Good Morning. A routine eviction turned into a sting operation, literally. It all played out as a woman allegedly unleashed a swarm of bees on security men attempting to serve eviction papers.
Nobody needs assault bees.
Singapore. The Ministry of Home Affairs has invited Richard Branson to a debate with Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam. The invitation comes after the British billionaire wrote critical blog posts concerning Singapore's use of the death penalty as a punishment for drug trafficking.
New Zealand. The government passed the Plain Language Act. The bill will require officials to employ simple language when communicating with the public. The new measure will save money and time and make New Zealand's society more inclusive for those with disabilities, lower levels of education, or who speak English as a second language.
United Kingdom. Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson has withdrawn from the race to be Conservative leader, leaving Rishi Sunak within touching distance of becoming prime minister. Sunak, who came second in the race against Liz Truss over the summer, racked up nominations over the weekend, ranging from rightwingers such as Kemi Badenoch to more centrist figures such as Jeremy Hunt, the chancellor.
Nigeria. The US and UK governments have warned their citizens of possible terror attacks in Nigeria, particularly in the capital, Abuja. The embassy said the targets may include but are not limited to government buildings, places of worship, schools, markets, shopping malls, hotels, bars, restaurants, athletic gatherings, transport terminals, law enforcement facilities, and international organizations. The latest advisories occur about a week after the Australian embassy had advised its citizens not to travel to Nigeria.
The United Nations Charter, which was adopted and signed on June 26, 1945, is now effective and ready to be enforced. The United Nations was born of perceived necessity, as a means of better arbitrating international conflict and negotiating peace than was provided for by the old League of Nations. The growing Second World War became the real impetus for the United States, Britain, and the Soviet Union to begin formulating the original U.N. Declaration, signed by 26 nations in January 1942, as a formal act of opposition to Germany, Italy, and Japan, the Axis Powers.
Reports earlier this month told the story of how two suspected online scammers were arrested in South Africa, but that was only a part of the story.
What's the remaining part?
The arrest of the scammers was part of a global police operation conducted by INTERPOL, codenamed Operation Jackal. The operation, which covered 14 countries across four continents, was a targeted strike against the Black Axe (a notorious cult group) and related West-African organized crime groups. In the last week of September, the Black Axe was the target of INTERPOL's simultaneous strikes against crime in multiple countries, which resulted in arrests and seizure of assets linked to ongoing investigation.
How did the group get on the radar of INTERPOL?
This is the first time INTERPOL has conducted a global operation whose target is specifically Black Axe, a group that is increasingly constituting a major security concern globally. Setting Operation Jackal in motion, Black Axe and other groups were identified as the culprits behind majority of the world’s internet-enabled financial fraud, as well as other crimes. This much was noted in evidence analyzed by INTERPOL’s Financial Crime and Anti-Corruption Centre (IFCACC) and national law enforcement agencies. In South Africa alone, the two arrested suspects were wanted for online scams that stole $1.8m from unsuspecting victims.
How successful was the operation?
Some of the accomplishments of the INTERPOL transnational operation include; €1.2m intercepted in bank accounts; 75 arrests; 12,000 SIM cards seized; 49 property searches; residential property and three cars seized; 7 INTERPOL Purple Notices which detailed criminal modus operandi; and 6 INTERPOL Red Notices, issued for internationally-wanted fugitives. "Illicit financial funds are the lifeblood of transnational organized crime, and we have witnessed how groups like Black Axe will channel money gained from online financial scams into other crime areas, such as drugs and human trafficking", said INTERPOL's Executive Director of Police Services, Stephen Kavanagh, who added that "These groups demand a global response".
The countries that participated in INTERPOL's Operation Jackal include Argentina, Australia, Côte d’Ivoire, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, Nigeria, Spain, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. SOURCE
The World Health Organization (WHO) has expressed concern over the Ebola outbreak in Uganda.
What about it?
Explaining the difficulty faced by health officials in the East African country, WHO's regional director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti said the disease is “rapidly evolving”, only one month since it was first reported there. Despite the challenges, Moeti commended the health officials efforts in containing the disease. "The Ministry of Health of Uganda has shown remarkable resilience and effectiveness and (is) constantly fine-tuning a response to what is a challenging situation", Moeti said.
How wide is the spread?
It is spreading fast and its casualties are increasing, a situation that is believed to have been impacted by the relatively late response by the authorities. Days after the disease had begun spreading in a rural farming community, Uganda declared Ebola outbreak on September 20. Since then, the disease has infected 64 people and killed 24. This data excludes those who may have died from the disease before the outbreak was confirmed by the authorities.
There are fears that the infection figure may be higher, given the fact that those that have been confirmed have had contact with people in different locations. According to Moeti, at least three of the confirmed patients traveled from the virus' hot spot in central Uganda to Kampala, the country's capital - a distance of about 150 kilometers (93 miles). As part of efforts to control the spread, Ugandan authorities have imposed a lockdown and nighttime curfew on two of the five districts reporting the disease. While officials are still investigating the source of the current outbreak, the risk of cross-border spread has been noted. SOURCE
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Chinese President Xi Jinping has begun his third five-year term as the Asian giant's leader, and observers have expressed concern over what lies ahead.
Why are they concerned?
The concern by observers is caused by the list of those who would be ruling alongside Xi, a list said to be filled with names of Xi allies that would hardly question his decisions on issues. Li Qiang, Zhao Leji, Wang Huning, Cai Qi, Ding Xuexiang, and Li Xi joined the president as members of China’s top ruling body, the 24-member Politburo Standing Committee. "This new lineup is not a product of power sharing or horse trading among different factions, but basically it is the result or consequence of Xi’s authority,” said Chen Gang, a senior research fellow at the National University of Singapore’s East Asian Institute. Fears have even been expressed that Xi might already have his eyes set on a potential fourth term.
What's the basis of that?
In addition to bringing loyalists into the Politburo, the absence of key party leaders who are not in Xi’s inner circle points to a potential plan to hold on to power even after this third term, according to observers. Moreso, there is no clear sign of a potential successor to Xi. Before Xi came on the scene, the Standing Committee included younger members as potential successors. Now, with the committee's youngest member being 60 years old, and with no stand-out name in the mix - analysts say it might be a potential sign that Xi is not looking to exit soon.
A government without checks
Observers have said that the concentration of power “introduces a certain unhealthy dynamic in policymaking in that the people who are close to him are those who, over the years, have honed the skills of always agreeing and supporting Xi Jinping’s opinion". Some of the new members include; 66 years old Cai, party boss of Beijing and one of Xi’s most-trusted allies; 66 years old Li Xi, current party chief of China’s southern economic engine province, Guangdong. Li is also a trusted Xi ally, and is expected to head the anti-corruption agency.
While the new loyal team is expected to make ruling easier for Xi, with minimal internal disagreement, growing economic challenges and hostile international relations are cause for concern for Xi. Not unmindful of the challenges ahead, Xi said, "The world today faces unprecedented challenges. On the road ahead, no matter high winds, choppy waters, or even dangerous storms, the people will always be our most solid support and strongest confidence". SOURCE
Quora Question: Tell us a great short story with a twist ending.
As a newly crowned college chess champion, I was quite amused to see the old man alone on the park bench, a fully arranged chess board at the table on his front. His gaze was fixed on the board, and he was lightly touched the pieces one-by-one, as if stroking them.
Why not have some fun, I thought, and asked him if he wanted to play a game. He merely nodded in approval, his gaze never leaving the board. Full of confidence, I played the knight in the first move, hoping to end the game quickly. The old man extended his hand to touch the knight at its new position, waited for the briefest of moments and made his move.
In the next half hour, I was thoroughly schooled in the art of chess. It appeared as if the old man had already anticipated all my moves and prepared a counter for them. And he seemed to have developed this strange addiction of suddenly swooping his hand and stroking the pieces, sometimes his and sometimes mine. The sore loser in me was already getting exasperated by this harmless act, but I gritted my teeth and carried on.
Finally, with an inevitable checkmate, my agony was over. Desperately hoping to hide my frustration, I decided to have the final say. Thus came out the words: "Great game sir, although I must add sometimes you took too much time caressing those precious pieces of yours".
The old man just smiled at this, gingerly got up and took out his white walking stick. Somehow, the smile extended to his white, visionless eyes.
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The Inspirational Media Personality at Dukia Radio. Freshly Pressed
20 major cities built on ancient ruins. MSN
The Ivorian immigrant elected to Italy’s parliament. Al jazeera
The Next President Must Import Human Capital. Medium
Abu'l-Fath Jalal-ud-din Muhammad Akbar (25 October 1542 – 27 October 1605), popularly known as Akbar the Great, and also as Akbar I, was the third Mughal emperor, who reigned from 1556 to 1605.
A strong personality and a successful general, Akbar gradually enlarged the Mughal Empire to include much of the Indian subcontinent. His power and influence, however, extended over the entire subcontinent because of Mughal military, political, cultural, and economic dominance.
He was fond of literature, and created a library of over 24,000 volumes written in Sanskrit, Urdu, Persian, Greek, Latin, Arabic and Kashmiri, staffed by many scholars, translators, artists, calligraphers, scribes, bookbinders and readers.
Akbar's reign significantly influenced the course of Indian history. During his rule, the Mughal Empire tripled in size and wealth.
China just gave Xi Jinping his third term as president, without checking Google, can you list the country's presidents since Chairman Mao and when they ruled?
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