Good morning. Sixty years after it was introduced, The Coca-Cola Company will replace Sprite’s iconic green plastic bottle with a clear one. Fresca, Mello Yello, and Seagram’s Ginger Ale will also ditch green plastic, which Coca-Cola says will increase the likelihood that the bottles are recycled because colored plastics aren’t used in many food-grade packaging items.
The end of an era.
South Africa. At least four people have died during protests over the cost of electricity. On Monday, residents angry at the high cost of basic services set ablaze a municipal building in Thembisa township, northeast of Johannesburg.
Global Health. Monkeypox deaths in Brazil, India, and Spain, the first outside of Africa, have raised global concerns to new heights. Like covid, this is bad news for everyone—except pharmaceutical companies, who have already seen a boost from pandemic fears.
Kuwait. Crown Prince Sheikh Al Sabah has dissolved the country's parliament. He has also approved a new cabinet and promised elections in the next two months. Kuwait is run by the emir-led government and a democratically elected parliament. Political parties are banned in the country.
1949 NBA is born
After a damaging three-year battle to win both players and fans, the rival Basketball Association of America (BAA) and National Basketball League (NBL) merge to form the National Basketball Association (NBA). NBA players are the world's best paid athletes.
The Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy has opposed the Federal Government's proposal to impose a 5% excise duty on the telecoms sector.
How can the Ministry oppose the same government it is part of?
Well, that's the part that is not clear on the matter. It had been disclosed last week that the government was considering a 5% tax on telecommunications products - calls, SMS, and data usage. But on Monday at a forum organised in Lagos by the Nigeria Office for Developing Indigenous Telecoms Sector (NODITS), an agency domiciled in the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, expressed opposition to the proposed tax.
The Minister argues that the time is not right for such plan, considering the current tough economic condition of Nigerians, insisting that a responsive government should be more concerned about easing the burden of citizens, not adding to it. Also faulting the process of the plan, Pantami said, “I have not been contacted officially. If we have, we surely will state our case. The sector that contributes to the economy should be encouraged. You introduce excise duty to discourage luxury goods, like alcohol. (But) broadband is a necessity!"
Who is behind the plan, if the sector's Minister has not been contacted?
It appears that the proposed tax originated from the ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning. Representing the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, the ministry's Assistant Director, Tax and Policy, Musa Umar, argued for the implementation of the 5% excise duty on telecommunications services. The tax is said to be one of the ways the ministry is exploring to boost revenue generation for the government.
“The issue of revenue is not something we need to shy away from. Our revenue can no longer take care of our needs as a country. Also, Nigeria is no longer making enough money in oil revenue, hence the attention is shifting to non-oil revenue sectors", Umar said. Stakeholders in the sector have also expressed opposition to the plan, and have said that the 5% tax, if implemented by the government, would be passed to subscribers. Source
The U.S House of Representatives Speaker, Nancy Pelosi arrived in Taiwan late Tuesday, despite China's repeated threats.
Yes, Pelosi arrived the island's capital, Taipei, on Tuesday, becoming the highest-ranking American official in 25 years to visit Taiwan. Exiting a U.S. Air Force passenger jet at Taipei’s international airport, Pelosi was welcomed by Taiwan's Foreign Minister and other Taiwanese and American officials. "We must stand by Taiwan”, she said in an opinion piece published by The Washington Post on her arrival in Taiwan, adding that “It is essential that America and our allies make clear that we never give in to autocrats".
How did China respond?
Beijing's response was instant. According to China’s official Xinhua News, the People’s Liberation Army plans to conduct live-fire drills from August 4 to August 7 in six different areas in the waters surrounding Taiwan. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi also had strong words for Washington over the visit. “Some American politicians are playing with fire on the issue of Taiwan", Wang said in a statement that described the U.S. as "the world's biggest saboteur of peace".
Talking out of both sides of the mouth?
Washington insists that Beijing has no valid cause for concern, as president Biden's administration says the U. S. remains committed to the 'one-China policy', which recognizes Beijing but allows informal relations and defense ties with Taiwan. Events in the U.S. capital are, however, not so reassuring. In a rare bipartisan move, and as a direct response to China's rhetoric, American senators are proposing legislation to strengthen Taiwan's defense.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will discuss the "Taiwan Policy Act," which has the backing of both Republicans and Democrats. With approximately $4.5b in security aid over the next four years, the package would improve Taiwan's defense capabilities while also offering further backing for the island's democratic government and civil society. Additionally, the bill would recognize Taiwan as a "major non-NATO ally," opening the door to additional benefits in security and trade. Source
Entrepreneurship Support Opportunity
Western Union Foundation Fellowship 2022
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Application Deadline: November 15, 2022. Apply Here
A New research presented Monday at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in San Diego, California reported finding that highly processed foods may hasten the rate of cognitive decline.
How did it make its findings?
The research examined the diets and cognition of more than 10,000 middle-aged and older adults in Brazil. Its findings, which have not yet undergone peer-review, found that participants who got 20% or more of their daily calories from ultra-processed foods experienced a faster decline in cognitive performance over 6 to 10 years than those with less processed food in their diets.
What are examples of these foods?
Examples of food items mentioned include; instant noodles, sugary drinks, frozen meals , crackers, cookies, white bread, hot dogs, fried snacks, cream cheese, ice cream, candy, soda, and other processed meats. Adults in the study who consumed the most processed food were found to have had a 25% faster decline in their ability to plan and execute an action, known as “executive function.”
In a related study published last week, researchers had reported finding that for every 10% increase in the daily intake of ultra-processed foods, people in the United Kingdom had a higher (25%) risk of developing dementia. Source
Police strategise, NSCDC warns as terrorists infiltrate South
After 168-day strike, ASUU issues four-week extension
North-West, South-West lead as INEC registers 96.2 million
UBA names Alawuba GMD, elevates directors
Bandits block Enugu-P’Harcourt highway, burn Army van, abduct scores of passengers
Native doctors drag CAC to court over registration
84 arrested after gang rape in South Africa
Japan is planning a big hike to its low minimum wages
Horror author Stephen King testifies against $2bn Penguin merger
UK PM favorite Liz Truss sparks upset with dig at Scotland leader
Uh, what is peecycling?
It might sound weird, but people have been nourishing crops with human urine for centuries.
Why? We ingest nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, then excrete them. Plants need them.
Urine as a fertilizer has several benefits...
A 170-carat pink diamond is found in Angola. The Guardian
EXPLAINER: A look at the missile that killed al-Qaida leader. AP News
Celebs who publicly apologized to fellow celebs. Stars Insider
20 mind-blowing facts about dinosaurs. Espresso
Why Donald Trump buried ex-wife Ivana at a golf course. Yahoo
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