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☕️ What's Happening in Mali?

☕️ What's Happening in Mali?

Malian President, Ibrahim Keita, announced Wednesday that he is resigning from his post to avoid “bloodshed”.

Good morning. It took Apple 42 years to reach $1T in market value -- from its founding in 1976 to August 2018. It took just 2 more years to hit $2T -- reaching it for the first time yesterday. If it's any motivation to you right now, then we say this, the most difficult part of flight is the takeoff.

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OUR COVID WORLD

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United States: In the most ambitious plan of its kind, Los Angeles Unified has announced plans to test its roughly 600,000 students and 75,000 employees as the nation’s second-largest school district prepares for the eventual return to in-person instruction.
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‍#ONTHISDAY

1933 The Nigeria Football Association (NFA) was formed.

1264 Kublai Khan accepts the surrender of his younger brother Ariq Böke at Xanadu, at the end of the Mongol civil war

1541 Ottoman Turks under Suleiman the Magnificent capture Buda, the capital of the Hungarian Kingdom and go on to dominate central Hungary for 150 years.

1996 Netscape Browser 3.0 is released, an influential product for today's internet browser.

2019 The Rock [Dwayne Johnson] named highest paid actor for a second year in a row, earning $89.4m

AFRICA

The Coup in Mali Explained

Image Source: Voanews

The Story 

Malian President, Ibrahim Keita, announced Wednesday that he is resigning from his post to avoid “bloodshed”, hours after his arrest by troops in a sudden coup that followed a months-long political crisis in the fragile West African nation. 

A coup in 2020? 

You're not the only one surprised. In what looked like a climax of political tensions in the West African nation, rebel soldiers had detained the President and Prime Minister Boubou Cisse on Tuesday afternoon and drove the pair to a military base in the town of Kati, near the capital Bamako, which they had seized that morning. 

So the military is in charge now? 

It is unclear if the military is now officially in charge of the country as Keita appeared calm while in a state television broadcast after midnight to declare the dissolution of the government and national assembly. Jubilant crowds in the city centre, gathered to demand Keita’s resignation, had cheered the rebels as they made their way to the 75-year-old’s official residence. 

Forced Resignation. 

The President, while addressing the nation after his arrest by the soldiers, said he had no choice but to resign with immediate effect. It was also unclear at the point of the report whether Keita was still in custody at the Kati base, which in a twist of fate, was also the site of the 2012 putsch that brought him to power. 

What are observers saying? 

While citizens are split between those who support the development and those against it, international observers have condemned it as unconstitutional. France and the European Union warned against any unconstitutional transfer of power as the coup played out on Tuesday. UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, demanded the “immediate and unconditional release” of Keita and Cisse as diplomats in New York said the Security Council would hold emergency talks on Wednesday. 

What's the reaction from other African leaders? 

Leaders from across the continent have also condemned the development, and called for a restoration of democratic rule. The Economic Community for West African States, ECOWAS, condemned the coup in a statement, pledging to close land and air borders to Mali and push for sanctions against “all the putschists and their partners and collaborators”. The 15-nation bloc — which includes Mali — also said that it would suspend the country from its internal decision-making bodies. 

In a later development, the rebel soldiers assured citizens of fresh elections to resolve the spiralling political crisis in the fragile West African nation. SOURCE

ECONOMY

Nigeria's $1.5 billion World Bank Loan Delayed over Reforms

 

Image Source: BBC

The Story 

The World Bank may not approve Nigeria’s request for a $1.5 billion loan in August due to concerns over desired reforms, unidentified sources told Reuters. 

What are the desired reforms? 

The sources said the main concern being expressed by the World Bank is naira reform. Both the World Bank and International Monetary Fund had advised Nigeria to float its currency and allow market forces to determine the value of the naira. 

So the loan could be denied approval? 

The report from Reuters said the World Bank which had aimed to bring the loan request to its board for approval this August could now delay it till October. The delay from the lenders could leave Nigeria battered by low crude prices, unable to fully finance a record ₦10.8 trillion($28.35 billion) budget. 

Why should a $1.5b loan affect a budget of $28.35b? 

Dwindling government revenue, the result of a crash in oil price and demand, has been made worse by a critical shortage of forex and threatens the implementation of the year's budget. The CBN has said that the country’s balance of payments gap this year will be $14 billion. Although the World Bank has not outlined any demands, fuel subsidies and electricity tariffs were also said to be a part of the discussions. It had said Nigeria could be heading toward its greatest fiscal crisis in 40 years. 

What measures have been taken to address this resource challenge? 

In an effort to address its resource constraints, the government recently announced a 50% increase in VAT. The coronavirus pandemic and its effects, as well as a sharp fall in oil price and demand also led to a downward revision of the year's budget. The CBN has devalued the naira twice in 2020 and the federal executive council, in July, approved the removal of petrol subsidy. 

On the loan process, Nigeria’s finance ministry was reported to have directed queries to the World Bank and while the Bretton Wood institution said discussions had reached an advanced stage, it confirmed that the loan request had not been presented to its board. SOURCE

SECURITY

Jihadists ‘take hundreds hostage’ in Raid on Borno

Image Source: Aljazeera

The Story 

Jihadist group, Islamic State West Africa Province(ISWAP), has taken hundreds of hostages in a town in northeast Nigeria, locals and militia sources said Wednesday. 

Again! What town is it? 

The ISWAP “terrorists” late Tuesday overran Kukawa in the Lake Chad region and seized people who had just returned to their homes after spending nearly two years in displacement camps, said Babakura Kolo, head of a local militia. 

Were there no security agencies around? 

The group attacked the town in 22 trucks around 4:00 pm and engaged soldiers guarding the town in a fierce battle, the source said. Residents of Kukawa, escorted by the military, had returned to the town just on 2 August, on the orders of the Borno state authorities. They had been living in camps in the regional capital Maiduguri, 180 kilometres (120 miles) away, where they fled following a bloody attack in November 2018. 

How have the authorities responded? 

A security source who confirmed the incident told the AFP news agency that fighter jets were deployed from Maiduguri on Wednesday to “tackle the situation”, but gave no details. This latest attack is an evidence of worsening insecurity in the country, especially in the northeast. "The people had returned with the hope of cultivating their farmlands, only to end up in the hands of the insurgents”, a local chief who accompanied the residents to the town said. SOURCE

ECONOMY

MDAs Refusing to Submit Audit Reports - AGF

 

Image Source: Vanguard

The Story 

Ahmed Idris, the Accountant-General of the Federation, has complained about the refusal of some federal MDAs, to submit audit reports. 

Refusal? Isn't it supposed to be required by law? 

Yes, it is. Government agencies are required by the Fiscal Responsibility Act to submit audit reports over time. Speaking on Wednesday, during a virtual training of MDAs’ internal auditors on the modernisation of audit process, Idris said there was a clear evidence of flouting the provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act by some MDAs through late submission of audit reports, stressing that some don’t submit at all. 

Aren't there consequences for non-compliance? 

Mr Idris warned that going forward, Heads of Internal Audit would be held responsible for failure to timely submit audit reports. The AGF said the FG had made significant progress towards the audit modernisation project in the establishment of an audit data capturing centre, with a view to securing an interface with the IPPIS and GIFMIS Platforms through which transactions could be viewed online, and in real-time. 

Is the data centre being put to use? 

For this purpose, the AGF disclosed that 20 laptops and 20 desktop computers had been acquired. Mr Idris added that approval had also been granted for the acquisition of five Interactive Data Extract Analysis, IDEA, software licences that would be used by the Audit Monitoring Department and deployed to some pilot agencies that indicated interest to acquire the software. SOURCE

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SCHOLARSHIP

MBA Centenary Scholarship at Swansea University in UK 2020

Swansea University celebrated its Centenary on 19 July 2020. As they reach this momentous milestone and celebrate Swansea’s amazing achievements over the past 100 years, they also want to focus on the bright future that lies ahead. 

As part of their centenary year, the School of Management is offering one fully funded MBA scholarship worth £20,000 for January 2021. DETAILS

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Time to ditch ‘toxic positivity,’ experts say: ‘It’s okay not to be okay’. WP

TODAY'S TRIVIA

Which of these Nasdaq-listed e-commerce specialists is the best performing stock of 2020?

• A) Amazon
• B) Wayfair
• C) Shopify
• D) Overstock.com

WEEKEND MOVIE RECOMMENDATION

The autobiography of Henri Charriere, one of the few people to successfully escape from the notorious French penal colony of Devil's Island, served as the basis for Papillon.

Steve McQueen plays the pugnacious Charriere (known as "Papillon," or "butterfly," because of a prominent tatoo), incarcerated--wrongly, he claims--for murdering a pimp. He saves the life of fellow convict Louis Dega (Dustin Hoffman), a counterfeiter who will later show his gratitude by helping Charriere in his many escape attempts, and by smuggling food to Charriere when the latter is put in solitary confinement.

One breakout, which takes Charriere and Dega to a leper colony and then to a native encampment, is almost successful, but Charriere is betrayed (allegedly because he stopped for an act of kindness) and back the prisoners go to French Guiana.

Years later, Dega is made a trustee and is content with his lot, but the ageing, white-haired Charriere cannot be held back. A tribute to the unquenchability of the human spirit, Papillon brought in an impressive $22 million at the box office. 

TRIVIA ANSWER

The answer is D.

Overstock's share price is up more than 1,500% YTD, a rise that's made a lot of investors a windfall, with one notable exception: the Overstock founder.

Here's why he's missed out on a rally of a lifetime.

LITERATURE

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