Shakira, son attacked by wild boars in Barcelona

CC™ Entertainment News

Colombian-Lebanese pop star Shakira has revealed how she was accosted by two wild boars, in a Barcelona Park.

The pigs reportedly made off with her handbag, which contained her phone. She told the story in a series of viral Instagram stories Wednesday.

“They’ve destroyed everything,” fumed the 44-year-old Grammy-winner of the pilfering pigs.

The attack was in the presence of her 8-year-old son Milan Pique Mebarak. 

Shakira — whose full name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll — didn’t disclose when the incident occurred.

“Look at how two wild boar which attacked me in the park have left my bag,” lamented the “She Wolf” songstress to her 70.7 million ‘Gram followers.

“They were taking my bag to the woods with my mobile phone in it,” she said.

Holding the now recovered but torn bag towards the camera, she said: “Look at how two wild boar which attacked me in the park have left my bag.”

“They were taking my bag to the woods with my mobile phone in it,” the singer continued. “They’ve destroyed everything.”

She then turned to her son, whose father is the Barcelona footballer Gerard Piqué, and said: “Milan tell the truth. Say how your mummy stood up to the wild boar.”

Shakira is the latest victim of the increasingly aggressive hogs which have invaded the Catalan capital in recent years.

In 2016, Spanish police received 1,187 phone calls about wild hogs attacking dogs, plundering cat-feeders, holding up traffic and running into cars in the city.

In 2013, one city police officer attempted to take charge of the problem himself and shot at a boar with his service revolver, but missed and hit his partner instead.

From BBC and New York Post.


Nigerian-American Joseph Ladapo appointed surgeon general in Florida

CC™ Medical News

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has appointed Nigerian-American Joseph Ladapo as Florida surgeon general and Secretary of the Florida Department of Health.

“I am pleased to announce that Dr. Joseph Ladapo will lead the Florida Department of Health as our state's next Surgeon General," said Governor Ron DeSantis.

“Dr. Ladapo comes to us by way of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA with a superb background.”

DeSantis said Ladapo “has had both a remarkable academic and medical career with a strong emphasis in health policy research. Dr. Ladapo will bring great leadership to the Department of Health. I would also like to thank both Dr. Scott Rivkees and Dr. Shamarial Roberson for their hard work on behalf of all Floridians.”

Lieutenant-Governor Jeanette Nu±ez described Ladapo’s choice as “an excellent choice to serve as our next Surgeon General.”

“Dr. Ladapo has impeccable credentials and a strong vision to effectively serve the people of Florida at the helm of our public health agency. Through his service to our state, we will continue Florida's work to advance our public health goals,” Nu±ez said.

Ladapo said he is honored to have been chosen by Governor DeSantis to serve as Florida's next Surgeon General.

“We must make health policy decisions rooted in data and not in fear,” Ladapo said. ”

“From California, I have observed the different approaches taken by governors across the country and I have been impressed by Governor DeSantis' leadership and determination to ensure that Floridians are afforded all opportunities to maintain their health and wellness, while preserving their freedoms as Americans. It is a privilege to join his team and serve the people of Florida.”

Dr. Ladapo was recently granted a professorship at the University of Florida (UF) College of Medicine. Prior to joining UF, he served as an associate professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) caring for hospitalized patients.

He is a graduate of Wake Forest University, who also holds an MD from Harvard Medical School and a PhD in Health Policy from Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Ladapo was recently granted a professorship at the University of Florida (UF) College of Medicine. Prior to joining UF, he was an Associate Professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine caring for hospitalized patients.

Previously, he served as a faculty member in the Department of Population Health at NYU School of Medicine and as a Staff Fellow at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.



China’s central bank rules all crypto transactions are illegal

CC™ Financial News

China's central bank has declared all financial transactions involving cryptocurrencies illegal, sounding the death knell for the digital trade in China after a crackdown on the volatile currencies.

The global values of cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin have massively fluctuated over the past year partly due to Chinese regulations, which have sought to prevent speculation and money laundering.

"Virtual currency-related business activities are illegal financial activities," the People's Bank of China (PBOC) said in an online statement Friday, adding that offenders would be "investigated for  in accordance with the law."

The notice bans all related financial activities involving cryptocurrencies, such as trading crypto, selling tokens, transactions involving virtual currency derivatives and "illegal fundraising".

Bitcoin, which had already been falling before the announcement, sank by as much as 8.9 percent to $41,019 in European afternoon trading before recovering slightly later in the day.

The  said that in recent years trading of Bitcoin and other virtual currencies had become "widespread, disrupting economic and financial order, giving rise to money laundering, illegal fund-raising, fraud, pyramid schemes and other illegal and criminal activities."

This was "seriously endangering the safety of people's assets," the PBOC said.

While crypto creation and trading have been illegal in China since 2019, further crackdowns this year by Beijing warned banks to halt related transactions and closed much of the country's vast network of  miners.

Friday's statement by the central bank sent the strongest yet signal that China is closed to crypto.


Bitcoin, the world's largest digital currency, and other cryptos cannot be traced by a country's central bank, making them difficult to regulate.

Analysts say China fears the proliferation of illicit investments and fundraising from cryptocurrency in the world's second-biggest economy, which also has strict rules around the outflow of capital.

The crypto crackdown also opens the gates for China to introduce its own digital currency, already in the pipeline, allowing the central government to monitor transactions.

In June, Chinese officials said more than 1,000 people had been arrested for using the profits from crime to buy cryptocurrencies.

Several key Chinese provinces have banned the operation of cryptocurrency mines since the start of this year, with one region accounting for eight percent of the  needed to run the global blockchain—a set of online ledgers to record bitcoin transactions.

Bitcoin values tumbled in May on the back of a warning by Beijing to investors against speculative trading in cryptocurrencies.

"China's ban on all cryptocurrency trading activity will have some short-term impact on currency valuation, but long-term implications are likely to be muted," said Ganesh Viswanath Natraj, Assistant Professor of Finance at Warwick Business School.

"This ban will result in the migration of crypto investment opportunities to other hubs in Asia, such as Singapore's launch of the DBS digital currency exchange earlier this month," he added.


Wenger criticizes 'emotional' response to his and Infantino's dubious biennial World Cup plan

CC™ Sports Desk

Arsene Wenger has criticized the "emotional" response to his controversial proposal to hold the World Cup every two years.

Former Arsenal manager Wenger, now working as FIFA's head of global development, caused dismay in many quarters by suggesting the World Cup should be played more often.

The tournament is currently held every four years, with the next edition set for Qatar in 2022.

Wenger's idea to stage the World Cup once every two years led to widespread criticism from managers, while UEFA issued a scathing response.

"There are real dangers associated with this plan. The dilution of the value of the No.1 world football event, whose quadrennial occurrence gives it a mystique that generations of fans have grown up with," European football's governing body said.

UEFA urged FIFA to stop "promotional campaigns" for the scheme before they have consulted the relevant stakeholders.

But Wenger believes those who study his suggestion properly begin to see the merit in it.

"I'm confident, but I do not know the forces who are for or against. I just make that proposal because I think it's good for the game," Wenger told the BBC's Sports Desk podcast.

"After the proposal for the World Cup every two years sometimes (there is an) emotional response.

"I'm not surprised. Many people who were completely against it changed their mind after having seen my proposal.

"Some people have judged only based on every two years of World Cup and it was more emotional because 'we've all grown up in that cycle', and I can understand that.

"But many responses who were negative came out because they had not completely seen the whole concept.

"This concept of course, every two years a World Cup makes only sense if you see the whole proposal and if you regroup the qualifiers." 



60% of people admitted to UK hospitals with COVID-19 are double-jabbed

CC™ Health News

Sixty percent of people being admitted to hospital with COVID-19 have had two doses of a coronavirus vaccine, according to the British government’s chief scientific adviser.

According to reports, the development comes as figures show most regions of England now have more coronavirus patients in hospital than at any point since mid-March.

Speaking at a Downing Street news briefing recently, Sir Patrick Vallance said: “In terms of the number of people in the hospital who’ve been double-vaccinated, we know it’s around 60 percent of the people being admitted to hospital with COVID.

“We do expect there to be over 1,000 people per day being hospitalized with coronavirus because of the increase in infections. But the rates should be lower than they have been previously because of the protective effects of vaccination.”

He said this was not surprising “because the vaccines are not 100 percent effective”.

“They’re very, very effective, but not 100 percent, and as a higher proportion of the population is double-vaccinated, it’s inevitable that those 10 percent of that very large number remain at risk, and therefore will be amongst the people who both catch the infection and end up in hospital.” Meanwhile, most regions of England now have more coronavirus patients in hospital than at any point since mid-March.

Two regions – south-west England and the combined area of north-east England and Yorkshire – are back to levels last seen more than four months ago.

For England as a whole, there are now 3,813 patients in hospital with COVID-19 – the highest number since 24 March. Sir Patrick also warned said there were “high levels of COVID and they are increasing”.

He said the UK was quite close to the previous “winter wave” of infections.

“In the winter wave, we were up to around 60,000 people testing positive per day,” he said.

“We are now somewhere on towards 50,000. So we’re quite close to the size of the winter wave of infections and this is going to increase.”

the outset, there is something like 50,000 or near 50,000 cases per day, or positives per day, at the moment being detected – with a doubling time of 11 days, you can see that that gets to pretty high numbers very quickly.

“And another doubling time will take you to even higher numbers, of course – that would be really quite, quite worrying. So we would like to see some flattening of this, some decrease in the trajectory, and ideally, as you rightly say, you’d like to see this coming down by September, as return of schools would add another pressure on top of that.”

England’s deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam added the uncertainty would be “driven by human behavior over the next four to six weeks”.

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He said: “So really, it is kind of in everybody’s hands, yours and mine.

“If we are gradual and cautious, and we don’t tear the pants out of this just because we’re glad to have our full freedoms back, then we will materially affect the size and shape of the remainder of this epidemic curve and where the peak occurs, and how big it is.

“It is literally in the hands of the public, in terms of the behaviors.”



Genesis G90 Goes for Slammed Japanese VIP Treatment, Comes Out Buttery Smooth

CC™ Automotive

Although we have seen rendering experts jump at almost anything created by the automotive world, it’s clear that some of them have their favorites. For one, in particular, very few new cars qualify as real-world darlings.

Abimelec Arellano, the virtual artist behind the abimelecdesign account on social media has gone into a new car appreciation spree recently. Not only did he play with the all-new 2022 Chevy Silverado ZR2 mere hours after its introduction, but also showcased one of his all-time contemporary favorites.

And believe it or not, it’s a simple and sensible (yet utterly luxurious) Genesis G90. The model that paved the way for Hyundai’s new luxury division to develop as a fully-blown premium brand is almost up for a new iteration, but that doesn’t mean the current, facelifted version doesn’t have what it takes to impress.

Besides, the pixel master didn’t leave it alone and in stock form. Explaining that he mostly loves the Genesis G90 for its Buick Roadmaster approach to automotive life (as opposed to the Mercedes-AMG side of things), he also slapped the South Korean limousine with a taste of the Japanese VIP atmosphere. The trend, which apparently was on his radar for quite a while, has to do with modifying luxury cars (traditionally, local ones) to extremes.

Those premium models get much larger and/or wider wheel arches. But that’s not all because they also feature custom suspension setups to get slammed “into the ground, quite literally.” Of course, the pixel master opted for his twists with this one. So, the G90 sits much lower but “is not quite on the ground, and while I enlarged the arches, they’re not wider.”

No worries, these aren’t the only changes. The paintjob features a Candy Dark Purple shade mixed with a little bit of Red Flake, and the interior comes with a fully custom treatment. Among the included changes are tan leather upholstery and lots of wood trim, a flower-stamped headliner, as well as bespoke engraved metal touches. Oh, and did we mention the Japanese VIP crowd-pleasing Weds Kranze LXZ wheels?


Report: Nigeria experiencing targeted religious genocide under Buhari

CC™ Global News

By Sylvester Ugwuanyi

A newly-launched joint report by the International Committee on Nigeria and the International Organization for Peace Building and Social Justice has asserted that Nigeria is currently experiencing genocide, describing the nation as “a failed state.”

The report, titled, “Nigeria’s Silent Slaughter,” stated that no fewer than 43,242 Nigerians have been killed by Boko Haram and Islamic State insurgents while 18,834 others lost their lives in the hands of killer Fulani herdsmen over a 20-year period.

It added that 34,233 other Nigerians met their deaths through extrajudicial killings by other actors, including the police, military and others.

The report lamented what it described as the “breakdown of the rule of law, spiraling violence, atrocities against targeted religious groups and innocent civilians and the apparent impunity of the perpetrators” in Nigeria.

According to the report, the combination of these factors contributed to transform Nigeria into “largely a failed state and regional epicenter for terrorism.”

The authors of the report added that their assertion found support in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 1948 United Nations Convention on Genocide.

“There is strong evidence and a compelling legal argument that over the past decade or so, and increasingly under the current Fulani Muslim-dominated Nigerian government of Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria is experiencing what could be seen as targeted religious genocide, or what, at the very least, is widespread and often coordinated religious persecution campaigns being conducted against Christians,” the report stated in its introduction overview signed by the Executive President of ICON, Stephen Enada, and Executive Director, PSI, Dr. Richard Ikiebe.

In its foreword, the report published a November 24, 2019 letter by a member of the House of Lords, United Kingdom, Baroness Caroline Cox, calling on the international community to recognize the crisis in Nigeria as typical genocide, while accusing the Nigerian government of pampering killer Fulani herdsmen.

Cox wrote, “While the underlying causes of violence are complex, the asymmetry and escalation of attacks by well-armed Fulani militia upon predominantly Christian communities is stark and must be acknowledged.

“While the Nigerian administration has taken steps to counter Boko Haram insurgency, it has not demonstrated the same commitment to tackle the escalating violence perpetrated by Fulani militants.

“Finally, given the Nigerian government’s apparent complicity in the persecution of Christians, international aid should be curtailed until they protect and provide for their own citizens of any belief.”

Also in the foreword, a retired American congressman, Frank Wolf, urged the world to pay attention to Nigeria, noting that Boko Haram insurgents, in their decade-long Jihadist campaign, had killed over 27,000 civilians. A figure, he said, was more than the number killed by ISIS in Iraq and Syria combined.”

Wolf expressed the fear that Nigeria could implode with dire consequences for neighboring nations and the world.

“An implosion would destabilise the surrounding countries and send millions of refugees into Europe and beyond.

“Nigeria, with a population of 195 million, is the largest country in Africa. I believe that so goes Nigeria, so goes western Africa,” Wolf said.

Similarly, the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Jos, Rev A.B. Kwashi, in the foreword, said the report captured the details of atrocities and abuse in Nigeria, describing it as timely.

Kwashi said, “Incidents of violence towards Christians, many of whom are farmers, by Islamic militants have been allowed to continue for too long.

“It is a common development and an everyday occurrence across Nigeria to kill Christians, meanwhile offenders are not being prosecuted and the leaders are unresponsive.”

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Prof Joash Amupitan, who wrote the report’s legal brief, among other recommendations, called for the setting up of a United Nations-backed tribunal in Nigeria to try perpetrators of crimes “as was the case in former Yugoslavia, Rwanda and Sierra Leone pursuant to the powers of the UN Security Council in Chapter V of the Charter of the UN.”

“The UN Security Council can be pressured by the major powers to refer the case of Nigeria, by virtue of its referral powers under Article 13 of the Rome Statute, to the ICC in respect of which the court could not otherwise exercise jurisdiction,” Amupitan added.



World’s largest economies are surpassing pre-Covid oil demand

CC™ Global News

Some of the world’s biggest economies are seeing oil consumption turn the corner and even surpass pre-pandemic levels as falling Covid-19 infection rates drive a recovery in activity.

Oil demand in China, the world’s top energy consumer, will be 13% higher next quarter than in the same period in 2019 before the pandemic, according to SIA Energy. Indian fuel sales extended a rebound last month, while American consumption of petroleum products just hit a record high. Europe has also just had its best August for gasoline demand in 10 years, IHS Markit said.

The improvement in consumption across major economies is buoying oil prices that have rallied around 40% this year. Against this backdrop, the OPEC+ alliance decided to keep restoring crude supply earlier this month, citing tighter balances into year-end.

“The worst for Asian fuel demand is over and we see a soft recovery of oil demand in the coming months,” said Sengyick Tee, an analyst at Beijing-based SIA. China’s overall oil consumption will be led by a more than 20% jump in gasoline use next quarter from 2019, he said.

While motor fuel is powering the recovery as people take to the roads after months of lockdown, the situation for other oil products isn’t as positive. Jet fuel consumption is still languishing because of the lack of international air travel. Indian diesel use is down due seasonal factors, although SIA Energy sees demand for the fuel in China rising 4% next quarter from 2019.

Trucking and construction activities typically decline in India from June to September because of the monsoon. That weighs on demand for diesel, the country’s most popular fuel, before it rises again toward the end of the year amid crop harvesting and festivals.

“Sales volume of petrol has already crossed pre-Covid levels, with diesel likely to reach there in the next two to three months” said Shrikant Madhav Vaidya, chairman of Indian Oil Corp., the country’s biggest refiner.

Refining Ramp-Up

Indian processors will have “limited upside potential” for run rate increases this month as they struggle to cope with excess diesel that’s been produced from the process of making gasoline, said Senthil Kumaran, head of South Asia oil at industry consultant FGE. A turning point may come around October, with runs potentially rising above 5 million barrels a day by year-end, he said.

Chinese run rates have inched up with state-owned Sinopec refining the most crude in 11 months in August, data from local consultancy SCI99 show. However, activity at private refiners in Shandong province is only just over 70% amid a government-led clampdown on the sector. 

Still, with some of Asia’s largest economies reporting tens of thousands of virus infections per day, some threats to energy demand remain even as the region races to vaccinate its people.

“Resurgence risk is a concern that we have built into our outlook, particularly for populous countries such as India and Indonesia,” said Qiaoling Chen, an analyst at energy consultancy firm Wood Mackenzie Ltd. “For now, the worst for Asia oil demand is over, but the downside risks remain.”



Elon Musk Mocks Jeff Bezos After Reports Reveal His Investment In a Startup That Seeks to Reverse Aging

CC™ Business News

And as expected, Elon Musk, his "rival" in some businesses, could not remain silent. The founder of SpaceX responded to a tweet that reported on Bezos' new investment and the possible salary of the scientists, with his usual characteristic tone.

"And if it doesn't work, he's gonna sue death!" the billionaire tweeted.

It is no secret to anyone that since the founder of Blue Origin sued the US Space Agency (NASA) for awarding contracts to Musk's SpaceX instead of his aerospace company, the media relationship between the two billionaires has been somewhat tense. 


Obasanjo: I thought I knew President Buhari

CC™ Politico News

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo said he thought he knew Buhari but everything changed after he became the president in 2015.

Obasanjo said he thought Buhari would have done well in securing Nigeria and fighting corruption.

He said it is worrisome that banditry is happening in the north-west region of the country where the President hails from.

Obasanjo, therefore, asked the president to wake up and fight banditry and other sundry crimes especially in the northern part of the country.

The ex-president, who spoke in an interview with academic and historian, Toyin Falola, said Buhari should start thinking of leaving an enduring legacy as president.

He said, "I thought I knew President Buhari because he worked with me. But I used to ask people that is it that I have not read him well or read him adequately or is it that he has changed from the Buhari that I used to know? I am not subscribing to the people who say we have a new Buhari from Sudan and all that nonsense.

"I know what I believed was his limitations and I have written about it -he wasn't strong in economics, not all of us are strong in anything but you need to have sufficient knowledge of it for you to direct the affairs. He wasn't particularly too strong in foreign affairs but I thought he was strong enough in the military.

"From his performance in his first outing as head of state, I thought he would also do well in fighting corruption. I did not know the nepotistic tendencies of President Buhari maybe because he was not exposed to that sort of situation when he worked with me.

"But with what I have seen now, I believe that maybe he will be thinking of a legacy. Maybe he will also learn from what has happened in recent times. If you are the commander-in-chief and banditry is taking place in your backyard, then you have to wake up."

The ex-president also said some governors are now in a state of hopelessness because of the president's way of handling the insecurity in the country.

The security challenges in the country have assumed a more concerning dimension in recent times as rampaging bandits, bloodthirsty insurgents and ransom-demanding kidnappers terrorize Nigerians with daring audacity.