Following the attack on the Nigeria Correctional Service, Owerri, Imo State and the state police command headquarters by gunmen on Monday, president Buhari called the attackers terrorists and demanded the arrest and prosecution of its masterminds.
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How Imo boiled on Monday
The Story Following the attack on the Nigeria Correctional Service, Owerri, Imo State and the state police command headquarters by gunmen on Monday, president Buhari called the attackers terrorists and demanded the arrest and prosecution of its masterminds.
Have the perpetrators been identified? On his part, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, blamed the Indigenous People of Biafra(IPOB) and the Eastern Security Network for the attacks. There's growing concern over the recent violent attacks in the southeast, as gunmen killed two persons and burnt operational vehicles of the Nigerian Army when they attacked a military base at Umuorji on the Owerri- Onitsha expressway, also on Monday. The headquarters of the Nigeria Correctional Service said 1,844 inmates fled its facility in Owerri during the attack.
Did IPOB claim responsibility for the attacks? No, IPOB in its reaction denied involvement in the attacks, saying its men were in the bush chasing herdsmen. An officer of the NCoS, according to The Punch, said the gunmen arrived at the correctional centre at 1am and operated till 3am. They were said to have gained access into the centre with the aid of explosives, then engaged in a shooting spree and freed no fewer than 1,844 inmates, saying “Jesus has risen, you have no reason to be here again.”
What are the authorities doing about it? When contacted, the police spokesperson in the state, Orlando Ikeokwu, confirmed the attacks. He, however, assured the people of the state that the security agencies were on top of the matter. The state Governor, Hope Uzodimma, has convened an emergency meeting with heads of all the security agencies in the state at the Government House, Owerri. The state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba, who confirmed the security meeting in a telephone conversation, also said that the government was on top of the situation.
Following the attack in Owerri, the Governor of Abia State, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, on Monday directed the imposition of a curfew on Aba and Umuahia metropolis. The curfew holds between 10pm and 6am daily from Monday, 5 April, 2021 till further notice. The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation Ohanaeze Ndigbo, while condemning the attacks, called for immediate restructuring of Nigeria’s security architecture, to decentralize the security to regions and states to take care of their security needs. SOURCE
Increased oil price leads to increased revenue
Image Source: Guardian Nigeria
The Story The federal government's revenue constraints could be eased, significantly, if the current trend in the oil market continues.
What's happening in the oil market? The upturn in the price of the international oil benchmark, Brent Crude, has pushed Nigeria’s oil revenue above its 2021 budget estimate. Brent, against which the country’s crude is priced, has been trading more than $20 higher than the FGs benchmark for this year’s budget in recent months. The 2021 budget, which was signed by President Buhari on 31 December, was based on an oil price benchmark of $40 per barrel and a production level of 1.86 million barrels per day.
What's the share of oil in the budget's revenue projection? According to the budget, 30% (N2.01t) of projected revenues is to come from oil-related sources while 70% is to be earned from non-oil sources. Brent crude, which closed at $51.22 per barrel in December, reached the $60 per barrel mark in February and rose further to as high as $70 per barrel before paring some of its gains. It closed at $64.86 per barrel on Thursday.
How could this impact the economy? For Nigeria, which relies on crude for about 50% of government revenues and over 90% of export earnings, rising oil price means increased revenue. On the other hand, rising oil price will also translate to higher retail petrol prices as the country depends heavily on imports due to a lack of domestic refining. Using an average price of $60 per barrel and a production level of 1.42 million barrels per day, the country’s total oil revenue stood at $2.39B in February, compared to budgeted revenue of $2.08B.
The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries(OPEC), in its monthly oil market report for March, said the country’s oil production rose by 63,000 barrels to 1.42 million bpd in February, based on direct communication. SOURCE
Repairing Fissions In Nuclear Talks
The Story After weeks of failed attempts, the US and other former signatories of the 2015 nuclear deal have gotten Iran to agree to meet informally in Vienna to begin exchanging ideas about how to restore the accord.
How will they go about it? Western officials said there won't be direct talks at this time between the US and Iran. Instead, in Vienna, American officials will be down the hall while British, German, French, Chinese, and Russian officials meet with Iran. The discussion will focus on "the nuclear steps that Iran would need to take in order to return to compliance" with the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
How did the accord breakdown in the first place? Former President Trump scrapped the Obama-era pact nearly three years ago. Restoring the agreement would be a major step, and perhaps begin a thaw in the frozen hostility between Iran and the US. This potential restoration will probably be the first of many steps on the subject because while President Biden said that restoring the agreement was the best way to constrain Iran’s ambitions, his top national security advisers have also said restoration alone was not enough.
Has Iran made any demands for its potential return to the deal? It is still not clear what Iran's interest will be. American officials said they were willing to meet directly with the Iranians, but the Iranian government has insisted on working through the Europeans. And because the Iranians have taken several positions in recent weeks — first demanding reparations, then suggesting some kind of exchange of good-will gestures — it is unclear what they will propose in Vienna.
There is still infighting in Iran between elements of the government that are desperate to end the crushing sanctions, and hard-liners in the military and among the cleric who have demanded reparations for the damage done by Trump's decision to pull out of the accord. It's probably unlikely that some sort of agreement could happen before Iran's presidential elections in June. SOURCE
Keeping Up With The Jordanians: Royal Family Drama
The Story The Jordanian government arrested a number of the Kingdom's high-profile figures on Saturday, including King Abdullah II's longtime confidant, Bassem Awadallah, and a member of the royal family, Sharif Hassan bin Zaid.
Why? The reason given for the arrests was the "security and stability of Jordan." Awadallah was a former minister of finance who helped spearhead economic reforms before leaving as head of the royal court in 2008. Recently, he was an adviser to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salam, and was accused in a corruption case. Abdullah's half-brother, the former crown prince of Jordan, Hamzah bin Hussein, is also under house arrest. Abdullah, 59, has been Jordan's ruler since 1999 when he took the throne after the death of his father, King Hussein.
Is the former crown prince linked to any security threat? Hamzah was named crown prince in 1999, but in 2004 Abdullah transferred the title to his son, 26-year-old Prince Hussein bin Abdullah. In a recent video, which he said could be his last communication to the outside world as he's been restricted and ordered by the government to remain incommunicado in his home, Prince Hamzah said he had been visited by the chief of the military’s general staff, who told him there had been criticism of the king or the government at meetings where the prince was present. “I asked him if I was the one criticizing and he said no,” Hamzah said.
Is it a crime to criticize government in Jordan? Describing the kingdom as corrupt, incompetent and intolerant of any criticism, Hamzah said; “Even to criticize a small aspect of a policy leads to arrest and abuse by the security services, and it’s reached the point where no one is able to speak or express an opinion on anything without being bullied, arrested, harassed and threatened". Prince Hamzah said in the video that he was “making this recording to make it clear that I’m not part of any conspiracy or nefarious organization or foreign-backed group, as is always the claim here for anyone who speaks out.”
Arrests of top officials and royal family members are unusual for Jordan, a normally stable Arab kingdom that has been a stalwart ally of the West. The situation is being closely watched by neighboring Israel, which signed a peace treaty with the kingdom in 1994 and continues to maintain close security ties with it. SOURCE
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The Romans regarded Jupiter, the king of gods, as the equivalent of which Greek god?
QUESTION & ANSWER
If ancient soldiers who fought with swords were exposed to more gore than the soldiers today, how come PTSD is more prevalent today?
Despite what you see in the movies, pitched battles were actually pretty rare in the past. Edward III of England, for example, spent almost his whole adult life at war with France and only ever fought two, and each battle lasted a single day.
Of course, in between battles you had sieges, raids and a lot of general anarchy. However, these were generally a lot less dangerous, at least for the soldiers, than pitched battles.
Compare that to a modern soldier who might see active combat every day for 200 days or so and you would fully expect there to be more PTSD around today than in the past.
EDIT I’m certainly not denyng PTSD existed in the ancient world though: see my earlier answer. SOURCE
The Romans regarded Jupiter, the king of gods, as the equivalent of which Greek god?