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Tuesday 12th of January 2021

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Gorongosa Park is an amazing place, with an amazing story behind it. Here's the piece I wrote about it a few years back: @TheAtlantic @hofrench

MY FIRST GLIMPSE of E. O. Wilson came in July, in the late afternoon, when the light fades and dies with alarming speed in Mozambique. 

He had emerged from his cabin within Gorongosa National Park, one of southern Africa’s great, historic game reserves, just as the nightly winter chill was bestirring itself, and across an expanse of garden, he appeared almost spectral: tall, gaunt, white-haired, and possessed of a strange gait—slow and deliberate, yet almost woozy in the faint swerve described by each long-legged stride.

What made this park, at the southern extremity of Africa’s Great Rift Valley, of particular interest to him was the chance to revisit a field that he helped invent—biogeography, and specifically the special ecology and biodiversity of islands.

Gorongosa’s heavily wooded mountain of the same name was effectively incorporated into the park, by national decree, only last December. It is home to the only largely intact rain forest in all of Mozambique, a semitropical country roughly the size of Texas and Oklahoma. Solitary and broad-shouldered, the mountain rises more than 6,000 feet above the surrounding plains, providing a local climate unlike any other for hundreds of miles around it. It draws its water from the warm, moist winds that blow in from the nearby Indian Ocean, kissing its cool upper flanks and sustaining a unique ecosystem of rare orchids, mountain cypress, and rich bird life like the green-headed oriole, along with any number of other species yet to be identified.

For many years, the religious taboos of local residents kept the mountain from being opened to scientists and tourists, and also offered some measure of environmental protection. Nonetheless, a helicopter ride I recently took revealed the mountain to be under steady attack by locals setting fires to clear fields for farming and to smoke out wild edibles, from bushmeat to insect delicacies. Time and again, Wilson has come back to the subject of ecological hot spots like this in his writing. More than half of the planet’s plant and animal species live in tropical rain forests, which occupy a mere 6 percent of the world’s land surface—territory roughly the size of the lower 48 American states. Across these unique havens of biodiversity, Wilson has estimated that an area equivalent to half the state of Florida is being destroyed each year.

Wilson described Mount Gorongosa’s rain forest to me as “an island in a sea of grasslands,” and said that “biologists should be straining to get there,” to study it and to save it, just as they would some new reef system discovered in an underexplored part of the Pacific. Of the need to thoroughly survey places like Gorongosa, he wrote in his 1984 book, Biophilia: “No process being addressed by modern science is more complicated or, in my opinion, more important.”

Wilson’s first book, The Theory of Island Biogeography, published in 1967, became one of the most influential works in ecological studies. It offered a formula that mathematically predicts a geometric reduction in the biodiversity of a given habitat as the size of the habitat shrinks. Part of Wilson’s work at Gorongosa involved launching a survey of life on the mountain, and also seeking to understand the special dynamics of a park that is small by the standards of its continent, but that nonetheless may contain thousands of species never before discovered, many of them unique to this lonely peak.

In its heyday in the early 1970s, the park, with its savannas and floodplains, provided one of the richest nature- and game-viewing experiences anywhere in Africa, due particularly to the abundance of its so-called charismatic animals—lions, cheetahs, leopards, elephants, wildebeests, zebras, and more. Back then, it was said that one day spent in Gorongosa was equivalent to three in South Africa’s larger and more famous Kruger National Park. In 1977, however, a rebel movement named Renamo launched a civil war from headquarters in Gorongosa, and things went calamitously downhill.

Nearly a million Mozambicans died as a result of the war, and five times that many people were displaced. “Basically every day, there was fighting in this area, and soldiers slaughtered the animals for food, while ordinary people hunted them because it was impossible to farm,” said Domingos João Muala, a Mozambican park worker and ethnologist. This led to the wholesale elimination of both large grazing mammals and their predators, although I chanced on a pride of lions, rare within the park today, on one cold morning as we emerged from a Land Rover by the ruins of an old park lodge fittingly known as the Lion House.

Mozambique’s civil war came to a negotiated end in 1992, and multiparty elections followed two years later. Rehabilitation work on the park began in 1994, including the hiring of staff and the reopening of roads. Poaching has been gradually suppressed but remains a problem even now. Carr’s ambition is to restore as much of the original ecosystem as possible, all the way up to the apex predators, like cheetahs, four of which his foundation recently acquired for release onto park plains already teeming again with antelope, warthog, and baboon.

“For the naturalist, every entrance into a wild environment rekindles an excitement that is childlike in spontaneity, [and] often tinged with apprehension,” he wrote in his 2002 book, The Future of Life. Every such experience, he continued, reminds us of “the way life ought to be lived, all the time.”

IN GORONGOSA, WILSON’S study of complex social behavior was centered on the termite, an insect that seemed to obsess him at times during his stay. Termites are unrelated to ants; rather, they are distant cousins of cockroaches. As such, their reproductive strategy is entirely dissimilar to that of ants. But like ants, they are on the shortlist of eusocial animals. For Wilson, how such different creatures ended up creating highly structured societies, replete with castes and the complex division of labor, remains a source of fascination and ongoing study.

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Mount Gorongosa @africageo

Towering high over these lives is Mount Gorongosa – the beating heart of the region, looking out for miles over the southern end of the Great Rift Valley. Lush forests along its slopes capture moisture floating in from the Indian Ocean that then feeds the arterial rivers below. 

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Cradled in the southern end of Africa’s Great Rift Valley, Gorongosa’s 1,500 square miles @NatGeo

Cradled in the southern end of Africa’s Great Rift Valley, Gorongosa’s 1,500 square miles span mountainsides, plateau forests, escarpment canyons, palm savannas, and wetlands. The Bunga inselbergs—ancient nubs of volcanic rock left behind by the erosion of softer surroundings—punctuate the sweep of forest.

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04-JAN-2021 :: 'Reported'' Daily numbers are in the 650,000 to 750,000 daily range and set to undergo an exponential Phase Shift higher this month.

The ''warp speed'' Vaccine Roll Out is chasing the coat Tails of the Virus.

''Reported'' Daily numbers are in the 650,000 to 750,000 daily range and set to undergo an exponential Phase Shift higher this month.

Therefore the Virus remains an exogenous uncertainty that is still not resolved.

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Ireland 147,613 total #COVID19 cases exponentially growing 5.15% each day on avg. @jmlukens

COVID-19 avg case growth rate (daily/total)

#Lesotho: 8.04%

#Ireland: 5.15%

#Zambia: 3.51%

#Uruguay: 3.22%

#Malawi: 3.16%

#Thailand: 2.79%

#Japan: 2.31%

#Cuba: 2.26%

#Latvia: 2.17%

#Lebanon: 2.08%

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US 3,239 avg #COVID19 deaths/day up 47% past 2wks. UK 919/day avg up 92% past 2wks. @jmlukens

Countries w/ most avg COVID-19 deaths/day

#US: 3,239

#Brazil: 1,012

#Mexico: 928

#UnitedKingdom: 919

#Germany: 878

#SouthAfrica: 512

#Italy: 489

#Russia: 462

#France: 389

#Colombia: 307

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Our data on COVID-19 tests has been updated: Latest positive rates: @redouad

Mexico 44.8%
Colombia 31.9%
South Africa 29.7%
Czechia 21.6%
Italy 12.5%
United Kingdom 11.7%
Russia 7.7%
Turkey 6.8%
France 6.5%
India 2%

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We welcome #China's announcement regarding the intl. team examining the origins of virus that causes #COVID19. @DrTedros

We welcome #China's announcement regarding the intl. team examining the origins of virus that causes #COVID19. We look forward to working closely with our Flag of China counterparts on this critical mission to identify the virus source & its route of introduction to the human population.

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The word “conspiracy theory” needs to be unpacked in a way that accounts for actual phenomena in which individuals have colluded for negative ends. @Illegalemigran1
Law & Politics

Watergate, Mafia, the 7 Dwarves of Big Tobacco and corruption of addiction science, and the NIAAA moderate drinking alcohol study.

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04-JAN-2021 :: Today only the Paid for Propagandists and Virologists and WHO will argue that there is a ''zoonotic'' origin for COVID19. There is no natural Pathway for the Evolution of COVID19.
Law & Politics

It is remarkable that the Propaganda is still being propagated more than a year later. There is no natural Pathway for the Evolution of COVID19.

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Let’s call the Zoonotic origin “Hypothesis A” and the laboratory origin “Hypothesis B”. These have to be kept distinct from questions of behavior. @Illegalemigran1

There are 4 different behavioral hypotheses of collusion that are not intrinsically connected with these two biologic hypotheses

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‘’Zoonotic’’ origin was one that was accelerated in the Laboratory.
Law & Politics

There is also a non negligible possibility that #COVID19 was deliberately released

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.2168

Dollar Index 90.425

Japan Yen 104.13

Swiss Franc 0.8902

Pound 1.3560

Aussie 0.7721

India Rupee 73.2817

South Korea Won 1098.47

Brazil Real 5.4894

Egypt Pound 15.6498

South Africa Rand 15.4776

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Investing is very simple. All you have to do is know exactly what it is you are betting on & who you are betting on. @andy___8
World Of Finance

But to truly know what you are betting on in areas where there is a dispute in pricing can be extremely difficult, because no one knows what they are betting on

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Few major assets have been so deeply misunderstood like Bitcoin. @andy___8
World Currencies

It has been so misunderstood that even the most vocal, committed and informed longterm holders have incorrect thesis’s about it, so how can an uninformed person even begin to trust it?

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Bitcoins biggest issue in one chart Free float is practically non-existent @AndreasSteno
World Currencies

08-JAN-2018 :: The Crypto Avocado Millenial Economy.

The ‘’Zeitgeist’’ of a time is its defining spirit or its mood. Capturing the ‘’zeitgeist’’ of the Now is not an easy thing because we are living in a dizzyingly fluid moment.

Gladwellian level move. “The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behaviour crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire”- Malcolm Gladwell. 

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According to the avocados, Bitcoin has much further to fall. @tracyalloway
World Currencies

High tech, millenial, crypto, avocado economy exhibits viral, wildfire and exponential and even non-linear characteristics not unlike Ebola.

27 NOV 17 :: Bitcoin "Wow! What a Ride!"

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one of the most closely watched elections on the continent. Ugandans go to the polls on Jan. 14. @QZ

Despite being an octogenarian himself, the professor says he’s “fed up” with Africa’s leadership of “sick old men.”

Museveni, who is Africa’s third longest ruling leader, has claimed victory in five elections since 1996. 

It’s estimated that some 80% of Uganda’s population of 43 million was born after he first came to power in 1986.

“Whoever champions the principle of democracy, I back the individual,” he says. 

“Whoever opposes it, especially in a brutal way that doesn’t even think of the future, that degrades the humanity on behalf of whom such a political principle is being expressed…that person for me is an enemy of humanity, not just of society.”

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Turning To Africa Spinning Top

Democracy from Tanzania to Zimbabwe to Cameroon has been shredded.

We are getting closer and closer to the Virilian Tipping Point

“The revolutionary contingent attains its ideal form not in the place of production, but in the street''

Political leadership in most cases completely gerontocratic will use violence to cling onto Power but any Early Warning System would be warning a Tsunami is coming

10 NOV 14 : African youth demographic {many characterise this as a 'demographic dividend"} - which for Beautiful Blaise turned into a demographic terminator

Martin Aglo, a law student from Benin, told Reuters: “After the Arab Spring, this is the Black Spring”.We need to ask ourselves; how many people can incumbent shoot stone cold dead in such a situation – 100, 1,000, 10,000?

This is another point: there is a threshold beyond which the incumbent can’t go. Where that threshold lies will be discovered in the throes of the event.

The Event is no longer over the Horizon.

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.@Facebook takes down Ugandan accounts ahead of election @Reuters

Facebook has taken down a network in Uganda linked to the country’s ministry of information for using fake and duplicate accounts to post ahead of this week’s presidential election, the U.S. social media giant said on Monday.

Ugandans vote on Thursday in a presidential election pitting long-time leader Yoweri Museveni against 10 candidates including opposition frontrunner Bobi Wine, a singer-turned-lawmaker whose star power has rattled the ruling party.

“Given the impending election in Uganda, we moved quickly to investigate and take down this network,” Facebook said in a statement. 

“We found this network to be linked to the Government Citizens Interaction Center at the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology in Uganda.”

“They used fake and duplicate accounts to manage pages, comment on other people’s content, impersonate users, re-share posts in groups to make them appear more popular than they were,” Facebook said.

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In Jan 1973 the Front for National Salvation issued a tract calling for Idi Amin's ouster. @Unseen_Archive

They aimed to 'save Uganda from complete ruin & depopulation'. Amin, in reply, said Museveni had been 'confused, misled & bought by imperialists'.

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The NRM marched into Kampala on 26 January 1986, putting an end to Okello's regime. The clip below was made in Kampala on 27 January. @Unseen_Archive

It was a bloody & dehumanising war. The clip below was made in Kampala on 27 January.

Warning: the dead are very much visible in this bit of film.

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Analyzing Africa’s Second Wave of COVID-19 @AfricaACSS

2020 saw COVID-19 infect over 2.7 million Africans and kill over 65,000. A surge of cases in the last quarter of the year, combined with the emergence of more contagious mutations, pose new challenges for Africa in 2021.

An average of 28 of the continent’s 54 countries have reported a higher number of new COVID-19 cases each week compared to the previous week since the beginning of October. 

This trend has resulted in an average of 22,000 reported new cases per day in December, eclipsing the peak rate of 18,000 during the first wave in July. 

Nearly half of the total cases recorded on the continent have been reported since October.

Most recorded cases continue to be seen in South Africa and Morocco, which have among the best capacity for testing in Africa. 

Nonetheless, record levels of reported cases are observable continent-wide. 

Countries like Tunisia, Botswana, Uganda, Angola, Eritrea, and Burkina Faso, for example, have experienced steep increases in exposure during the second wave, though their cumulative number of reported cases remain relatively low.

Mutations in the COVID-19 virus detected in South Africa and the United Kingdom (and potentially Nigeria) in December that make it significantly more transmissible raise prospects that the second wave could become even more dispersed. 

In South Africa, the mutated strain of the virus is dominant and driving the second wave. 

While the virulence of these new variants remains to be seen, it bears recalling that the second wave of the Spanish flu pandemic a century ago was more widespread and lethal in Africa (and other parts of the world) than the first.

The surge may be particularly dangerous for public health systems in countries like Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lesotho, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, and Togo, all of which have recorded their highest number of weekly cases during the second wave and whose public health systems were starting with fewer resources before the pandemic. 

Even countries with stronger health systems and those that are not yet experiencing surges during the second wave are still at risk of being overburdened as the virus spreads into rural or active conflict areas. 

In South Africa, the rising number of hospitalizations has required care to be rationed to those patients highest on triage lists.

One of the striking characteristics of the first wave of the pandemic in Africa has been apparently lower mortality and morbidity than other parts of the world, perhaps because of the youthful demographics in much of the continent. 

Multiple studies suggest, however, that the asymptomatic spread of the disease has been significantly more widespread than these numbers might indicate. 

The emergence of new strains of the disease may then pose new dangers in countries where the combination of a more limited death toll but significant economic losses may make containment difficult. 

Other studies and reports indicate that significant numbers of COVID-19 fatalities may have been missed during the first wave in countries like South Africa, Sudan, and Nigeria.

This means the actual number of cases is likely much higher than is being captured by current levels of testing. This also suggests that countries with less extensive public health systems may be experiencing more cases than have been recorded. 

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Number of days per every 200k confirmed #COVID19 cases in South Africa 0-200k: 124 days 800k-1M: 24 days 1-1.2M: 13 days @rid1tweets

The speed is of concern, and an indication of the knock-on effect we will see on hospital demand 

0-200k: 124 days

200-400k: 17 days

400-600k: 29 days

600-800k: 104 days

800k-1M: 24 days

1-1.2M: 13 days

a slow burning Fuse and we all know by now ''viruses exhibit non-linear and exponential characteristics'

Drinking the Kool-Aid We are not there yet. The exponential moment is still in front of us. #COVID19

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Update #COVID19 in Gauteng • New cases: current 7-day avg at 5 111, +50% from last week / doubling every 12 days • Test positivity >35% @rid1tweets

• New cases: current 7-day avg at 5 111, +50% from last week / doubling every 12 days

• Test positivity >35%

• New hospitalisations last week +22% from previous week

• New deaths: current avg now up to 63 deaths per day

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Test Positivity Rate per Province South Africa @rid1tweets

According to @NCoVAfrica Peak Daily Infections was 24th July 2020 and 20,873

Africa is currently reporting a million new infections about every 50 days @ReutersGraphics

"The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function." - Professor Allen Bartlett

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Kenya has bowed to @IMFNews pressure to include Sh3.4 trillion parastatal and county loans as part of the country’s national debt. @BD_Africa
Kenyan Economy

The National Treasury said this will be done gradually beginning with foreign currency debts by parastatals before including loans from private public partnerships (PPPs), pension and county governments.

Currently, the Treasury only recognises guaranteed debts, but the IMF wants it to include all loans of State linked firms, a move that will push the country’s Sh7 trillion debt up by Sh3.4 trillion crashing through the Sh9 trillion ceiling set by Parliament.

“The authorities noted the importance of expanding debt coverage to include counties, non-guaranteed debt contracted by the extra budgetary units, and State owned Enterprises (SOEs). 

They planned to take a gradual approach to monitoring contingent liabilities, for example, to start to monitor external borrowing by large SOEs,” the IMF said in the latest review on Kenya’s debt.

IMF report, Kenya’s Selected Specific Fiscal Risks, show that the government has guaranteed Sh139 billion which includes the Sh75 billion given to struggling Kenya Airways it wants to nationalise.

However, public companies, most of which are loss making have a liability of Sh1.494 trillion, PPP’s (Sh679 billion), Kenya Depositors Insurance Corporation (Sh261 billion), legal claims (Sh23 billion) and pensions (Sh819 billion).

December 9, 2019 Time to Big Up the Dosage of Quaaludes

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This effort by the IMF to include all debt of Kenya's government It makes the need for an IMF deal more obvious [predicted and predictable] @RencapMan
Kenyan Economy

This effort by the IMF to include all debt of Kenya's government -including parastatal companies - began in SSA with Senegal a year or two ago - and will result in higher (but more accurate) debt estimates for many in SSA 

It makes the need for an IMF deal more obvious

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Kenyan Economy

In application of the term sheet of the Debt service suspension Initiative (DSSI) and its addendum also endorsed by the G20, the Paris Club recognized that the Republic of Kenya is eligible to benefit from the initiative. 

Therefore, the representatives of the Paris Club creditors have accepted to provide to the Republic of Kenya a time-bound suspension of debt service due from 1st January to 30th June 2021.

The Government of the Republic of Kenya is committed to devote the resources freed by this initiative to increase spending in order to mitigate the health, economic and social impact of the COVID19-crisis. 

The Government of the Republic of Kenya is also committed to seek from all its other bilateral official creditors a debt service treatment that is in line with the agreed term sheet and its addendum. 

This initiative will also contribute to help the Republic of Kenya to improve debt transparency and debt management.

Paris Club creditors will continue to closely coordinate with non-Paris Club G20 creditors and other stakeholders in the ongoing implementation of the DSSI, so as to provide maximum support to beneficiary countries.

Background notes

1. The Paris Club was formed in 1956. It is an informal group of official creditors whose role is to find coordinated and sustainable solutions to the payment difficulties experienced by borrower countries.

2. The members of the Paris Club which participate in the reorganization of the Republic of Kenya’s debt are the governments of Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Spain and the United States of America.

Observers to the agreement are representatives of the governments of Australia, Austria, Brazil, Finland, Ireland, Israel, the Netherlands, Norway, the Russian Federation, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

In the Oct 2020 Africa Pulse, the World Bank estimated Kenya could realise up to US$ 802 mln in saving (0.8% of GDP) through participation in the DSSI @AmbokoJH

The DSSI (6 months repayment holiday) is just a pain killer. Dawanol. For immediate liquidity needs. It does not address debt sustainability problems. @WehliyeMohamed

Next step is debt restructuring (a must). And that will require debt sustainability analysis (DSA) by IMF & straight to their ICU

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Your expenditures are also monitored. You can't use the fiscal space created (amount of repayment holiday) to do whatever you want. @WehliyeMohamed
Kenyan Economy

Huwezi uliza landlord for rent postponement alafu utumie the rent that you would have paid to go drink toivi at Kuhura Kanua bar in Muimuto.

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by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
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January 2021

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