19th December 2022 |
Good morning. "Santa Claus is an imaginary character. The red color of his coat was chosen by Coca-Cola for advertising purposes,” thundered Bishop Antonio Staglianò in Sicily to a dismayed group of children.
The dear Bishop would certainly not be fun at parties.
Greece. A politician at the heart of a corruption scandal has reportedly made a partial confession to receiving illegal bribes from Qatar. Eva Kaili, a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) who was arrested and subsequently expelled from the Greek Socialist Party after the story broke last week, confessed to giving her father bags full of cash to hide.
Afghanistan. The Taliban-run higher education ministry has said that female students would not be allowed access to the country’s universities until further notice. Women are already excluded from most secondary schools. Last month the Taliban banned women from public amusement parks in the Afghan capital of Kabul on the grounds that un-Islamic activities were taking place there.
Ghana. Payments on most of its external debt has been suspended. Its finance ministry said on Monday that it will not service debts including its Eurobonds, commercial loans and most bilateral loans. The suspension of debt payments reflects the perilous state of the economy, which had led the government last week to reach a $3bn staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Ghana has been experiencing what some say is its worst economic crisis in a generation.
Pan Am Flight 103 from London to New York explodes in midair over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing all 243 passengers and 16 crew members aboard, as well as 11 Lockerbie residents on the ground. A bomb hidden inside an audio cassette player detonated in the cargo area when the plane was at an altitude of 31,000 feet. The disaster, which became the subject of Britain’s largest criminal investigation, was believed to be an attack against the United States. One hundred eighty nine of the victims were American.
Islamic terrorists were accused of planting the bomb on the plane while it was at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany. Authorities suspected the attack was in retaliation for either the 1986 U.S. air strikes against Libya, in which leader Muammar al-Qaddafi’s young daughter was killed along with dozens of other people, or a 1988 incident, in which the U.S. mistakenly shot down an Iran Air commercial flight over the Persian Gulf, killing 290 people.
A request by the Department of State Services (DSS) for the arrest of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, was rejected by the Federal High Court in Abuja.
What's his crime?
In an ex parte application marked FHC/ABJ/CS/2255/2022 and filed at the court on December 7, the DSS had sought an order for the arrest of the CBN governor over alleged “acts of financing terrorism, fraudulent activities and economic crimes of national security dimension". The ruling became public knowledge after a protest by a civic coalition, comprising the Arewa Youth Consultative Movement and public interest lawyers, in Abuja on Monday, against what they tagged a plot by the DSS (allegedly motivated by politicians uncomfortable with the economic reform policy of the CBN) to arrest Emefiele for alledged terrorism financing.
Why was the application rejected?
The application was rejected on the grounds that the DSS failed to provide sufficient evidence to warrant the issuance of an arrest warrant against the CBN governor. The Chief Judge of the court, John Tsoho, who noted that the alledged crimes were grave, said there was no evidence presented for the court to grant the application. “These are no doubt grave allegations, but which the applicant has not presented any concrete evidence to support", the court ruled.
While stating that the DSS also failed to identify the status of the respondent, the judge queried the motive of the DSS. The court said that if the Godwin Emefiele in the application is the same as the CBN governor, the applicant should have sought approval from the respondent's boss - due to his sensitive office - instead of approaching the court. “It therefore seems that the applicant intends to use the court as a cover for an irregular procedure, which is unacceptable", the judge said. SOURCE
Days after easing its strained relations with Morocco, France has mended fences with Algeria.
How did their relations get strained?
Relations between Paris and the North African countries got strained over a visa dispute. In an effort to persuade Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia to work against irregular migration, Paris lowered visa quotas to these nations in September 2021. The visa quotas were reduced by 50% for Algeria and Morocco, and 30% for Tunisia in an effort to get these nations to return their nationals living in France illegally back home. Via a tweet, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin proclaimed a return "to a normal consular relationship" with Algeria while visiting the country's capital, Algiers.
The decision by Paris attracted widespread criticism. Perhaps in reaction to the public outrage, in August, France restored visa quotas for Tunisia to pre-Covid levels. On Friday, French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna announced that France had resumed "full consular cooperation" with Morocco. The renewed consular relations with Algeria and Morocco took effect from December 12, according to Paris. Speaking on the improved relations on Sunday, Darmanin described the relationship between Paris and Algiers as "extremely strong". SOURCE
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At a U.N. biodiversity conference in Montreal, Canada on Monday, negotiators came to a historic agreement that would be the largest attempt to protect the world's lands and oceans, and provide crucial funding to save biodiversity in developing countries.
What's in the agreement?
A pledge (tagged "30 by 30") to safeguard 30% of the land and water considered crucial for biodiversity by 2030 is a significant part of the agreement. 10% of marine areas and 17% of land areas are currently under protection. While asking for efforts to phase out or reform subsidies that may offer an additional $500b for nature, the deal seeks to raise $200b by 2030 for biodiversity from a variety of sources. The deal calls for raising the amount of money going to developing nations for biodiversity purposes by at least $20b yearly by 2025, and $30b annually by 2030. Despite being celebrated as a significant step towards the enhancement of biodiversity, the deal still attracted opposition from some quarters.
Late in the negotiation process, financing came up and threatened to obstruct the deal. The final agreement was delayed by several African nations for about nine hours. A delegate from Congo, one of the world's poorest nations but home to vast tropical forests, spoke out as the agreement was about to be signed and objected to it because it failed to establish the special biodiversity fund that would have given developing nations $100b by 2030. The framework was, however, adopted, putting an end to the opposition. According to the legal expert for the convention, Congo never formally protested to the document. Ineffectively siding with Congo, a number of other African nations, notably Cameroon and Uganda, declared they would file a protest.
They sought the establishment of a new biodiversity fund but consented to one within the Global Environmental Facility, which already existed. The deal is made more significant by one estimate from 2019 which warned that a million plant and animal species face extinction within decades — a rate of loss 1,000 times more than anticipated — as a result of climate change, habitat loss, pollution, and development. SOURCE
Quora Question: What are some of the most famous last words in history?
"Soldiers, when I give the command to fire, fire straight at my heart. Wait for the order. It will be my last to you. I protest against my condemnation. I have fought a hundred battles for France, and not one against her ... Soldiers, fire!"
~ Michel Ney, one of Napoleon Bonaparte’s generals, after requesting and being given permission to command the firing squad that would have him executed for treason.
When Napoleon was defeated and exiled in the summer of 1815, Ney was arrested and tried for treason by the Chamber of Peers. In order to save Ney's life, his lawyer Dupin declared that Ney was now Prussian and could not be judged by a French court, as Ney's hometown of Sarrelouis had been annexed by Prussia.
Ney ruined his lawyer's effort by interrupting him and stating: "I am French and I will remain French.”
Few days after release, fake new N1,000 notes in circulation
Naira redesign may affect economic activity, World Bank warns
Cash limits: PoS operators give CBN ultimatum
Okupe resigns as Obi campaign DG after money laundering conviction
FG to stop cash withdrawals from ALL government accounts, says NFIU
Germany begins return of 1,130 looted Benin bronzes
Ramaphosa shrugs off ‘Farmgate’ scandal to win reelection
Pope Francis - I signed resignation letter should health fail
‘Crime against humanity’ — Netherlands apologises for 250-year slavery
Twitter secretly boosted US psyops in Middle East, report says
Royal Society Africa Prize for Young Scientists
The Royal Society Africa Prize is to recognise research scientists based in Africa who are making an innovative contribution to the sciences. The medal is of bronze, awarded annually and is accompanied by a gift of £2,000. The prize was previously the Royal Society Pfizer Award which was last awarded in 2016.
The Royal Society Africa Prize is open to African citizens. There are no restrictions on career stage and nominations will remain valid and shall be considered by the award selection committee throughout three nomination cycles.
Application Deadline: 24 February 2023. APPLY HERE
My Advice to a 15-Year Old Kid. Medium
Why Gaming Can Be Good for You. FP
Official Name: The Argentine Republic
Region: Southern South America
Government: Federal Presidential Republic
Country Calling Code: +212
Capital City: Buenos Aires
Independence Day: July 9, 1816
Population: 47,327,407 (2022 estimate)
Currency: Argentine peso ($) (ARS)
Official Language: Spanish
President: Alberto Fernández
GDP Per Capita: $13,622 (2022 estimate)
If you were put in charge of the World Cup in 2026, what’s one change you’d implement in order to make it more exciting to watch for people who don’t care about soccer?
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