protesters made no clear demands during the demonstrations – which authorities described as riots – around the country. In the run-down al-Tadamen area of the capital, Tunis, protesters, most of them teenagers, blocked roads and threw stones at police. Police fired water cannon and tear gas to disperse them. Some Tunisians have also expressed reservations over the protests. “These aren’t protests, it’s young people who are coming from nearby neighbourhoods to rob and entertain themselves,” said 26-year-old resident Oussama. “A protest would be during the day, faces visible.”
Other cities that saw protests included Mahdia, Sousse, Bizerte, Kairouan, Kebeli, Seliana, Nabeul, Manouba Gafsa and Monastir. Abdelmoneim, a waiter at a nearby cafe, said the people in the street were “bored adolescents”, but blamed the violence on the country’s post-revolution political class. “These delinquents are the result of their failure,” the 28-year-old said. SOURCE
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QUESTION & ANSWER
What were the general opinions of the Roman citizenry when the Roman Empire was no more?
Quite simple. The Roman Empire never really fell so they never knew.
Okay so hear me out.
When the Roman Empire “fell” in 476 AD people didn’t really know nor were much affected.
People were still doing business in the forum and going to the baths in the mornings.
Took years (maybe centuries) for everyone to stop calling themselves Romans (Holy Roman Empire doesn’t count).
A lot of people even called Italy the Roman Empire after its “fall”.
When Odoacer took the Imperial Throne and named himself King of Italy he was still a client of the Emperor in Constantinople. He also called himself King of the Romans in some historical accounts. (But so did the Ottomans in fairness)
So it’s hard to say what the Romans thought of Western Empire falling.
My guess is they didn’t realize it for quite a while.