TGIFri-yay!. A group of Australian scientists, who believed they had invented a new technology to track birds, revealed on Tuesday that a flock of Australian magpies helped one another remove the tracking devices they were outfitted with.
Scotland. Scotland became the first country in the world to make period products free for all. As a result of the unanimous passage of the Period Products Act in 2020, free sanitary products will be distributed by local governments and educational organizations.
Palestine. President Mahmoud Abbas said on Tuesday that Israel had committed "50 Holocausts" against his people. Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid called the accusation "a moral disgrace" while German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said it was "intolerable and unacceptable."
China. Silver iodide rods are being fired into clouds in hopes of spurring rainfall after a 2-month heatwave pushed the Yangtze River to its lowest-ever levels. The river not only provides drinking water for people and livestock, it’s also a major source of hydropower used by companies like Toyota.
United Kingdom. Droughts in England are so bad that millions in London will be restricted from watering their gardens or filling swimming pools next week. Explaining its decision, Britain’s Thames Water said extreme temperatures had resulted in the highest demand for water in more than 25 years.
1946 Bill Clinton is born
William Jefferson Blythe III is born in Hope, Arkansas. His father died in a car accident before he was born, and young Bill later took the last name of his stepfather, Roger Clinton. At the age of 32, he became the youngest governor to be elected in the United States in four decades. In 1992, Bill Clinton would be elected as the 42nd president of the United States.
Nigeria's forex crisis was again brought to the fore yesterday as Emirates airlines announced the suspension of its operations in Nigeria from September 1, 2022.
Foreign airlines operating in the country have been expressing concern over their inability to repatriate their earnings from Nigeria, and there's been no change in the situation despite efforts that included reaching out to the Federal Ministry of Aviation and the Finance Ministry. “Regrettably there has been no progress. Therefore, Emirates has taken the difficult decision to suspend all flights to and from Nigeria, effective September 1, 2022, to limit further losses and impact on our operational costs that continue to accumulate in the market", the airline said in its statement yesterday.
How much are we talking about here?
With the continuous inability of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to make the U.S. dollar available for funds repatriation by the airlines, the combined total of funds belonging to the airlines and which they're unable to repatriate has reportedly risen to about $600m. While expressing regret over the inconvenience the suspension might cause to customers, the airline said it would re-evaluate its decision if there's any positive developments regarding its blocked funds in the days ahead. "We remain keen to serve Nigeria, and our operations provide much-needed connectivity for Nigerian travellers", it said. Source
The Ethiopian government yesterday knocked the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, for his "unethical" comment on the Tigray conflict.
What did the WHO DG say about Tigray?
During a press briefing on Wednesday, Tedros decried how the Tigray conflict has received little attention from world leaders, and how the 6 million people in Tigray have been "under siege" since the conflict began in 2020. Suggesting that the lack of attention was due to racial discrimination on the part of world leaders, the WHO DG said, "Maybe the reason is the color of the skin of the people in Tigray".
What's the government's problem with that?
The government condemned the comment as it suggested that Tedros was taking sides on the conflict. Himself a native of the Tigray region, Tedros described the conflict as "the worst disaster on Earth". But in response to the comment on Thursday, spokeswoman for Ethiopia's Prime Minister, Billene Seyoum said Tedros' comment was "unbecoming of such a high-profile position", and asked that he recuse himself from the WHO DG post if he wants to make such comments.
What's the latest on the conflict?
International mediation efforts have ensured that aid is now reaching the Tigray region, but aid groups say that the supply is largely inadequate for the millions of people in need. The Ethiopian government has indicated willingness to hold peace talks, but insists that the talks must be led by its preferred mediator (the African Union special envoy), and with no preconditions. Source
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After being indicted for sending hundreds of children to "for-profit jails" in exchange for kickbacks, two former Pennsylvania judges - Mark Ciavarella & Michael Conahan - have been ordered to pay more than $200m as damages to their victims.
Did they get that much in kickbacks?
No, investigation found that they accepted $2.8m in illegal payments. The huge damages award appears to be largely symbolic, as a lawyer for the plaintiffs said it is a recognition of the gravity of the crimes committed by the disgraced judges. "Ciavarella and Conahan abandoned their oath and breached the public trust. Their cruel and despicable actions victimized a vulnerable population of young people, many of whom were suffering from emotional issues and mental health concerns", U.S. District Judge Christopher Conner wrote in his explanation of the judgment.
Did they convict anyone unjustly?
While presiding over the juvenile court, Ciavarella was said to have promoted a zero-tolerance policy that ensured that hundreds of children were sent to the PA Child Care and its sister facility, Western PA Child Care. In the process, he ordered children as young as 8 to detention - many of them first-time offenders deemed delinquent - for petty theft, truancy, smoking on school grounds, and other minor infractions. About 4,000 juvenile convictions involving more than 2,300 kids have been thrown out by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, following the scandal.
Were the private facilities illegal?
No, they weren't. The indicted judges were said to have shut down the government-run juvenile detention center in order to patronize the private facilities, obviously after reaching an agreement with the builder and co-owner of the private lockups. On the orders of Ciavarella, youths found delinquent were immediately shackled, handcuffed, and taken away without a chance to put up a defense or say goodbye to their families. For these infractions, Judge Conner awarded $106m in compensatory damages and $100m in punitive damages against the indicted judges.
Describing how traumatizing the experience was, one of the victims was said to have lamented that Ciavarella “ruined my life” and “just didn’t let me get to my future". “I feel I was just sold out for no reason. Like everybody just stood in line to be sold", another one said. According to judge Conner, some of the victims who were part of the lawsuit when it began in 2009 have since died from overdoses or suicide. Source
Electricity workers suspend one-day strike for two weeks
Peter Obi visits Femi Kuti, promises issue-based campaign
Jigawa shut down schools over insecurity
Buju to face sanction for spitting on police officer
Serie A begins probe of racism against Osimhen
N Korea tells S Korea’s Yoon to ‘shut his mouth’ after aid offer
Finnish PM facing backlash over leaked party footage
US state flagged bugs in software exploited in alleged China hack
Mexico calls disappearance of 43 students a 'state crime'
Ronaldo, the Instagram King!
Premier League footballers are the highest paid in the world. The average wage of a Premier League footballer is about 3 million pounds a year, so it’s no surprise Cristiano Ronaldo makes a lot more than that.
What might be surprising is how much he could earn if he took his talents strictly to the ’gram.
A good life is painful. Vox
Language Is the Scaffold of the Mind. Naulitus
The fastest growing jobs. Visual Capitalist
Sonnets from the Cherokee (Poetry) Poets
A Stiff Flame from the Neck (Fiction). Granta
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