12th December 2022  |

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Good morning. A mum has caused a stir online after asking fellow parents if a plan to hide a child's Christmas gift until the evening and pretend Santa didn't bring it would be 'mean' or not. However, the potential plan to teach her child a lesson about what they can and cannot afford has been branded "mean" after the mum asked the internet what they thought of the idea.

What do you think?

United States. Abu Agela Masud Kheir Al-Marimi, suspected of making the bomb that brought down Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988, has been taken into U.S. custody. The bombing killed 259 people, 190 of which were American. Officials did not disclose how Masud landed in U.S. custody, but local media reported Masud's abduction from his Tripoli residence last month.

European Union. A Belgian judge charged four people on Sunday over allegedly receiving money and gifts from a Gulf state to influence decisions in the European Parliament, accusations that have caused consternation in Brussels. Prosecutors searched 16 houses and seized $631,800 in Brussels on Friday as part of an investigation into money laundering and corruption. A source with knowledge of the case said the state was World Cup host Qatar. The European Parliament said at the weekend it had suspended the powers and duties of one of its vice presidents, Greek socialist Eva Kaili, in light of the Belgian investigation.

World Cup. Fresh from Brazil victory, the Croatia side is confident as they prepare for World Cup semifinal against Argentina. They have already ended the World Cup dream of Brazil’s Neymar; now they hope to do the same to Argentina’s Lionel Messi. But, the Croat side will not attempt to stop the Argentina superstar by man-marking him, instead they will focus on immobilising the entire team in their World Cup semifinal on Tuesday. Seven-time Ballon D’Or winner Messi has so far been the driving force for Argentina, who also needed penalties after squandering a two-goal lead against the Dutch in their quarterfinal match. Messi has been inspired during Argentina’s run to the tournament semifinals, scoring four goals in five games.

1991 Abuja replaces Lagos

Nigeria's capital was moved from Lagos, the country's largest city, to Abuja. Situated at the centre of the country within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), it is a planned city built mainly in the 1980s based on a master plan by International Planning Associates (IPA), a consortium of three American planning and architecture firms made up of Wallace, Roberts, McHarg & Todd (WRMT – a group of architects) as the lead, Archisystems International (a subsidiary of the Howard Hughes Corporation), and Planning Research Corporation. The Central Business District of Abuja was designed by Japanese architect Kenzo Tange.


Franchise Industry for the Taking

The Story

The Federal Government has disclosed plans to explore the huge potential of the Franchise Industry, to support Nigeria's economic development drive.


What's the government's plan?
According to the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Ambassador Mariam Katagum, during the launch of the pilot programme of “Franchising as an Investment Alternative for Lagos MSMEs” in Lagos recently, the FG is working through relevant ministries, departments and agencies to drive collaboration with stakeholders to address the regulatory clauses and disclosure documents of the Franchise Bill for consideration and passage into law at the National Assembly. Represented by Mrs Olumuyiwa Ajayi-Ade, the Deputy Director, Industrial Development Department of the Ministry, Katagum said Nigeria's population of more than 200 million people provides an opportunity to make the country the center of franchise development on the African continent.


What's the potential of the industry?
A 2019 report by the United States' Department of Commerce noted Nigeria's potential of earning up to $100b yearly through franchising. Also at the Launch, the Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Sustainable Development Goals and Investment, Mrs Solape Hammond, highlighted the industry's potential as she noted that the global market demand for the franchise industry grows by as much as 30% annually. “For many businesses, franchising is an excellent route to growth, opening up new opportunities and markets. Particularly in a society like Nigeria where company reputations are highly valued, therefore, operating under a trusted brand name puts one ahead of the competition in many ways", she said, while encouraging investors to set up franchises in Lagos.


The initiative will involve a training on franchising and capacity building as well as franchising awareness, process, and structures for 300 Lagos-based MSMEs. The Lagos State Office of SDGs and Investment, in collaboration with Mr. Tayo Adedugbe, the founder of the Frandis Forum, added that the initiative's aim is to support the growth of franchising as a workable model for aiding MSMEs in scaling their businesses, attracting investments, expanding across the state and internationally, and creating new jobs while boosting and diversifying the economy. SOURCE


Targeting Exploitative Religious Groups

The Story

A legislation to limit deceptive donation solicitations by religious and other groups was passed by the Japanese parliament on Saturday.


What's the reason for the legislation?
It is an effort by the authorities aimed at curbing the excesses of religious groups. The person who fatally shot former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a public campaign event in July admitted to authorities that he did so after learning of the former PM's associations with the Unification Church. Large payments made by his mother to the church, according to a letter and social media posts ascribed to the suspect, broke up his family and destroyed his life. The case also brought to light the suffering of children of churchgoers, including some who claim they were coerced into joining the church, abandoned by their devout parents, or neglected. The difficulties that adherents and their families face in terms of money and mental health have led many detractors to label the church as a cult.


What does the legislation say?
Passed at the year's final parliamentary session, the legislation permits believers, other donors, and their families to request the return of their money and forbids religious groups and other organizations from raising money through coercion, threats, or claims that donations will result in salvation. The enactment of the law, along with Japan's new national security strategy and defense policy to achieve a significant growth of the military over the next five years, was one of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's major priorities.


Japan would be able to build a preemptive strike capability and deploy long-range missiles according to a revised national security plan that is anticipated to be unveiled later this month. It is a significant departure from the self-defense-only stance Japan had adopted following its loss in World War II in 1945.  SOURCE


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Shake That Body

The Story

Physical exercises have been widely advocated due to their health benefits, yet many aren't taking advantage of these benefits, for various reasons. Now, scientists have suggested an alternative to help non-exercisers.


What's the alternative?
Adding a little intensity to normal daily activities. People who don't exercise may be able to reap some of the same health benefits by temporarily increasing the intensity of daily activities, such as quickening the pace of a walk. A recent study of almost 25,000 persons who said they didn't exercise during their free time reported this. When compared to people whose days didn't involve such activity, those who included three one- to two-minute bursts of vigorous activities per day experienced a roughly 40% decrease in the chance of mortality from any cause.


How does one determine the level of needed intensity?
An epidemiologist at the University of Sydney named Emmanuel Stamatakis and his associates examined a portion of the data from the UK Biobank, a biological database including health data on 500,000 people in the United Kingdom. The criterion used in a laboratory study, which included reaching at least 77% of maximum heart rate and at least 64% of maximum oxygen intake, was used by the researchers to identify brief periods of intense physical activity. In the first 15 to 30 seconds of an activity, "an increase in heart rate and feeling out of breath" are indications that a person has attained the required intensity level, according to Stamatakis.


Notable among the observations include the risk of death from cancer, which fell by nearly 40%, and the risk of death from cardiovascular disease, which reduced by almost 50%. Though not a part of the research, Lisa Cadmus-Bertram, a physical activity epidemiologist at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, noted that the study "adds to other literature showing that even short amounts of activity are beneficial". SOURCE


The Coldest Place on Earth?

Quora Question: What is the coldest place on Earth?


Oymayakon near Jakutsk, Russia is the coldest inhabited place on earth.

Although Oymyakon is about 2900 km away from the North Pole, the lowest temperatures of all inhabited areas were here (long-standing weather station in the village of Tomtor, 30 km south-east (63° 16′ N, 143° 12′ E), since 2004 Oymyakon has its own weather station in Oymyakon). The extreme values ​​are favored, among other things, by the topographical conditions in this highland.


This place has many peculiarities due to the cold. For example, cars are not switched off in winter, they run through the entire winter because the fuel in the tank would freeze within a few minutes.


The tap water is often frozen in the pipes, so people heat some ice to have drinking water. Water you throw in the air freezes before it hits the buttom. It's absolutly insane.

2023: We have no preferred candidate – U.S govt

Labour Party sacks spokesman, dissolves Ogun chapter


Why I’ll vote for Peter Obi – Oby Ezekwesili


Ex-Super Eagles players arrive Kano for APC campaign tour


Newly redesigned Naira now in banks, ready for issuance – Emefiele


UN Sec-Gen urges Nigeria to investigate mass abortion report


Olaolu Mudasiru, Vetiva Capital co-founder, killed in hit-and-run accident


439 foreign-trained doctors failed assessment exam – MDCN


Morocco’s ‘Bono’ could score big club deals after World Cup saves

New ‘dream’ ball introduced for World Cup’s final matches


CloudPlexo Sales Graduate Trainee Program 


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CloudPlexo is on the lookout to add to their team, fresh graduates, and/or corp members who are enthusiastic about Cloud technology services, products, and management of cloud environments; and also very enthusiastic about selling stuff! A go-getter! Not taking ‘No’ for an answer and robust in delivering high output results!


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Gyration at the Very Top of the Forbes Billionaire List. Medium


Google announces the top searches in 2022. GoogleBlog


What happens to Ronaldo’s career after Portugal’s World Cup exit? Al Jazeera

This year's 100 best songs. PitchFork



Attila (c. 406–453), frequently called Attila the Hun, was the ruler of the Huns from 434 until his death in March 453. He was also the leader of a tribal empire consisting of Huns, Ostrogoths, Alans, and Bulgars, among others, in Central and Eastern Europe.


During his reign, he was one of the most feared enemies of the Western and Eastern Roman Empires. He crossed the Danube twice and plundered the Balkans, but was unable to take Constantinople. His unsuccessful campaign in Persia was followed in 441 by an invasion of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, the success of which emboldened Attila to invade the West. 


He also attempted to conquer Roman Gaul (modern France), crossing the Rhine in 451 and marching as far as Aurelianum (Orléans), before being stopped in the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains.


He subsequently invaded Italy, devastating the northern provinces, but was unable to take Rome. He planned for further campaigns against the Romans, but died in 453. After Attila's death, his close adviser, Ardaric of the Gepids, led a Germanic revolt against Hunnic rule, after which the Hunnic Empire quickly collapsed. Attila lived on as a character in Germanic heroic legend.


Name that word

Oxford Dictionaries unveiled its Word of the Year 2022 last Monday. We’ll give you a few excerpts from the description, and you have to identify the word. (Important: It’s actually a two-word phrase.)

  • “A type of behaviour which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations.”
  • This term “rose in popularity...as Covid lockdown restrictions eased in many countries and people ventured out of their homes more regularly. Seemingly, it captured the prevailing mood of individuals who rejected the idea of returning to ‘normal life,’ or rebelled against the increasingly unattainable aesthetic standards and unsustainable lifestyles exhibited on social media.”

Can you name the phrase?

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Goblin Mode!


Written by SeunMercy, Kingsley, and Tosin.
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