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Galaxy MACS1149-JD1 is 13.28 billion light years away and contains the most distant detection of oxygen @SkyNews
The galaxy's stars are believed to have formed 250 million years after
the birth of the universe, earlier than any others known.
The faint light of the galaxy has taken so long to reach Earth that
its journey began just 500 million years after the Big Bang.
Dr Nicolas Laporte, from University College London, who co-led the
team, said: "This is an exciting discovery as this galaxy is seen at a
time when the Universe was only 500 million years old and yet it
already has a population of mature stars.
"We are therefore able to use this galaxy to probe into an earlier,
completely uncharted, period of cosmic history."
The "cosmic dawn" refers to the mysterious period in which the first
galaxies emerged from total darkness.
Co-author Professor Richard Ellis, also from UCL, said: "Determining
when cosmic dawn occurred is akin to the Holy Grail of cosmology and
"With MACS1149-JD1, we have managed to probe history beyond the limits
of when we can actually detect galaxies with current facilities.
"There is renewed optimism we are getting closer and closer to
witnessing directly the birth of starlight.
His wife's handbag collection was worth millions more than Imelda Marcos's shoes. @nytimesworld
Law & Politics
Just a few months ago, the political machine led by Najib Razak, the
gilded prime minister of Malaysia, appeared so indestructible that a
multibillion-dollar corruption scandal seemed unlikely to derail it.
The end came so quickly, so completely, that even his opponents were
For nearly a decade, Mr. Najib, 64, had unfettered control of his
nation’s courts and coffers. His party had thrived by unfailingly
delivering huge cash handouts at election time. The media was at his
disposal; journalists he didn’t like, he shut down. Political foes
were shoved into prison.
The pampered son of a prime minister and nephew of another, Mr. Najib
enjoyed the friendship of President Trump, who after playing golf with
him in 2014 gave him a photo inscribed, “To my favorite prime
But his authority suddenly evaporated in the early hours after
Malaysia’s national elections on May 9 delivered a commanding majority
to the opposition, now led by the political titan who had once lifted
Mr. Najib to power: the 92-year-old Mahathir Mohamad.
Now, Mr. Najib is suddenly vulnerable to criminal charges at home, as
well as a reinvigorated effort by the Justice Department as it pursues
billions of dollars missing from 1Malaysia Development Berhad, the
country’s state investment fund supervised by Mr. Najib for years.
Prosecutors say that hundreds of millions of dollars from the fund
appeared in Mr. Najib’s personal account and was spent on luxury items
including a 22-carat pink diamond necklace, worth $27.3 million, for
his wife. In all some $7.5 billion was stolen from the fund,
prosecutors say, and spent on paintings by Monet, Van Gogh and Warhol
and others worth more than $200 million; on luxury real estate in the
United States; and even on a megayacht for a family friend, Jho Low,
who reveled in his Hollywood connections.
Mr. Najib’s stepdaughter, Azrene Ahmad, took to Instagram on Friday
with an emotional condemnation of him and her mother, Rosmah Mansor,
who had become widely known here for piling up designer labels,
garlands of jewelry and a multimillion-dollar handbag collection that
more than rivaled the shoe fetish of Imelda Marcos, the former first
lady of the Philippines.
“Today marks the end of a day of tyranny that many have prayed for,”
Ms. Azrene wrote, describing how she had “witnessed many trespasses,
deals and handshakes these two made for the benefit of power and to
fuel their appetite for greed.”
“The numerous offshore accounts opened to launder money out of the
country for their personal spending,” she continued, cataloging her
accusations against them. “The steel safes full of jewels, precious
stones and cash amassed. Being made a cash mule.”
Mr. Mahathir, who was sworn in as prime minister on Thursday, has
called Mr. Najib a thief and said he must face the consequences of his
actions. “High or low, all are subject to the law,” Mr. Mahathir said
Sunday at a news conference.
“This totally changes everything,” said Ren McEachern, a former
supervisory special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation who
specialized in international corruption. “Now that he’s out of office,
there could be an appetite for criminal charges.”
“The day I left home I left you a warning,” Ms. Azrene, his
stepdaughter, wrote on Instagram. “There will come a reckoning when
the people will punish you for your trespasses on them. There will
come a day when God will punish you for your trespasses, the very
people you swore to protect.”
Still, the legacies of Mr. Najib’s father, who was the second prime
minister of Malaysia, and his uncle, who was the country’s third,
helped make up for his lack of grass-roots appeal. In interviews, Mr.
Najib was smooth, gracious and somewhat distant.
“Najib grew up thinking that leading the country was his birthright,”
said Rafizi Ramli, a top strategist for the opposition that ousted Mr.
Najib and the National Front coalition. “He doesn’t realize that you
have to earn the people’s trust and maintain the people’s trust. He is
completely removed from Malaysia, the real Malaysia.”
But his reputation was tarnished years before he became prime minister in 2009.
In 2006, when Mr. Najib was deputy prime minister, the Mongolian
mistress of one of his advisers, Abdul Razak Baginda, was killed,
blown up by military-grade explosives. Two of Mr. Najib’s bodyguards
were eventually convicted in her murder.
French investigators are still examining whether Mr. Najib, during his
time as defense minister, might have personally profited from around
$130 million in kickbacks related to a transaction for French
submarines. Before she was killed, the Mongolian woman, Altantuya
Shaariibuu, claimed she was owed half a million dollars for brokering
In 2016, the United States Department of Justice dropped a bombshell:
A person it referred to as Malaysian Official 1 had siphoned $731
million from 1MDB. Officials privately confirmed that Mr. Najib was
Malaysian Official 1.
The Justice Department’s accusations continued: In total, more than
$4.5 billion in 1MDB funds was laundered through American banks,
enriching Mr. Najib, his family and friends, prosecutors said.
It said $250 million went for a megayacht, complete with a helicopter
pad and movie theater, built for Jho Low, a financier friend of Mr.
Najib’s stepson, Riza Aziz. Mr. Low is accused of being central to the
plot, and federal prosecutors said he used 1MDB funds to buy the actor
Leonardo DiCaprio a $3.2 million Picasso painting for his birthday.
The Australian model Miranda Kerr received $8 million in jewelry.
(Both have since returned the gifts.)
The Malaysian political establishment wondered how the son of a
famously ascetic prime minister had grown so venal and careless. “If
you want to steal this kind of money, why would you put it in your own
account?” said James Chin, a Malaysian who is the director of the Asia
Institute at the University of Tasmania. “It shows such arrogance.”
Her habit of taking chartered shopping expeditions to Europe and
Australia, presumably at the expense of Malaysian taxpayers, became
In 2015, when Mr. Najib’s and Ms. Rosmah’s daughter married the nephew
of President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan, guests were
astonished by their lavish wedding celebrations. Mr. Mahathir, who
attended one party, recalled seeing soldiers lugging at least 17
trunks loaded with luxury gifts for the guests. “I had never seen that
even at royal weddings,” he said in an interview with The New York
Times in 2016.
Fazley Yaakob, the husband of Mr. Najib’s stepdaughter, offered
another story, which he recounted on Instagram after Mr. Najib lost
the election. Before the two were married, Mr. Fazley wrote, Ms.
Rosmah hired a witch doctor to assess the suitability of the union.
The witch doctor warned against the marriage because Mr. Fazley,
unlike others, would be able to resist Ms. Rosmah’s supernatural
Yet even as public outrage intensified, Mr. Najib seemed curiously
removed from reality. In omnipresent campaign billboards, he hogged
the limelight, his grin and upturned hands evoking less a statesman
than a salesman. Malaysian voters were supposed to acquiesce to
whatever deal he had on offer.
Mr. Mahathir said he had a falling out with Mr. Najib because of his
protégé’s insistence that “cash is king,” both in politics and
“The Najib brand is toxic,” said Mr. Chin of the University of
Tasmania. “There was no way he could run away from this.”
On Sunday, Mr. Najib and Ms. Rosmah were still holed up in their
mansion in Kuala Lumpur. A bodyguard at their home, who asked not to
be identified in the press out of fear of reprisals, said that the
stream of cronies who once knocked at their door had stopped. Even
their housekeeper, he said, had deserted them.
How the Prince Got Rich. Hint: using the state. Fantastic deep dive into MBS's accumulation of wealth in Saudi Arabia, by @bradleyhope & @ScheckWSJ @WSJ
Law & Politics
RIYADH—Prince Mohammed bin Salman was a teenager when he realized his
father, Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, was, by Saudi royal standards, a
While other sons of Saudi Arabia’s founder grew wealthy from
government business, Salman, then the governor of this capital city,
supported his family with handouts from his brother the king. Mohammed
decided to change that, he later told associates.
Nearly two decades later, Salman is king, and Mohammed bin Salman,
known as MBS, is the crown prince who says he wants to crack down on
corruption and remake the Saudi economy along more modern lines.
Prince Mohammed is also fantastically wealthy. In recent years, he has
acquired one of the world’s largest yachts, a French palace and a $450
million Leonardo da Vinci painting that was later donated to the
United Arab Emirates.
Among the connections: Prince Mohammed is managing director—and 20%
owner—of a chemical producer that supplies large, state-controlled
firms, Saudi corporate filings showed as recently as last year. A
company majority-owned by two of the crown prince’s younger brothers
was awarded a coveted broadband license from the government, Saudi
Additionally, in 2015, Prince Mohammed helped engineer a
multibillion-dollar deal between European plane giant Airbus SE and
Saudi Arabia’s state-owned Saudia Airlines, according to documents
reviewed by The Wall Street Journal and interviews with more than a
dozen people involved in the transaction. The deal is worth tens of
millions of dollars to his family, the documents show.
ALIF used the money to buy Airbus planes at a big discount—more than
60% off the list price, say people familiar with the deal. By leasing
the planes to Saudia at about market-rate, rather than passing on the
discount, ALIF targeted 15% returns. That’s higher than the normal 7%
to 9% returns for a fund handling such long-term leases to an airline
like Saudia, says Paul Lyons of U.K. aviation-business consultancy IBA
Prince Mohammed finalized the deal during a 2015 visit to France, says
a Saudi official with knowledge of the transaction. Not long after, at
a gathering in a Saudi palace, the crown prince took credit for the
transaction, according to a person who was present.
“I am the mastermind behind this deal,” the prince said, explaining
how it showed his success in balancing state financial interests with
UK's #CDC breaks lending drought for #Zimbabwe via $100m loan w/ #stanchart collaboration via @financialtimes
The UK is teaming up with Standard Chartered Bank to lend $100m to
Zimbabwean companies in what will be the British government’s first
direct commercial loan to the southern African nation’s private sector
in more than 20 years.
The loan is the biggest sign of a thaw in the UK-Zimbabwe relationship
since London imposed sanctions on Robert Mugabe’s regime in the early
2000s. The rapprochement follows Mr Mugabe’s forced resignation in
November in a “soft coup” that ended his 37-year rule.
The CDC, Britain’s development finance institution, will share the
default risk on loans to provide foreign exchange to dollar-starved
Zimbabwean businesses that are struggling to operate.
Nick O’Donohoe, the CDC’s chief executive, said his organisation had
been preparing the loan facility since the day Mr Mugabe was replaced
by his former deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa.
“We think it's pretty significant,” he said, adding that the last
direct CDC loan to Zimbabwe was to a fish farm in 1994. “We are not
aware of any commitments that have been made by anybody since the
change of government.”
Tendai Biti, an opposition politician, said foreign governments should
wait to lend until credible elections had taken place. “This attempt
to put lipstick on the crocodile is most unfortunate,” he said,
alluding to Mr Mnangagwa’s reptilian nickname.
The CDC and Standard Chartered are finalising a list of companies that
can access loans that are likely to focus on the food processing,
manufacturing and agricultural sectors. The loans, which will be for
up to three years, can be used for capital expenditure or working
“Zimbabwe’s economy has been shattered over the last two decades, yet
holds real potential,” Mr O’Donohoe said. “If a new government in
post-election Zimbabwe encourages investment and pro-business
policies, Zimbabwe can be one of the great investment success stories
of the next decade.”
Sunil Kaushal, regional chief executive of Standard Chartered Bank,
said the loan facility was similar to that of a previous partnership
with the CDC when the two lent to Sierra Leone at the height of the
Ebola epidemic in 2015.
@IMFNews to Africa: Put away the credit cards @mailandguardian @simonallison
First, the good news: there has been a modest increase in economic
growth in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the International Monetary
Fund’s (IMF) latest regional economic outlook. This growth, projected
at about 3.5% in 2018, is nearly a percentage point higher than last
year, mostly thanks to stronger global growth and improved prices for
commodities such as oil, aluminium, iron ore, copper, cotton, tea and
But “these conditions are not expected to last very long”, warns Papa
N’Diaye, a senior IMF official.
That’s not the bad news. The real worry is the number of countries
struggling with ballooning debt. The IMF says that six African
countries are in debt distress — Chad, Eritrea, Mozambique, the
Republic of Congo, South Sudan and Zimbabwe. Another nine countries
are at high risk of debt distress.
One statistic illustrates the scale of the problem: over the past four
years, repaying national debt has, on average, tripled as a percentage
of national expenditure — from 4% in 2013 to a whopping 12% in 2017.
Tanzania has always been an autocracy, says opposition leader Tundu Lissu. via @TheAfricaReport
To be sure, my attempted assassination is a dark moment in Tanzania’s
recent history, but it is certainly not an isolated incident. Magufuli
has overseen a brutal crackdown on the opposition since he came into
office in November 2015. I have been arrested six times since then,
and my colleague Zitto Kabwe, leader of Alliance for Change and
Transparency-Wazalendo, has been arrested several times as well. Just
two weeks before I was attacked, the Dar es Salaam offices of my
lawyer, Fatma Karume, were bombed. There have been dozens of
abductions of journalists and politicians, and a litany of attacks by
special forces known as ‘zombies’ against opposition members.
Magufuli is different from his predecessors. Former presidents were
fully conscious of their vast powers, but they were careful to hide
them. They practised the Kiswahili saying ‘ukila na kipofu,
usimshikemkono’ (When you eat from a blind man’s plate, don’t touch
his hand.) So the blind, both in Tanzania and abroad, believed that
Tanzania was a multiparty democracy, while it was in fact a one-party
Magufuli has declared an absolute ban on public demonstrations. On the
pretext of saving government expenses, Magufuli has banned the live
transmission of parliamentary sessions. What is available for
consumption is determined by Magufuli, as he warns newspapers, TV and
radio stations about their contents. Even social media has been
subject to Magufuli’s whims. Youths have been arrested and charged for
criticising Magufuli on their Facebook pages. Members of WhatsApp
groups have been arrested and charged under the draconian 2015 Media
Fortunately for all of us, John Pombe Magufuli sees no reason to
refrain from touching the blind man’s hand, and Tanzanians are waking
up to the fact that we permitted CCM to take all our freedoms on the
pretext of nation-building. With that awareness, trust in those who
allegedly brought us freedom is eroding slowly but surely.
Fearing bloodshed, Burundi faces vote on president's power @AP
Burundians vote Thursday in a referendum that could keep the president
in power for another 16 years and threatens to prolong a political
crisis that has seen more than 1,000 people killed and hundreds of
thousands fleeing to neighboring countries.
Many in this East African nation do not see a positive outcome no
matter the results of the vote, which President Pierre Nkurunziza’s
government forced through despite widespread opposition and the
concerns of the United States and others warning of continued
bloodshed. The country descended into crisis in 2015 when Nkurunziza
pursued a disputed third term.
Now Burundi’s 5 million voters are asked to approve a change to the
constitution that would extend the length of the president’s term from
five years to seven and would allow him to stand for two more terms.
Nkurunziza has forcefully urged voters to support the referendum.
“Whoever opposes this election will meet God’s power,” the president
warned earlier this month while campaigning.
Tensions are even higher after unidentified attackers armed with
machetes and guns carried out a massacre Friday in the rural northwest
near Congo, killing 26 people, many of them children. The government
blamed a “terrorist group.”
While it is not clear whether the attack was linked to Thursday’s
referendum, it was “a very dangerous development,” United Nations
human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein said Tuesday.
Zeid, who has called Burundi one of “the most prolific slaughterhouses
of humans in recent times,” warned that “everyone will suffer” if
Burundi explodes into violence during or after the vote.
Opposition leaders call Nkurunziza, declared in March by the ruling
party as “supreme guide of all times,” a dictator unwilling to leave
“President Nkurunziza had declared that he would leave in 2020,”
Agathon Rwasa, chairman of the Amizero y’Abarundi opposition
coalition, told a rally on Monday. “Now he wants to remain in power
arguing that he was sent by God” while both the economy and diplomatic
One man told the AP he will vote for changing the constitution even
though he opposes it because he fears there will be secret cameras
spying on people in the voting booth.
“So I will go to vote for ‘yes’ in order to save my job,” the public
transport operator said, speaking on condition of anonymity for safety
DRC's cut-throat drama will leave Congolese people the losers @financialtimes
Gertler, Gécamines and Glencore sound like the founding fathers of a
crusty old law firm. In fact, they are among the principal actors in a
cut-throat drama that will help determine not only the price of cobalt
and electric car batteries, but also the political future of the
not-so-Democratic Republic of Congo.
Who are they? Dan Gertler is an Israeli billionaire who, over two
decades, has made himself the gatekeeper of Congo’s mineral wealth
thanks to his close relations with the president.
Often under a cloud of suspicion, Mr Gertler was put on a sanctions
list last year by the US Treasury, which said he had “amassed his
fortune through hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of opaque and
corrupt mining and oil deals”. Mr Gertler has always denied any
wrongdoing, saying he deserves the Nobel Prize — presumably for peace,
not fiction — for bringing billions of dollars to the Congolese
Gécamines is Congo’s state-owned mining company, without whose say-so
few mining deals get done.
Glencore, meanwhile, is a buccaneering Anglo-Swiss mining and
commodities trader that has been in business with Mr Gertler for a
decade. In 2008, it took over Canada’s Katanga Mining, whose main
asset is the giant Kamoto copper and cobalt mine, in which Mr Gertler
already held a stake. It is also a joint venture partner of Gécamines,
which has a 25 per cent stake in Kamoto.
These ties are fraying. Last month, Mr Gertler began legal action
against Glencore, claiming nearly $3bn in unpaid royalties. Glencore
says it was forced to stop paying Mr Gertler because of US sanctions.
Meanwhile, Gécamines is threatening to dissolve its joint venture with
Glencore, accusing the Swiss company of “draining” the company of
assets, thus squeezing dividends.
Gertler seeks $3bn freezing order on Glencore’s DRC assets after sanctions
Behind the three Gs is another actor. Call him “K”. Joseph Kabila has
been Congo’s president since 2001, following the assassination of his
father. He was supposed to have left office in December 2016, but
elections to find his replacement never took place.
Working out what is happening in Congolese politics is like
Kremlinology in the jungle, but something along these lines seems to
be going on. Mr Kabila does not want to leave office. Not only is his
own fortune and security wrapped up in the presidency, so is that of
his family — several of whose members have profited from proximity to
But Mr Kabila’s thinking seems to have changed. After two years of
putting off the elections, he is now racing towards them. The catalyst
may have been the US move against Mr Gertler, which Mr Kabila could
have interpreted as an attempt to squeeze his own finances.
Few think the president, who is constitutionally barred from running
again, is simply going to bow out. One theory is that he will try to
install a successor, although no credible name has emerged. Another is
that he could hold provincial and parliamentary elections first, and
hope to hang on — perhaps by amending the constitution.
What does all this have to do with the three Gs? The unifying forces
are cobalt and cash. To hold the elections on his own terms, Mr Kabila
needs money. In Congo, that means minerals. Today it means cobalt, a
key component of iPhones and electric batteries whose price has
quadrupled since 2016 — and could rise again given events in the DRC.
Mr Kabila is pushing through a new mining code that will sharply
increase royalties. Gécamines has made its move to dissolve the
Glencore joint venture, in what could be a shot across the bows or
even an attempt to wrest control of the giant Kamoto mine.
Meanwhile, the unrest that Mr Kabila has used as a pretext to postpone
elections is spreading. Hundreds of thousands of people have fled
fighting in central Kasai province. In the east of the country,
guerrilla groups are on the move again. Ebola has broken out in
Equateur province and, in North Kivu province, Africa’s oldest
national park, Virunga, has closed after the killing of park rangers.
As the western-Europe sized country lurches deeper into crisis, for
most Congolese the prospects for education, health and jobs remain
There could be winners from this mess. Glencore could still emerge
with a grip over much of the world's cobalt. The Chinese may also take
advantage, tightening their stranglehold over processed cobalt and
batteries. Even Mr Kabila’s plots to retain power could plausibly
The one group who are bound to lose are the Congolese people. They may
be sitting on over 60 per cent of the world’s cobalt — and thus the
future of the auto industry for a decade to come. But as foreign
companies, businessmen and the Congolese government scrap over the
loot, it is they who will inevitably suffer.
@KeEquityBank Equity Bank share price data here
Par Value: 0.50/-
Closing Price: 50.00
Total Shares Issued: 3702777020.00
Market Capitalization: 185,138,851,000
Equity Group Holdings PLC Q1 2018 results through 31st March 2018 vs.
31st March 2017
Q1 Investment securities 150.181142b vs. 112.988818b +32.917%
Q1 Loans and advances to customers (net) 271.075482b vs. 261.899197b +3.504%
Q1 Customer deposits 382.422176b vs. 347.514400b +10.045%
Q1 Net interest income 9.817591b vs. 8.885956b +8.634%
Q1 Total operating income 16.533236b vs. 15.219252b +8.634%
Q1 Total operating expenses [8.206367b] vs. [8.318470b] -1.348%
Q1 Profit after tax, exceptional items and minority interests
5.867815b vs. 4.832661b +21.420%
EPS 1.55 vs. 1.28 +21.094%
Net NPL and advances 9.314390b vs. 10.106100b -7.834%
KCB Group share price data
Par Value: 1/-
Closing Price: 50.50
Total Shares Issued: 3066056647.00
Market Capitalization: 154,835,860,674
KCB Group PLC Q1 2018 results through 31st March 2018 vs. 31st March 2017
Q1 Kenya government securities available for sale 69.478995b vs.
Q1 Loans and advances to customers (net) 418.618183b vs. 395.491270b +5.848%
Q1 Customer deposits 496.366083b vs. 456.815151b +8.658%
Q1 Net interest income/ [loss] 11.426333b vs. 10.344811b +10.455%
Q1 Total operating income 16.967299b vs. 15.908603b +6.655%
Q1 Total other operating expenses [9.483130b] vs. [9.316585b] +1.788%
Q1 Profit/ [Loss] after tax and exceptional items 5.183508b vs.
EPS 6.76 vs. 5.93 +13.997%
Net NPL and advances 18.112156b vs. 8.154838b +122.103%