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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
Tuesday 26th of January 2021

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08-JUN-2020 :: Anybody can be decisive during a panic It takes a strong Man to act during a Boom.
World Of Finance

“The businessman bought at ten and was happy to get out at twelve; the mathematician saw his ten rise to eighteen, but didn’t sell because he wanted to double his ten to twenty.”

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2666 is indeed Bolaño's master statement, not just on account of its length and quality but also because it is the fullest expression of his two abiding themes: the writing life and violence.
Law & Politics

Bolaño's interest in the former is easy to explain - he believed that a life dedicated to literature was the only one worth living. But his fascination with violence is more complex. 

One explanation can be found in his background. As someone who came of age during the era of South America's dirty wars, it is understandable that he should side with the view he attributes to one of the characters in 2666, who sees history as a "simple whore... a proliferation of instants, brief interludes that vie with one another in monstrousness".

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“For a moment the two of them looked at each other, wordless, as if they were asleep and their dreams had converged on common ground, a place where sound was alien.”

“I steal into their dreams," he said. "I steal into their most shameful thoughts, I'm in every shiver, every spasm of their souls, I steal into their hearts, I scrutinize their most fundamental beliefs, I scan their irrational impulses, their unspeakable emotions, I sleep in their lungs during the summer and their muscles during the winter, and all of this I do without the least effort, without intending to, without asking or seeking it out, without constraints, driven only by love and devotion.”

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Taiwan air force flexes muscles after latest Chinese incursion @Reuters
Law & Politics

 Armed and ready to go, Taiwan air force jets screamed into the sky on Tuesday in a drill to simulate a war scenario, showing its fleet’s battle readiness after dozens of Chinese warplanes flew into the island’s air defence zone over the weekend.

Taiwan, claimed by China as its territory, has been on edge since the large-scale incursion by Chinese fighters and nuclear-capable bombers into the southwestern part of its air defence identification zone on Saturday and Sunday, which coincided with a U.S. carrier group entering the South China Sea.

The base in the southern city of Tainan, home to F-CK-1 Ching-kuo Indigenous Defence Fighters (IDF), frequently scrambles jets to intercept China’s air force.

In a hardened shelter, flight crew from the First Tactical Fighter Wing rushed to ready two IDFs as an alarm bell rang out, aiming to get them off the ground within five minutes of an emergency call, armed with U.S.-made Sidewinders and domestically-developed Wan Chien air-to-ground cruise missiles.

Colonel Lee Ching-shi told Reuters their jets usually go up armed with guns, Sidewinders and Taiwan-made Sky Sword missiles when reacting to Chinese jets and they can respond “at any time”.

“We are ready,” he said during a government-organised visit to the base. “We will not give up one inch of our territory.”

Four IDFs carried out tactical formation landing and rolling take off drills, roaring away from the runway.

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09-NOV-2020 :: The Single biggest Issue remains how Biden engages with the Algorithmic Master [Blaster] and Sun Tzu Maestro
Law & Politics

''The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting''

Xi salami-sliced his way into a deeply forward position during the Obama Administration and in 2020 snaffled up Hong Kong, marched 400 kilometers into Indian Territory and the Straw Man Narendra Modi has not even uttered a word and Xi might even decide to roll over Taiwan during this Interregnum.

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They fancied themselves free, wrote Camus, ―and no one will ever be free so long as there are pestilences.

In this respect, our townsfolk were like everybody else, wrapped up in themselves; in other words, they were humanists: they disbelieved in pestilences.

A pestilence isn't a thing made to man's measure; therefore we tell ourselves that pestilence is a mere bogy of the mind, a bad dream that will pass away.

But it doesn't always pass away and, from one bad dream to another, it is men who pass away, and the humanists first of all, because they have taken no precautions

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‘A complete massacre, a horror film’: inside Brazil's Covid disaster @guardian

It took just 60 minutes at daybreak for the seven patients to die, asphyxiated as coronavirus swept back into the Brazilian Amazon with nightmarish force.

“Today was one of the hardest days in all my years of public service. You feel so impotent,” sobbed Francisnalva Mendes, the health chief in the river town of Coari, as she remembered the moment on Tuesday when its hospital’s oxygen supply ran out.

“We need to get back to the fight – to carry on saving lives,” Mendes insisted as she digested losing a third of her town’s 22 Covid-19 patients in one fell swoop – four of them in their 50s. “But we all feel broken. It was such a hard day.”

Coari was at the centre of Latin America’s latest coronavirus catastrophe last week after a surge in infections linked to a new and seemingly more contagious variant overwhelmed hospitals in Brazil’s Amazonas state, leaving many without even the most basic supplies. 

Circumstances were so bleak oxygen tankers were rushed over the border from Venezuela, the economically collapsed nation next door, with its leader, Nicolás Maduro, decrying what he called “Jair Bolsonaro’s public health disaster”.

“It’s a very chaotic situation. We just can’t keep up with the number of patients coming to us,” said Marcus Lacerda, an infectious disease specialist from Amazonas’s crisis-hit capital, Manaus.

“Private hospitals don’t want to take anyone else in because they’re afraid of admitting a patient and then running out of oxygen again.”

Manaus made international headlines in April after a torrent of Covid deaths forced authorities to carve mass graves out of the city’s rust-red earth. Nine months – and more than 210,000 Brazilian deaths – later, the situation is even worse.

Some days about 200 bodies are being interred in Manaus, compared with the usual 40. 

Last week many hospitals ran out of the oxygen sustaining Covid patients, apparently because of a catastrophic government failure to foresee the magnitude of the impending disaster.

“Nothing like this as ever happened – not even last year. I never imagined there would be a wave of reinfections as big as the one we’re now seeing in Manaus,” said Lacerda, one of the region’s top infectologists, blaming a variant “that appears to be more contagious”.

Lacerda said he had hoped the scale of last year’s epidemic might have provided the riverside city some immunological protection from such a shattering second wave. 

“But the truth is there’s just no way. The fall-off in people’s immunity and the changes in the virus mean this second wave is uncontrollable.”

Distressing stories of suffocating patients and the evacuation of premature babies have generated a public revolt against Amazonas’s leaders who critics accuse of failing to plan for, let alone prevent its second cataclysm in a year.

“There’s an atmosphere of disgust, abandonment, despair and impunity,” said one staff member at the Alvorada health clinic in Manaus, where medics were filmed pleading for divine intervention. 

“What we’re watching is a complete massacre, a desperate situation, a horror film,” added the worker, who asked not to be named.

Much of the anger is directed at the government of Brazil’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, who has trivialized Covid-19 even as his country’s death toll soared to the second highest on earth.

Bolsonaro’s biddable health minister, Eduardo Pazuello – an army general with no medical experience – visited Manaus on the eve of last week’s health collapse but pushed bogus Covid-19 “early treatments” promoted by his leader rather than solving the impending oxygen crisis.

“The president’s bootlicker had days of warning that Manaus’s hospitals were going to run out of oxygen. He did nothing but prescribe useless chloroquine,” the journalist Luiz Fernando Vianna wrote in the magazine Época, blaming Bolsonaro and Pazuello for the “slaughter”.

Lacerda accused the government of trying to distract citizens from its deadly inaction with the “false hope” of ineffectual remedies. “This isn’t happening in any other part of the planet,” he said.

In Manaus, a jungle-flanked city reachable only by plane or boat, public anger has been matched with action. 

Dozens of volunteer groups, many formed by young manauaras, have sprung up to raise funds and provide the city’s battered health system with oxygen, equipment and food.

“It’s a Dantesque situation … we feel like we’re living in a place with no government,” said Vinícius Lima, 16, who is using Twitter and Instagram to crowdsource cylinders, oximeters and PPE.

“I’m doing what I think is my duty. I couldn’t sleep at night if I wasn’t doing anything to help the city I love,” the student said. “I’m very proud to be from the city at the heart of the Amazon, you know?”

Others use social networks to grieve, flooding Facebook with photographs of loved-ones lost to the punishing second wave. “It’s as if the city’s in a constant state of mourning,” said the clinic worker, who lost an aunt.

Some call Manaus’s latest calamity an aberration, the result of its fragile health service and geographical isolation. 

Lacerda claimed it actually offered a glimpse of the future for other parts of Brazil since the Amazon’s rainy season meant its flu season came earlier.

“If we don’t immediately put in place a more aggressive vaccine ‘blockade’ what happened in Manaus will happen in the rest of the country,” he warned. “We need to vaccinate people.”

That may not be easy. Inoculation finally began last Sunday, weeks after other Latin American countries such as Chile and Mexico. 

But Brazil, which has 212 million citizens, has so far secured only 6m doses of China’s CoronaVac shot and 2m of the AstraZeneca/Oxford shot.

“This is absolutely insufficient to halt this disease’s advance,” said Lacerda, who believed Brazil’s “utter international isolation” under Bolsonaro helped explain its failure to acquire sufficient shots.

Last week it emerged that Brazil’s efforts to import from China active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) essential for producing vaccines had stalled, with some blaming the China-bashing of Bolsonaro and his backers.

Raissa Floriano, whose 73-year-old father is fighting Covid in hospital, said at least six of his wardmates died after its oxygen ran out.

“With better decisions, this whole tragedy could have been avoided. But every single sensible decision that might have been taken was either shunned or it was mocked,” said the 27-year-old teacher.

“I feel dismay, disappointment and anger – just absolute despondency and fear for the future.”

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10-MAY-2020 “It‟s tragic surrealism ... I can‟t stop thinking about Gabriel García Márquez when I think about the situation Manaus is facing.” Guardian

In Brazil we have a toxic mix of a „‟Voodoo‟‟ President @jairbolsonaro and a runaway #COVID19

Brazilians aren‘t infected by anything, even when they fall into a sewer

Viruses are in essence non linear exponential and multiplicative and COVID19 has ‟escape velocity‟‟ in Brazil.

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New UK and South Africa Covid variants may spread more easily, so what does this mean for the fight against coronavirus? @guardian

Fifty-five countries have now reported the presence of the coronavirus variant B.1.1.7, originally identified in the UK, and 23 countries have identified the 501Y.V2 variant, originally identified in South Africa.

Mutations in the variants change the structure of the “spike” proteins, which is the mechanism by which the coronavirus attaches to cells.

One paper from researchers at the Centre for Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases (CMMID) in the UK, used modelling to explore different explanations for the surge in prevalence of the B.1.1.7 variant. 

They found “strong evidence of higher relative transmissibility estimated at 56% higher than preexisting variants”.

Another study, with researchers collaborating from several institutions, estimated transmissibility for B.1.1.7 in the UK to be approximately 47% higher than other coronavirus types.

“The change from a virus circulating to having a higher R value, because of the multiplicative effect, and exponential growth, you’re going to see the threat to the population be much greater,” Vally said.

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In short, SARS- CoV-2 is possessed of dual action capability. Birger Sørensen, Angus Dalgleish & Andres Susrud Immunor & St Georges University of London

What we have shown that is new is that the SARS-CoV-2 Spike carries significant additional charge (isoelectric point (pI) pI=8.2) compared to human SARS-CoV Spike,( pI = 5.67) and the implications thereof. 

Basic domains - partly inserted, partly substituted amino acids and partly redistributed from outside the receptor binding domain - explain the salt bridges formed between the SARS-CoV-2 Spike and its co-receptors on the cell membrane.

there are 6 inserts which make the SARS-CoV-2 Spike structurally special.

Blasting the Spike protein with a rolling window of 6 amino acids showed that 78.4% of 6 amino acid windows are human like. 

This means that with nearly 80% of the spike protein has a built-in stealth property by having high human similarity. 

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.2109

Dollar Index 90.60

Japan Yen 103.81

Swiss Franc 0.88947

Pound 1.3612

Aussie 0.7676

India Rupee 73.115

South Korea Won 1106.96

Brazil Real 5.4672

Egypt Pound 15.7089

South Africa Rand 15.34194

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Some 8.8% of global working hours were lost last year due to the pandemic, roughly four times the number lost in the 2009 financial crisis, @ilo said

The losses compared with the previous year were equivalent to 255 million full-time jobs and included an “unprecedented” 114 million workers joining the ranks of the unemployed and others whose working hours were reduced due to restrictions, it said.

“These massive losses resulted in an 8.3 per cent decline in global labour income (before support measures are included), equivalent to $3.7 trillion or 4.4 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP),” the ILO, a U.N. agency, said in its seventh report on the crisis since March.

Guy Ryder, ILO director-general, told a news briefing: “This has been the most severe crisis for the world of work since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Its impact is far greater than that of the global financial crisis of 2009.”

“I am pleased to say that there is some relatively good news in all of this, that we do see tentative signs of recovery - these signs are fragile, they are uncertain and the prospects are notably uneven,” he said.

“There are some sectors - there are the financial sectors, the information technology sectors - which have actually continued to grow in the course of 2020,” Ryder said.

Employment loss among 15-24 years old stood at 8.7% compared with 3.7% for adults and “highlights the all too real risk of a lost generation”, it said.

“While there is still a high degree of uncertainty, the latest projections for 2021 show that most countries will experience a relatively strong recovery in the second half of the year, as vaccination programmes take effect,” the ILO said.

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Just weeks after the stock market crashed in 1929, President Herbert Hoover assured the country that things were already “back to normal,” Liaquat Ahamed writes in Lords of Finance
World Of Finance

Five months later, in March 1930, Hoover said the worst would be over “during the next 60 days.”

When that period ended, he said, “We have passed the worst.”

Eventually, Ahamed writes, “when the facts refused to obey Hoover’s forecasts, he started to make them up.”

Government agencies were pressed to issue false data. 

Officials resigned rather than do so, including the chief of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

And we all know how that turned out: The Great Depression.

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CoViD19-ΛFЯICΛ: OpenData Confirmed: 3 437 530 (+ 22096) Actives: 453 497 (-4695) @NCoVAfrica

Confirmed: 3 437 530 (+ 22096)

Actives: 453 497 (-4695)

Deaths: 85 309 (+ 662)

Recoveries: 2 896 364 (+ 26129)


Active Cases 12.789% below record High 

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Update: #COVID19 in #SouthAfrica 25 January '21 • New cases = 4 551• Test positivity = 17.4% • Active cases = 134 999 @rid1tweets

• New cases = 4 551

• New tests = 26 113

• Test positivity = 17.4% 

• New deaths = 243

• Active cases = 134 999


A noteworthy Trend Change but 

we all know by now ''viruses exhibit non-linear and exponential characteristics'

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South Africa 4,551 #COVID19 cases yesterday below 10,086/day avg down 47% past 2wks Africa countries most avg COVID-19 cases/day @jmlukens

#SouthAfrica: 10,086

#Tunisia: 2,393

#Nigeria: 1,570

#Zambia: 1,134

#Malawi: 994

#Morocco: 926

#Mozambique: 762

#Libya: 651

#Ghana: 581

#Ethiopia: 369

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They fancied themselves free, wrote Camus, ―and no one will ever be free so long as there are pestilences.

In this respect, our townsfolk were like everybody else, wrapped up in themselves; in other words, they were humanists: they disbelieved in pestilences.

A pestilence isn't a thing made to man's measure; therefore we tell ourselves that pestilence is a mere bogy of the mind, a bad dream that will pass away.

But it doesn't always pass away and, from one bad dream to another, it is men who pass away, and the humanists first of all, because they have taken no precautions

read more

COVID-19 deaths detected in a systematic post-mortem surveillance study in Africa

Results We enrolled 372 participants between June and September 2020, and had PCR results for 364 (99.5%). CV19 was detected in 70/364 (19.2%). 

Conclusions Contrary to expectations, CV19+ deaths were common in Lusaka. The majority occurred in the community where testing capacity is lacking. 

Yet few who died at facilities were tested, despite presenting with typical symptoms of CV19. 

Therefore, CV19 cases were under reported because testing was rarely done, not because CV19 was rare. 

If our data are generalizable, the impact of CV19 in Africa has been vastly underestimated.

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Countries with high COVID-19 2wk avg case/day increase #Ghana: 283% #Malawi: 233% #Rwanda: 119%% #Mozambique: 86% #CotedIvoire: 64% @jmlukens

#Ghana: 283%

#Malawi: 233%

#Rwanda: 119%

#Peru: 112%

#Mozambique: 86%

#Kazakhstan: 76%

#Spain: 68%

#CotedIvoire: 64%

#Ecuador: 54%

#Portugal: 50%

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ZIMBABWE - Active cases : 7694 - 70 new deaths (daily record) @NCoVAfrica

326 new confirmed cases of #CoViD19ZW

70 new deaths (daily record)

627 new recoveries


- Confirmed cases of #covid19: 31646

- Deaths: 1075

- Recoveries: 22877

- Active cases : 7694


70 new deaths means the Case Load is in fact a multiple of what is being reported 

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Fifty years ago today troops loyal to General Idi Amin overthrew Milton Obote's govt and inaugurated the Second Republic of Uganda. @Unseen_Archive

Here's Amin taking the oath of office at the airstrip in Kololo. There were 50,000 people there that day.

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Turning to Africa the 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

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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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Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukuru Yatani has signalled more taxation in the next fiscal year by raising the budget 3.2 percent to Sh2.97 trillion @BD_Africa
Kenyan Economy

Mr Yatani’s spending plan seeks to inject Sh1.975 trillion into recurrent expenditure between July 2021 and June 2022, while development projects would get Sh611 billion.

Counties’ expenditure is projected at Sh377.63 billion, with an additional Sh5 billion going to the contingency fund. 

The Treasury has indicated priority will be on completion of ongoing projects, with tighter approvals of new ones to limit budgetary pressure and wastage.

“Going forward into the medium term, the government will continue with its expenditure prioritisation policy with a view to achieving the transformative development agenda which is anchored on provision of core services, ensuring equity and minimising costs through the elimination of duplication and inefficiencies, creation of employment opportunities and improving the general welfare of the people,” Mr Yatani says 

But in what signals deeper taxation for Kenyans starting July, the Treasury says in the draft BPS that it targets raising an additional Sh194 billion from ordinary revenue.

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The Spinning Top The real challenge is the Economic Emergency.

The real challenge is the Economic Emergency.

The latest Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa projects economic activity in the region to decline by 3.0% in 2020 and recover by 3.1% in 2021. @IMFNews

The IMF is so bright eyed and bushy tailed and I want some of whatever Pills they are popping.

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Debt interest payments to rise 24pc in next budget @BD_Africa

Kenya’s interest payments on public debt will go up by Sh113.5 billion in the next fiscal year compared to the current one

government anticipates spending Sh587.6 billion in 2021/2022 in interest payments, up from Sh474.1 billion this year.

The BPS shows that interest payments on domestic loans will account for the lion’s share at Sh409.9 billion, up from Sh340 billion in the current fiscal year, while external interest payments will amount to Sh177.8 billion, up from Sh134.1 billion this year.

The government’s outstanding domestic debt currently stands at Sh3.49 trillion, for which the Treasury pays interest at between 6.99 and 13.5 per cent on an annualised basis depending on tenor of the issued securities. 

External debt meanwhile stood at Sh3.77 trillion by the end of November.

In total, public debt went up by Sh560.8 billion between June and November 2020.

In the coming fiscal year, the government will make a net borrowing of Sh937.6 billion to fill the budget deficit, which is equivalent to 7.5 percent of GDP.

This will be made up of Sh592.2 billion in net domestic borrowing and Sh345.5 billion from external lenders.

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

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