16th November 2022  |

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Good Morning. There are now 8 billion people on Planet Earth according to a new UN estimate elaborated by Worldometer.

 

It feels a little more crowded in here, doesn't it?

Poland. A “Russian-made missile” reportedly fell on a village in the country’s east killing two people, but that there was “no concrete evidence” on who had fired it, as its NATO allies prepared to hold an emergency meeting to discuss the strike. If confirmed, the strike would represent the first time a Russian missile has landed in a country other than Ukraine.

Uganda. President Yoweri Museveni has slammed Western countries over what he calls a “reprehensible double standard” in their response to the energy crisis brought about by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In a Twitter post on Sunday, Museveni singled out Germany for demolishing wind turbines to allow for the expansion of a coal-fueled power plant as Europe battles an energy crisis triggered by the Russia/Ukraine war.

United States. Donald Trump has announced he will run for United States president again in 2024 despite facing multiple criminal investigations and the poor performance of the candidates he backed in last week’s midterm elections. Analysts believe Trump’s unusually early launch may well be aimed at fending off potential challengers for the party’s nomination in 2024, including rising star Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, 44, and Trump’s former vice president, Mike Pence, 63.

1941 Joseph Goebbels publishes his screed of hate
Joseph Goebbels, chief propagandist for the Nazi Party and Adolf Hitler's right hand man, publishes in the German magazine Das Reich that “The Jews wanted the war, and now they have it”—referring to the Nazi propaganda scheme to shift the blame for the world war onto European Jews, thereby giving the Nazis a rationalization for the so-called Final Solution.

NIGERIA

FG's Mortgage Loan 'Goes Abroad'

The Story
The Federal Government has announced plans to provide mortgage loan to Nigerians living abroad.

 

What's the objective of this?
Projected to be launched before the year ends, the FG's plan is aimed at providing opportunities for Nigerians living abroad to access needed funds for the purpose of acquiring properties in the country, and without having to be physically present to do so. The Managing Director of the Federal Mortgage Bank, Hamman Madu, disclosed this during the ongoing three-day Nigeria Diaspora Investment Summit, with the theme: ‘Optimising Investment Opportunities for National Development’.

 

What are the conditions to access the mortgage?
While more details are expected when it is launched, the Diaspora Mortgage Loan Scheme will be accessed through the National Housing Fund Scheme, with which interested persons would register. "The product will afford Nigerians in diaspora the opportunity to register with the National Housing Fund Scheme, make monthly contributions and ultimately be able to access mortgage loans at reasonable rates in order to own their own houses back home without having to physically come to Nigeria before they can participate", Madu said.

 

On the government's motivation for initiating the scheme, Madu said, "The product provides an opportunity to own a decent home at home. Man naturally ventures out to search for enduring means of livelihood and thereafter instinctively, heads home. His only impediment usually in any home is the absence of a decent accommodation to go back to. This product , therefore, provides him the opportunity to own such a decent home anywhere in the country ". SOURCE

ASIA

CEO of Algeria's 'NNPC' in Soup

The Story
Abdelmoumen Ould Kaddour, former CEO of Algeria's state-owned oil and gas group Sonatrach, has been sentenced to jail.

 

Why?
In a corruption case involving the 2018 purchase by Sonatrach of the Augusta refinery and other assets in southern Italy from Esso Italy, an affiliate of American ExxonMobil, Kaddour and other indicted individuals were prosecuted. Miloud Brahimi, a defense lawyer, said Kaddour "was sentenced to 15 years in prison". According to the lawyer, the Algiers court condemned one former Executive of the oil firm to three years in prison while freeing another. The project to purchase the refinery was led by Ahmed Mazighi, a former aide to Ould Kaddour who received a seven-year prison term.

 

What were the exact crimes committed?
Questions have been asked over the financial aspect of the deal. Although the transfer's price was not disclosed, Algerian media reports that the oil group paid $720m, which is a large sum for a 1950-era refinery of its age. The prosecutor's office estimates that Sonatrach spent $2.1b on the transaction, including $916m for the purchase of the refined oil and a sizable additional sum for remodeling costs.

 

After being detained in the United Arab Emirates in accordance with an international arrest order issued by the Algerian judiciary, Ould Kaddour, a close friend of the late ousted president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, was extradited to Algeria in August 2021. Appointed head of Sonatrach in March 2017, Ould Kaddour was fired three weeks after Abdelaziz Bouteflika was overthrown in early April 2019. SOURCE

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EUROPE

Istanbul Attack Waves On

The Story

At least 50 suspects have been arrested in connection with the Istanbul bombing that killed six people and wounded dozens of others on Sunday.

 

Have the perpetrators been identified?
The outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and associated Syrian Kurdish factions were named by Turkish authorities as the perpetrators. Several hours after the explosion, police conducted raids in Istanbul and apprehended 48 people, including a Syrian lady who is accused of placing a bomb containing TNT near Istiklal. Identified as Ahlam Albashir, the lady admitted to carrying out the attack and had entered Turkey illegally from Syria, the police say.

 

Did the PKK admit involvement?
No, it did not. Though involved in an armed insurgency in Turkey since 1984, the Kurdish militants have denied involvement in the latest attack. Bekir Bozdag, the Minister of Justice, stated on Tuesday that there are now 50 individuals in detention. Two brothers, Ammar J. and Ahmed J., were detained by police on Tuesday, according to the government-run Anadolu Agency. Following the attack, Ammar J. allegedly assisted Albashir in leaving Istanbul for neighboring Greece, while Ahmed J. allegedly drove a suspect who is still at large to the Edirne province, close to the Bulgarian border, according to Anadolu.

 

"Turkey continues with its fight against terrorism with determination. No terrorist organization will succeed in any kind of plot against Turkey", Bozdag said, according to T24, an independent news website. While both Turkey and the United States regard the Kurdish militants as terrorists, Ankara and Washington are divided over the US' support for the Syrian arm of the group. SOURCE

LINGUISTICS

What is it about languages and dialects?

Reddit Question: Why is it that Mandarin and Cantonese are considered dialects of Chinese but Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and French are considered separate languages and not dialects of Latin?

 

throwaway_lmkg
There's a saying in linguistics: "A language is a dialect with a flag and an army."

 

The field of Linguistics does not actually define what is a "language." Linguistics definitely has the concept of a dialect, and can discuss whether two groups of people speak the same dialect or different dialects. It has concepts of things like mutual intelligibility, i.e. can native speakers of two dialects understand each other. But the idea that two dialects are part of the same "language" is a question that linguistics entirely cedes to the field of politics.

 

So, the answer to your question: China considers itself a single political unit, and they place a high value on considering themselves unified. France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal consider themselves distinct political units from each other, and modern Italy considers itself distinct from the Roman empire.

 

It's also worth noting that people from different regions in Italy sometimes can't understand each other, because dialects of Italian have a very large spread. Again, they're considered the same language because Italy wants to perceive itself as a single unified cultural entity.

 

Were one of these regions of Italy to become independent, it's likely they would consider their dialect to a language over time, although that process would likely involve doubling-down on the regionally-distinct features of that dialect, and probably having a distinct literary tradition as well. Something like this already happened when Norway became independent of Denmark.

Obi replies Soludo: I’m a trader, you’re a professor… you can do more as governor

 

Nigeria’s inflation rate rises to 21.09% amid soaring food prices

 

Court stops FG from selling Nigeria Air’s shares to Ethiopian Airlines

 

Appeal court sacks Akpabio as Akwa Ibom APC senatorial candidate

 

Visa ban: Air Peace suspends Dubai flights

 

Burna Boy emerges Best African Act at ‘MTV EMAs’ 2022

 

Burna Boy, Tems get 65th Grammy Awards nomination

 

Algeria shuts TV station for broadcasting sex scene


UN calls for Russia to pay reparations


How the groups rank at World Cup 2022

GRANT OPPORTUNITY

Google Research Scholar Program

 

The Research Scholar Program aims to support early-career professors who are pursuing research in fields relevant to Google. The Research Scholar Program provides unrestricted gifts to support research at institutions around the world, and is focused on funding world-class research conducted by early-career professors.

 

Google encourage submissions from professors globally who are teaching at universities and meet the eligibility requirements. It is Google’s hope that this program will help develop collaborations with new professors and encourage the formation of long-term relationships.

 

The funds granted will be up to $60,000 USD and are intended to support the advancement of the professor’s research.

 

Application Deadline: December 1, 2022. APPLY HERE

The Other Side of Serena’s Loss. Medium

 

Lessons from a 23 seconds video. Freshly Pressed

Mapping misspelled English words across the globe. WordTips

Ranking the 50 scariest books. Book Riot

COUNTRY PROFILE

Paraguay

Official Name: Republic of Paraguay

Region: South-Central South America
Government: Unitary Presidential Republic

 

Country Calling Code: +595

Capital City: Asunción
Independence Day: 25 November 1842

 

Population: 7,356,409 (2022 estimate)
Currency: Guaraní (PYG)


Official Languages: Spanish and Guaraní
President: Mario Abdo Benítez

GDP Per Capita: $6,230 (2020 estimate)

FEATURE

Time Out With Yohanna

Yohanna, an ardent reader of Freshly Pressed jumped on this random question-and-answer session with us. A young entrepreneur from Fadan Kamantan in Southern Kaduna. You can catch him on Facebook talking about his quirks and creativity

What's the best advice you've ever received? And from whom? “If you'll be a sweeper, sweep so well that when you leave everyone will know there was once a sweeper here cause everything worth doing is worth doing well.” It came from a father figure.

What do you think is the silliest song but you like singing it anyway? “Face Me, I Face You" by Sunny Nneji

TRIVIA

World Population Knowledge Quiz

No better time to take a world population quiz than now - remember we grew larger yesterday. Take the World Population Quiz to test your understanding of human history and the impacts of population growth.

  • What percentage of the earth is arable land?
  • What is the world's most densely populated continent?

Take the quiz

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