Good Morning. Playing well with others isn’t necessarily one of Apple’s superpowers. But the tech behemoth finally confirmed that it will fall in line and make USB-C compatible iPhones. This comes after the EU passed a law saying all phones will need to use USB-C cables by 2024. Apple is predictably sour, with its senior VP of worldwide marketing telling a Wall Street Journal conference: “we have no choice.”
Israel. Israel and Lebanon have approved a U.S.-brokered deal to establish a definite maritime boundary. The accord will allow the two Levantine nations to conduct offshore fossil fuel exploration. Prime Minister Yair Lapid said that it was a "political achievement" to reach a deal in which "an enemy state recognizes the State of Israel..." Lebanon and Israel have no diplomatic relations and have formally been at war with one another since the founding of Israel in 1948.
Netherlands. The Dutch foreign ministry is “investigating” reports that China has set up two purportedly illegal police stations in the Netherlands. An investigative report claimed that China has opened at least two police stations in the Netherlands since 2018. The two stations are located in Rotterdam and Amsterdam. The stations operate under the facade of “overseas service stations” where Chinese nationals can renew their driving licenses and report changes in their civil status.
Social Media. After months of legal back-and-forth, Elon Musk has reportedly completed his $44bn takeover of Twitter, taking control of the company and firing several of the company’s top executives including CEO Parag Agrawal. The reported firings follow news that Musk planned to eliminate nearly 75% of Twitter’s staff in an effort to pay down the company’s debt. Multiple outlets reported on Thursday evening that Musk has finalized the deal, capping a chaotic saga that began when the billionaire first announced his plans to purchase the company in April.
1636 Harvard University founded Harvard College was founded by a vote of the Great and General Court of Massachusetts on October 28, 1636. The vote allocated "400£ towards a schoale or colledge." It is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and among the most prestigious in the world.
The Nigerian government has announced plans of converting its Central Bank's ways and means loan to 40-year bonds.
What's Ways and Means? Commonly referred to as the printing of money, ways and means is simply a method used by the government after setting its economic policy by presenting a budget and obtaining approval to raise revenue through taxation. This enables the government to obtain short-term or emergency loans from the central bank to fund its delayed projects. Whether or not investors would explore the government's plan depends on the attractiveness of the bond’s interest rate compared to other government securities and the inflation rate.
How much is this loan? As of March, the government owed the Central Bank a staggering sum of N20t. Through securitization, the loan will be converted to a bond that the central bank can sell to investors at 9% interest over a 40-year period. Analysts have, however, expressed doubts over the government's plan, for valid reason. The government announced a similar plan last year to convert N10t worth of Central Bank ways and means loan to a 30-year bond, how that went is a matter of public knowledge.
Why should you care? If the Central Bank eventually encounters problems with this loan-turned-bond, it may affect exchange rates and the prices of domestic goods and services. In January, the Central Bank stated that distortions in the monetary base are the direct repercussions of the bank's funding of deficits, which has a negative impact on domestic prices and exchange rates. If you haven't started investing yet, this might be a good moment to do so in order to protect yourself from the immediate effects of this development on you. SOURCE
That Good German Ganja
On Wednesday, Germany announced plans to legalize recreational cannabis, making it one of the first European countries to do so. There's a condition attached though.
What condition? Legalization would allow buying and possession of only 20 to 30 grams (around 1 oz for our American users) of recreational cannabis for personal use. Currently, medical cannabis use is legal in many European states and some countries have even decriminalized the drug, stopping just short of full recreational legalization.
Beyond the "high" According to a survey conducted last year, legalizing weed could increase Germany’s annual tax revenues and cost savings by about €4.7b while also creating 27,000 new jobs nationwide. The government stated that 4 million people in Germany consumed cannabis last year alone, many of whom were between the ages of 18 and 24.
Mixed reactions Responses to the move have been varied. Bavaria's health minister warned against making Germany a drug tourism destination, while other lawmakers have lauded the move as a good way to regulate the cannabis market. “Too-restrictive conditions for the legal market only promote the black market,” said legislator Kirsten Kappert-Gonther. SOURCE
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Gaslit By Gas Giant
Following the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the behest of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, President Biden promised to treat the Saudi head of state as a “pariah.” However, it turned out international relations comes with extraneous variables.
What extraneous variables? Instead of making good on his promise, the president’s aides saw opportunity in reforging the U.S.’s relationship with Saudi Arabia. They began planning a fun trip to the Middle East. The stops? Israel and Saudi Arabia, where they hoped to get a Saudi guarantee to convince OPEC to increase oil production. Before the trip, Biden’s advisors met with Prince Mohammed, securing a two-part deal with the suspected journalist-killer.
What's in the deal? First, the Saudis would push a 400,000 barrel per day increase in OPEC oil production, moving up the production bump from the planned September date to July. Next, the Saudis would advocate expanding production by 200,000 barrels per day each month from September to December of 2022. When the oil kingdom met the first part of the deal, Biden announced his trip. After first stopping by Israel, the president headed to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on July 15 to meet Prince Mohammed in person.
Why's this news now? In Jeddah, the two fist-bumped for the cameras and talked behind closed doors, leading U.S. diplomats to believe that the relationship was on the mend. But by August, it became clear that this was not the case. Instead of the expected 200,000 barrel per day bump, OPEC only announced a production increase of 100,000 barrels. And the disappointment didn't end there. In September, U.S. officials began hearing rumors that Saudi leaders might push OPEC to actually cut production for October.
Despite Mohammed’s assurance that no such cut was coming, on October 5, OPEC announced a decrease of 2M barrels per day. Now it looks like the U.S. and the Saudi are back to square one. The U.S. is now scrambling to deal with the effects on inflation and prices at the pump. SOURCE
Epic Failure in History
Quora Question: What was the biggest mistake a company has ever made?
United Airlines not paying $1200 to Dave Carroll might be their worst decision ever.
After boarding a United Airlines flight, musician Dave Carroll got himself seated. He heard another passenger exclaiming that the baggage handlers were literally throwing the guitars.
After arriving at his destination, he opened the case to inspect his $3500 guitar and found broken and ruined which was beyond repairs. Dave went through hell to try and get United to pay for their sins. After nine months of struggle he agreed to settle for $1200 flight voucher but later was informed by the airline that he wouldn't get it as he missed his 24 hours of reporting window at the time of his initial complaint.
However, this wasn't the case. He informed several airline executives when he was at the airport but no one heed any attention to him.
He finally decided to make a music video about his horrible experience with United and called it 'United Breaks Guitars'.
The music video went viral and the airline gave his money but the damage to their reputation was already done.
And if you think that United only lost their reputation and not any big money than hear me out. The song gathered enough bad PR for the company that their stock was reduced by 10% costing the shareholders $180 million and this happened only within four days after the song was launched. With that money United could have bought Dave more than 51000 guitars.
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This fellowship will be hosted by the Endangered Archives Programme (EAP). The Programme is of international prominence in its mission to preserve documentary heritage at risk of destruction, neglect or physical deterioration. EAP funds projects from all over the world, to create digital copies of collections and deposit these both locally and within the British Library.
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How an American bartender took $20k reward to aid Onyema’s ‘$20m fraud’. Premium Times
Spirit Cleansing in the Zambezi River
In 2008, the management team of Zimbabwean second division football club Midland Portland Cement reportedly told the players to bathe in the Zambezi river near Victoria Falls, in order to "cleanse the team of bad spirits", before a match.
About 16 players went into the river, but only 15 came out, as one of the players disappeared and was thought to have drowned, as he was never found.
The river was also believed to be infested with crocodiles and hippos, so no one was actually sure what happened.
A quiz for tech bros and sis. Test your knowledge about all things technology while having some nerdy fun.
What technology is used to record crypto transactions? Digital Wallet or Blockchain?
Approx. how much data exists in the digital universe today? A number in Terabytes or Zettabytes?