Promoting private capital-driven economy to unlock growth

At no time does Nigeria have the need to unlock growth in its economy than now when the noose is being tightened around its neck by the twin evils of recession and inflation, which, respectively, have crimped income and rubbished the value of whatever is available. This makes it necessary, if not imperative for the country to seek ways of promoting and catalyzing investment of private capital in its economy in order to unlock growth, which the economy lacks as a result of the prevailing situation in the country. The…

Uffizi Galleries launches new cooking show on Facebook

Some paintings, such as Jan Davidszoon de Heem’s «Still Life with Fruit and Ham,» can whet your appetite. That’s why the Uffizi Galleries have decided to launch a series of Italian-language videos, in which Florentine chefs present recipes inspired by some of the most mouthwatering artworks from their collection. Buon appetito! This new series, titled «Uffizi da mangiare» («Uffizi on a plate»), will be posted every Sunday on the museum’s website and on Facebook. Its inaugural episode finds TV personality and restaurateur Fabio Picchi pairing the contents of Giacomo Ceruti’s «Boy…

Fortnite: FNCS Chapter 2 — Season 5 Prize Pool, Format, Scoring System & More!

ESTNN breaks down everything we know thus far about FNCS Chapter 2 — Season 5. Epic Games just dropped a giant bombshell, revealing that they’ve allocated $20M USD to Fortnite’s flagship seasonal Champion Series competition. Chapter 2 — Season 5 will begin what could be one of the best competitive seasons to date. Although the shotgun meta is questionable, Epic has unveiled changes to the current loot pool for balancing and fairness purposes. Ready or not, FNCS Chapter 2 — Season 5 is around the corner. Professional players worldwide are…

Caris LeVert says he was prepared to be traded from Nets but says it was ‘tough to hear,’ calls four years with team ‘spectacular’

NEW YORK — Caris LeVert was sleeping as part of his usual pregame nap when his phone started going off. It was 4 p.m. (or maybe 4:30, he couldn’t be sure) ahead of tipoff against the Knicks on Jan. 13 when he woke up to hundreds of texts, missed calls and notifications on his phone, so many his lock screen continued refreshing itself. At the same time, Nets GM Sean Marks was calling. The Nets had traded LeVert and three of his teammates in a deal that landed James Harden.…

CLG Finn gets his visa approved, but Broxah is still waiting

CLG will soon see its new top laner Finn “Finn” Wiestål arrive in Los Angeles to compete with the team. After failing to get his North American visa in time for the LCS Lock In tournament, Counter Logic Gaming’s new top laner Finn has finally gotten it approved and will be joining up with his new team soon. Finn joined CLG in the offseason after making it all the way to the 2020 World Championship with Rogue of the LEC. The Swedish top laner will replace Kim “Ruin” Hyeong-min, who…

What awaits Hong Kong in 2021?

Image by the Stand News. Used with permission. The recent mass arrest of pro-democracy activists and politicians in Hong Kong for participating in primary elections has sent shockwaves through a city for which the bad news just keeps on coming. Here are six developments expected to happen this year. 1. More arrestsAuthorities have begun targeting people outside the core of the pro-democracy movement, such as those who have provided support to anti-government groups or networks. On January 14, 11 people were arrested for allegedly helping 12 others to flee to…

Frustrated Amazon villagers tackle Covid with faith potions

Bela Vista do Jaraqui (Brasil) (AFP) — Remote Amazon village communities, feeling abandoned by the state, are turning to religion and traditional remedies for protection in the coronavirus pandemic. Raimundo Leite de Sousa, 34, claims he recovered from Covid-19 with a potion made from the stinktoe and crabwood plants, flavored with lemon and garlic. «It (the virus) bent me over double but it didn’t take me,» said Leite de Sousa, who avoided the fate of some 210,000 other Brazilians who have died — a national toll surpassed only by that…

News briefs

Sacramento County sheriff’s deputy, K9 and suspect dead after shootoutA Sacramento County sheriff’s deputy, police dog and suspect are dead after a shootout Monday night in Sacramento, California. Around 10 p.m., deputies pulled over a vehicle they suspected was involved in some burglaries, sheriff’s officials said. The driver became uncooperative and fled, eventually crashing his car into a curb inside the Cal Expo complex, where the California State Fair is held. He refused to exit the car, even after deputies shot beanbag rounds into the back window, according to sheriff’s…

Border Patrol: 15 aboard boat detained in thwarted smuggling attempt in San Diego

SAN DIEGO — Authorities in San Diego stopped a boat at sea and detained 15 Mexican nationals who were being smuggled into the United States on Saturday, including a convicted rapist, a Border Patrol official said Tuesday. The Coast Guard stopped the personal craft-style boat about 2:45 p.m. Pacific time and towed it to a Mission Bay lifeguard station. There, Border Patrol agents questioned the group onboard — four women and 11 men — and determined they were in the U.S. illegally, Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Jeff Stephenson said. He…

Social media faces reckoning as Trump ban forces reset

Washington (AFP) — Social media giants crossed a threshold in banning US President Donald Trump and an array of his supporters — and now face a quandary on defining their efforts to remain politically neutral while promoting democracy and free speech. After the unprecedented violence in the seat of Congress, Trump was banned for inciting the rioters — on platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Google-owned YouTube and Snapchat. The alternative network Parler, which drew many Trump backers, was forced offline by Amazon’s web services unit. The bans broke new ground for…

Before leaving office, Trump sends final deportation flight to Haiti

MIAMI — The Trump administration sent a final deportation flight to Haiti on the eve of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, who has promised to halt removals during his first 100 days. In a last salvo of President Donald Trump’s hardline policy, Immigration and Customs Enforcement chartered a flight Tuesday operated by Swift Air, which departed from Louisiana and arrived in Port-au-Prince by early afternoon. A total of 25 deportees landed in the capital, including five infants, Jean Négot Bonheur Delva, the head of Haiti’s Office of National Migration…

Mark Bradley: Don Sutton: Great at pitching, greater at talking about it

I didn’t like Don Sutton. I grew up tracking the Reds, and he was very good at beating the Reds at a time when almost nobody did. Plus, he looked kind of arrogant – all the Dodgers’ pitchers did – while beating them. Plus, he had a publicized clubhouse dust-up with Steve Garvey, who was the first person to tell me, when I became a sportswriter, that I asked good questions. He also was the last person to tell me I asked good questions, but I digress. I didn’t like…

Mark Bradley: In Terry Fontenot, the Falcons have found their leader

It has, goodness knows, been hard to take the Falcons seriously. They’ve been to two Super Bowls and messed up both. They’ve hired coaches who were gimmick guys (Jerry Glanville) and slogan guys (Dan Quinn). They often act as if they know everything, but somehow they don’t know the rule about onside kicks. Over the breadth of their history, they’ve been an easy punchline. That just changed. They now have Terry Fontenot as their general manager. He’s a star. He’s the sort of person who’d have succeeded at whatever he…

FEATURE: Education adds to Japan’s latest exports to developing nations

One afternoon at an elementary school on the outskirts of Cairo, first-grade Egyptian students were busy wiping their desks clean and sweeping the floor with brooms under the supervision of teaching staff. The scene, observed recently by a Japan International Cooperation Agency official, represents one of the class activities in a curriculum based on the Japanese education method that emphasizes moral training and social harmony, in addition to acquiring academic skills. At more than 40 Japanese-style schools launched in Egypt since 2018 in partnership with the Japanese government, children ti…

FG insists $1.59bn Kano-Maradi rail project viable

Nigeria’s minister of transportation, Rotimi Ameachi, says the federal government led by President Muhammadu Buhari is embarking on the construction of a rail line to link Kano with Maradi in Niger Republic in order to boost Nigeria’s economy. The 283.7 kilometer rail project has continued to raise public concern as to the economic viability of the rail corridor when there are other parts of the country where passenger and cargo train services have been neglected for many years. Government had also earlier debunked impression making the rounds in certain quarters…

Ty Dillon gets a Daytona 500 shot with Gaunt Brothers Racing

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Ty Dillon will drive for Gaunt Brothers Racing in an attempt to qualify for this year’s Daytona 500, the team announced Tuesday. Dillon, 28, was out of a full-time Cup ride at the end of last season when Germain Racing closed its shop, but he will land in the No. 96 Toyota Camry for GBR, a single-car team, to start the 2021 season. GBR is not guaranteed entry into the main event and doesn’t have a Cup charter, so Dillon will be competing for one of four…

Biden leads Covid memorial on eve of inauguration

Washington (AFP) — President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday signalled a new tone for the US government by leading a powerful tribute to the 400,000 Americans lost to Covid-19 as he arrived in Washington on the eve of his inauguration. Biden, who has suffered deep personal tragedy and is known for his public displays of emotion, has stressed the need to unite the country after President Donald Trump’s chaotic four years in office. «It’s hard sometimes to remember, but that’s how we heal. It’s important to do that as a nation,»…

Shoe Shopping in Japan: The Size Conundrum

OK ladies, so you’re in Japan and already inspired by the myriad of amazing fashions you see every day, and now you need new shoes. So you head out to the shops, only to end up disappointed and frustrated that the majority of the gorgeous styles on sale are not available in your size. But don’t fret; there are solutions out there if you know where to look. Even as Japanese people become taller and larger on average than their ancestors, the retail scene here is very slow to catch…

Trump’s end may be just the beginning

Wednesday marks the end of the Trump presidency. But the inauguration of Joe Biden, the next American president, does not close the door on the Trump movement. The ominous air hanging over Biden’s inauguration and the days leading up to it confirms that Trumpism — the culture of rage fueling his disparate base of supporters — will remain. And more than just remain, it will shape the turbulent and blurred landscape of American politics with its escalating culture wars. Trump rode that rage into the White House four years ago.…

US soldier charged with plotting IS attack on 9/11 Memorial

A US Army soldier was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly trying to help Islamic State fighters attack American troops and targets in New York, including the 9/11 Memorial. Cole James Bridges — who is 20 and from the state of Ohio — faces federal terrorism charges, United States prosecutors said in a statement. Bridges — a private based at Fort Stewart, Georgia — began researching jihadist ideology and expressing support for the Islamic State on social media shortly after joining the army in September 2019, prosecutors say. In October 2020,…

The public’s perception of the harms of magic mushrooms is in line with science — but not with the law

New research suggests that the public’s perception of the potential harms of magic mushrooms is not in line with drug laws. The study, which appears in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, found that psilocybin-containing mushrooms are considered less dangerous than alcohol, tobacco, and other substances. “I am a psychopharmacologist at the University of Liverpool, so I have a great interest in how substances affect the brain and behavior,” said study author Carl Roberts, a lecturer in the university’s department of psychology. “I have long been following the resurgence in research with…

Indian agritechs grab investor attention, drive agriculture modernization

By Atul Ranjan and Celine Chen NEW DELHI, NNA — Agritech, one of the hottest investment segments in recent years, is expected to see further growth and adoption in India, where agriculture has remained remarkably resilient during the pandemic. Indian agritech startups which are bringing innovation to the farming sector by leveraging various technologies have caught the attention of investors betting on emerging opportunities amid agriculture modernization push across the world, including India. According to research firm Venture Intelligence that tracks private equity and venture capital inves…

US urges Australia to abandon news payment plan for tech giants

Sydney (AFP) — The United States has urged Australia to abandon its plan to force Google and Facebook to pay media outlets for their news content, saying there could be «long-lasting negative consequences» for consumers and companies. Australia wants to force the US tech giants to pay local media organisations for hosting news content or face millions of dollars in fines, in one of the most aggressive moves globally to check their power. It will apply to Facebook’s «News Feed» and Google searches, prompting the digital firms to threaten to limit…

The wearables sector is doing well in the time of pandemic

In 2020, the wearables market saw global sales of $68.9 billion worldwide, up nearly 50% in one year, according to Gartner. This spectacular increase should continue in 2021 with an estimated turnover of 81.5 billion dollars. Wireless headsets alone account for nearly half of this market. Wireless earpieces, such as AirPods, are offering a huge boost to sales of wearables. This category includes devices for listening to music at home, those designed to block out the noise in public transport, those specially adapted for fitness activities as well as those…

MP SPEAKS | Audit functionality of CCTV in all police stations

MP SPEAKS | I welcome the charged reaction by the Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador to have all those responsible for the lock-up rage to be charged in court and there will be no compromise on it. The first step in handling a rape case of this magnitude is a resolute admission and acknowledgement that a rape did indeed happen within the walls of the police lock-up and that the perpetrators be charged in court, as advocated by DAP Senator Alan Ling who had accompanied the minor and her…

News briefs

US hits 24 million COVID-19 casesThe United States surpassed 24 million COVID-19 cases Monday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. At least 398,307 people have died from related complications since the pandemic began, as well. On Sunday, incoming U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention head Dr. Rochelle Walensky said the U.S. would likely pass 500,000 deaths by mid-February. The seven-day average for new deaths surged past 3,300, according to The COVID Tracking Project. The county has doubled its number of cases in the last 59 days after…

Why property value in Lagos Island slumps as Banana Island remains most expensive destination

For its inadequate and decaying infrastructure coupled with increasing densification, property value in Lagos Island is on a downward slope, making the neighbourhood a low-yield investment destination. But, for its world class infrastructure and low density population, Banana Island remains the most expensive destination in Nigeria. This is the country’s most exclusive and most sought after location for investors and home buyers who can afford it. The man-made island whose name derives from its distinct shape, is in the league of San Diego’s La Jolla, New York City’s Tribeca, Tokyo’s…

US inaugurations: High drama and sore losers

Paris (AFP) — Outgoing US President Donald Trump will be far from the first to boycott his successor Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday — but his absence will be the first since 1869. In fact, many past inaugurations were conducted in a febrile atmosphere, with some turning to high drama: The boycottersPresidential bad blood goes back a long way. In 1801 the second US president John Adams snubbed his successor Thomas Jefferson, leaving the White House at dawn after calling his former vice-president as «a mean-spirited, low-lived son of a…

Biden pushes unity two days before taking over crisis-laden White House

Washington (AFP) — On the cusp of becoming president, Joe Biden pressed Monday for unity, while President Donald Trump remained secluded in the White House at the center of a capital inundated with troops and security barriers. Biden marked the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday with a trip from his home in Delaware to pack food bags for charity in Philadelphia — a gesture symbolizing his call for Americans to come together after four divisive years. «Service is a fitting way to start to heal, unite, and rebuild this country…

Key dates of the Trump presidency

Washington (AFP) — From the launch of his campaign in 2015 to his defeat to Joe Biden, Donald Trump’s time in the White House was a chaotic roller coaster ride as he shattered norms, shunned allies, bullied anyone who opposed him and governed with laser focus on how his policies would play with his conservative political base. Here are some of the main dates punctuating Trump’s political career: First movesJanuary 25, 2017: Trump signs an executive order ordering construction to begin on the wall he promised to build on the…