26th December 2022  |

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Happy Boxing Day.


Q. Tell me you paid off the government without telling me

A. Sam Bankman-Fried is to be released on $250 million bail. Wowza!

This is wishing you the best of this season, and we hope you will not miss our cheeky openings too much while we take a break for the year.

Freshly Pressed Newsletter is taking the next two weeks off, to resume on 9th January 2023. Have a restful holiday!

Russia. In an Interview with state media, President Vladimir Putin said that Russia has been open to negotiations, but Ukraine and its western Allies have refused. Mykhailo Podolyak, an advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, responded, saying that Russia has no intention of negotiating. Ukraine has indicated it will not stop until it has reclaimed all its territories, including Crimea.

United States. Several buses dropped off migrants in front of Vice President Kamala Harris' Washinton, D.C., home. This is not the first time states have dropped off migrants in front of Harris's house. States have been sending migrants north since April. Some Republican governors, including Texas' Greg Abbott, have claimed responsibility in the past as a way of protesting against the Biden administration's immigration policies.

China. The local government for Zhejiang, an industrial province near Shanghai, reported 1 million new COVID-19 cases daily. The government expects the number to double. Despite growing numbers, China has not reported a single death in the last five days. Cases in China have seen exponential growth since China decided to remove its Zero-Covid policy in light of protests and a faltering economy. In January, rise in infections are anticipated as many people return home for the Lunar New Year.

1956 First gorilla born in captivity
A baby gorilla named Colo enters the world at the Columbus Zoo in Ohio, becoming the first-ever gorilla born in captivity. Before Colo’s birth, gorillas found at zoos were caught in the wild, often by brutal means. In order to capture a gorilla when it was young and therefore still small enough to handle, hunters frequently had to kill the gorilla’s parents and other family members.


Can't Wait To Leave

The Story
President Mohammadu Buhari has expressed his eagerness to leave office and go far away from the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.


Why is he so eager?
The president, while hosting a delegation of residents of the FCT, disclosed that he's already looking forward to life in retirement, which he intends to spend in his hometown, Daura, Katsina state. "I have promised a lot of my colleagues that I will try and be as far away as possible from Abuja when I leave the office so that nobody can create any problems for me anymore", the president said. Reiterating his readiness to hand over to a new administration in May, Buhari said he "will happily retire according to the provisions of the constitution of the country and go back home".


What was the purpose of the FCT residents' visit?
It was a courtesy visit. The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Mohammed Bello, who led the delegation, said it has become compulsory for representatives of the residents of the FCT to honour the President with a visit during festivities like Christmas and Sallah. “It is not surprising to pay such visits because constitutionally, as the Governor General of the FCT, you are also the head of the administration of the FCT but you have graciously delegated that to me", Bello said, adding that, "today marks a milestone for us because in 2020 and 2021 we could not pay such visits due to the emergence of coronavirus".


President Buhari also commended the FCT Minister on his performance since taking over the administration of the FCT. While he decried how people were used to selling allocated plots instead of developing them as stipulated by the FCT laws, Buhari said "the Minister has restored sanity into allocation of plots in the FCT". SOURCE


No Truce In Sight

The Story
It appears there's still a long way to go before rival factions in Libya agree on uniting the country.


What's the latest there?
In a statement that suggested that both sides have not reached an agreement on the way forward, leader of the Libyan National Army, which controls the country's east, Khalifa Haftar declared Saturday "a final opportunity" to draw up a plan for elections in Libya. The statement came on the 71st anniversary of Libya's independence, as General Khalifa Haftar spoke to Libyans in Benghazi, the country's second-largest city and the base of his forces. The rival factions had previously agreed on a date for election, but the agreement fell apart.


Why did it fall apart?
The country has been divided since the 2011 assassination of long-term leader, Muammar Gaddafi, as rival groups battle to take control of government. It has been one year since the opposing factions agreed to hold elections. Following a 2020 ceasefire, the warring eastern and western sides installed a new unity government, and agreed to hold elections on December 24, 2021. However, the process failed, and the national institutions remained divided.


Following the country's breakup in 2014, Haftar launched an effort to seize Tripoli that lasted 14 months but was repelled by the internationally recognized government. As its political impasse worsens, Libya runs the possibility of re-entering civil war as politicians obstruct election-related efforts and military officials threaten to use force. SOURCE


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Nepal Goes The Communist Way

The Story
Nepal has chosen a new Prime Minister, Pushpa Kamal Dahal.


Who is he?
Dahal is the former leader of the communist rebels who staged a major uprising in the country in the late 90s. His emergence as PM on Sunday was with the backing of his former rival and other smaller political parties. The declaration was made by the president's office after Pushpa Kamal Dahal, the leader of the Maoist Communist Party, met with the president to submit his claim for the position of PM following last month's elections, marking a significant political turn in the Himalayan country.


How much of the parliament does he control?
More than half of the newly elected members of the House of Representatives, the lower house of Parliament, favour Dahal. He will probably take the oath of office today and later this week, he will have to demonstrate his majority in the 275-member parliament. Dahal has received the backing of seven parties, including his former ally turned adversary, the Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist-Leninist), under the leadership of Khadga Prasad Oli.


Multiple Disputes Over PM
In the most recent parliamentary election in 2017, Dahal and Oli teamed up. However, about halfway through the five-year term, they started to disagree over who should remain as PM. They had first agreed to split the term, but Oli reportedly objected, infuriating Dahal. Dahal renounced the alliance and joined forces with Sher Bahadur Deuba's Nepali Congress party to become a member of Deuba's new coalition government. But like in the previous case, Deuba and Dahal split after the November 20 elections because they couldn't agree on who takes the office.


From 1996 through 2006, Dahal, sometimes referred to as Prachanda or the "fierce one," oversaw a bloody Maoist insurgency. More than 17,000 people died, with the fate of many others unknown. The Maoists ended their armed uprising, joined a peace process with UN support in 2006, and transitioned into mainstream politics. In 2008, Dahal's party won the most seats in the legislature, and he was appointed PM. A year later, however, he resigned due to disagreements with the president. SOURCE


What's the misconception about your occupation?

Quora Question: What misconception about your occupation would you like to clear up?


RICHARD MULLER, Prof Physics, UC Berkeley:

I’m a physicist. One day I got a phone call from an undergraduate. She explained that as an assignment in a sociology course she was required to follow a scientist around for a day and document how he/she spent the day. “I’m far too busy to give you that much time,” I said.


“No—” she replied, “You won’t even notice I’m there. I’ll just watch and follow you around.” OK— it sounded a bit intriguing.


The scheduled morning she arrived in my office at 9 a.m. She sat down in a corner, and I got to work. Every now and then I looked up and caught her looking at me; she quickly looked away, and scribbled in her notebook. Suddenly I felt like a mountain gorilla being studied by Dian Fossey.


At 5 p.m she told me she was leaving. I asked her if she found anything surprising. “My god yes!” She responded. “Your day is totally different from what I expected.” I asked for details and she examined her notes.


She said, “You spent 60% of your time talking to other people! You did it on the phone, then you visited several other physicists in their offices. You had lunch with several graduate students. Even in your lab you were working with your graduate students. Several people came to your office.”

“What did you expect?” I asked her.


“I thought scientists worked alone. I thought they sat in front of computers all day, or in their labs wearing white coats and working with test tubes.”

“That’s the scientist of the movies,” I said. “Science is a very social profession. You can save weeks in the lab by a quick conversation with someone else. Two people talking are often much more than twice as effective as two people working alone.”


“I never knew that,” she said.


It’s odd that people avoid going into science because of the impression that it is for people who like to work alone. That may be true for some people, but in my experience virtually all effective scientists spend much of their time with other people. Maybe the wrong impression arises because of the high school science nerd who doesn’t yet have social skills. But social skills are essential to scientific success. Some nerds learn them only in graduate school. (And the ones who don’t often drop out of science.)


Indeed, the interaction with other people is what makes “coming to work” so much fun.

Soaring living costs drain Christmas joy for families in Nigeria


Buhari: I didn’t enjoy being called Jubril of Sudan


Vehicles worth N1.5bn carted away by ex–appointees of Oyetola


IPOB leader Kanu ill, requires surgery, says lawyer


Ebonyi honours late Gen Sani Abacha, others


Nigerian Aribo rated fourth best midfielder in Premier League


Shell to pay $15m settlement over oil spills in Nigeria


UK dangles £28,000 yearly before Nigerian teachers


Burkina Faso government expels senior UN official


Ghana introduces visa on arrival for ALL travellers

Mean, nasty’ winter storm claims 32 lives across US

India makes negative COVID test mandatory for five countries

US warns of potential attack on top hotel in Pakistan’s capital


Start 2023 at The Switch

Ranking the World Cup's best jerseys. SportingNews

This year's most scathing book reviews. LitHub


An Unhinged Security Situation. Medium


Q&A: Uganda’s Museveni on staying in power, rights abuses. Al Jazeera


Augustine of Hippo

Augustine of Hippo (Latin: Aurelius Augustinus Hipponensis; 13 November 354 – 28 August 430] also known as Saint Augustine, was a theologian and philosopher of Berber origin and the bishop of Hippo Regius in Numidia, Roman North Africa.


His writings influenced the development of Western philosophy and Western Christianity, and he is viewed as one of the most important Church Fathers of the Latin Church in the Patristic Period. His many important works include The City of God, On Christian Doctrine, and Confessions.


After his conversion to Christianity and baptism in 386, Augustine developed his own approach to philosophy and theology, accommodating a variety of methods and perspectives. Believing the grace of Christ was indispensable to human freedom, he helped formulate the doctrine of original sin and made significant contributions to the development of just war theory.

Augustine is recognized as a saint in the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Anglican Communion. He is also a preeminent Catholic Doctor of the Church and the patron of the Augustinians. His memorial is celebrated on 28 August, the day of his death. Augustine is the patron saint of brewers, printers, theologians, and a number of cities and dioceses.


The historian Diarmaid MacCulloch has written: "Augustine's impact on Western Christian thought can hardly be overstated; only his beloved example, Paul of Tarsus, has been more influential, and Westerners have generally seen Paul through Augustine's eyes."


Name the Christmas song from the following first letters:




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AIWFCIY –All I Want for Christmas Is You

WWYAMC – We Wish you a Merry Christmas

ITMWTOTY – It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year


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