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Thursday 18th of March 2021
 
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Africa

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Super-strong drugs and pent-up demand will fuel 'summer of chaos' at festivals, expert warns @YahooNews
Misc.



Experts have warned of potential mental health issues and deaths as stronger drugs and lower intolerances combine when music festivals return this summer.

With the planned ending of all COVID restrictions on 21 June, some festivals have already announced that they will welcome crowds back for a summer of partying this year.

However, a criminology professor has told MPs that months of pent-up desire to party, stronger drugs and reduced tolerance from not taking them during lockdown could cause a “summer of chaos”.

Speaking to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee, Fiona Measham – who is also a director of Loop, which provides free drug testing at festivals – said that hedonism at this year's events was a “particular concern”.

She told MPs: “For this summer in particular we are concerned.


“There is a pent-up demand for partying and a lower tolerance for drugs, which will be combined with higher-strength drugs.

“People have not been in crowds for over a year and we are concerned about the additional anxiety and mental issues. And imagine if they have taken psychedelics on top of that.”


Measham said that a new, powerful ecstasy tablet had been identified in Switzerland, which had “the highest strength ever recorded, over 250mg of MDMA, which is probably four times an adult dose”.

In normal years, Loop is able to test drugs in circulation from May and can report any that are particularly concerning to the authorities.

However, festival season will start later this year because of COVID restrictions, and uncertainty about concrete dates means the ability to potentially prevent hospitalisations and deaths from dangerous drugs could be inhibited.


She said that the delays to the festival season makes it feel “like we’re going to be fighting with one arm behind our back”.

Measham added that 50% of people at festivals took drugs compared to 33% in nightclubs.


Also speaking at the Committee, assistant chief constable Justin Bibby of Staffordshire police said there may be an increase in drug-taking behaviour because people have “been inside for a long time”.

He added: “My view would be that it will certainly be a period of time to see increased risky behaviour and perhaps some of the things we faced in the past may well be exaggerated.”

Responding to the evidence at the Committee, chairman Julian Knight MP said he had “grave concerns” and would be “raising the alarm” with the government about the potential risks of festival season.

He added: “The uncertainty surrounding if and when festivals take place, a huge pent-up demand from the public, combined with a ready supply of high-risk drugs risks spelling disaster this summer.”

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06-APR-2020 :: The Way we live now
Misc.



It certainly is a new c21st that we find ourselves in. There is a luminous and Fairy Tale feel to life in quarantine and as you know most fairy tales have an oftentimes dark and dangerous and unspoken undercurrent. 

I sit in my study and its as if my hearing is sharpened. I hear the Breeze, birdsong, Nature in its many forms and the urban background noise which was once the constant accompaniment to daily life has entirely retreated. 

The Nights are dark, the stars are bright and the neighbiours long gone.



“Going home at night! It wasn't often that I was on the river at night. I never liked it. I never felt in control. In the darkness of river and forest you could be sure only of what you could see — and even on a moonlight night you couldn't see much. When you made a noise — dipped a paddle in the water — you heard yourself as though you were another person. The river and the forest were like presences, and much more powerful than you. You felt unprotected, an intruder ... You felt the land taking you back to something that was familiar, something you had known at some time but had forgotten or ignored, but which was always there.You felt the land taking you back to what was there a hundred years ago, to what had been there always.” ― V.S. Naipaul, A Bend in the River

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Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood BY WILLIAM WORDSWORTH
Misc.




The child is father of the man;

And I could wish my days to be

   Bound each to each by natural piety.

          (Wordsworth, "My Heart Leaps Up")

There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,

       The earth, and every common sight,

                          To me did seem

                      Apparelled in celestial light,

            The glory and the freshness of a dream.

It is not now as it hath been of yore;—

                      Turn wheresoe'er I may,

                          By night or day.

The things which I have seen I now can see no more.

                      The Rainbow comes and goes,

                      And lovely is the Rose,

                      The Moon doth with delight

       Look round her when the heavens are bare,

                      Waters on a starry night

                      Are beautiful and fair;

       The sunshine is a glorious birth;

       But yet I know, where'er I go,

That there hath past away a glory from the earth.

Now, while the birds thus sing a joyous song,

       And while the young lambs bound

                      As to the tabor's sound,

To me alone there came a thought of grief:

A timely utterance gave that thought relief,

                      And I again am strong:

The cataracts blow their trumpets from the steep;

No more shall grief of mine the season wrong;

I hear the Echoes through the mountains throng,

       The Winds come to me from the fields of sleep,

                      And all the earth is gay;

                           Land and sea

                Give themselves up to jollity,

                      And with the heart of May

                 Doth every Beast keep holiday;—

                      Thou Child of Joy,

Shout round me, let me hear thy shouts, thou happy Shepherd-boy.

                      —But there's a Tree, of many, one,

A single field which I have looked upon,

Both of them speak of something that is gone;

                      The Pansy at my feet

                      Doth the same tale repeat:

Whither is fled the visionary gleam?

Where is it now, the glory and the dream?

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:

The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,

                      

The innocent brightness of a new-born Day

                      Is lovely yet;

The Clouds that gather round the setting sun

Do take a sober colouring from an eye

That hath kept watch o'er man's mortality;

Another race hath been, and other palms are won.

Thanks to the human heart by which we live,

Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears,

To me the meanest flower that blows can give

Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.


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Brazil’s Lula in a wilderness of mirrors @asiatimesonline
Law & Politics




A surprising Supreme Court decision that, while not definitive, restores Lula’s political rights has hit Brazil like a semiotic bomb and plunged the nation into a reality show being played in a wilderness of shattered mirrors.   

At first, it looked like three key variables would remain immutable. 

The Brazilian military run the show – and that would not change. They maintain total veto power over whether Lula may run for president for a third term in 2022 – or be neutralized, again, via whatever juridical maneuver might be deemed necessary, at the time of their choosing. 

President Bolsonaro – whose popularity was hovering around 44% – would now have free rein to mobilize all strands of the right against Lula, fully supported by the Brazilian ruling class.

Pinochetist Economics Minister Paulo Guedes would continue to have free rein to completely destroy the Brazilian state, industry and society on behalf of the 0.001%.


So Lula opted for the next-best play: he completely changed the narrative by drawing a sharp contrast to the dreadful wasteland presided over by Bolsonaro 

He emphasized the welfare of Brazilian society; the necessary role of the state, as social provider and development organizer; and the imperative of creating jobs and raising people’s incomes.  

“I want the Armed Forces taking care of the nation’s sovereignty,” he stressed. The political message to the Brazilian military – who hold all the cards in the current political charade – was unmistakable.   


Still, the Lula Show was an incantatory, hypnotic invitation to tens of millions of people glued to their smartphones, a society terminally exhausted, appalled and infuriated by a multi-pronged tragedy presided over by Bolsonaro.

Hence the inevitable, subsequent vortex.  

What is to be done?


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Data from #Covid19 worldwide on March 16: + 477,727 cases in 24 hours @CovidTracker_fr
Misc.


Data from #Covid19 worldwide on March 16: + 477,727 cases in 24 hours, i.e. 120,696,623 in total + 9,999 deaths in 24 hours, i.e. 2,671,291 in total

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Data from #Covid19 worldwide as of March 17: + 499,127 cases in 24 hours @CovidTracker_fr
Misc.



Data from #Covid19 worldwide as of March 17:  + 499,127 cases in 24 hours, i.e. 121,197,000 in total + 9,959 deaths in 24 hours, i.e. 2,681,250 in total

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Cases are now growing again in 20 of the US states plus Puerto Rico. @greg_travis
Misc.



Just as they started growing this time (spring) last year & in the same places (Northeast and Mississippi / Louisiana)

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My concern is that Brazil which was the epicenter of the Virus in May 2020 is once again a Precursor and a Harbinger
Misc.



And sure the numbers slid for around 6 consecutive weeks but they have bottomed out of late.

“I see a huge storm forming in Brazil.” Denise Garrett, vice president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute in Washington

The bottom line: P.1 is 2.5 times more transmissible than the wild-type B lineage. And way more transmissible than B.1.1.7. @bollemdb @obscovid19br 

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


Exponential growth unlike any other that we have seen. Brazil is a global threat @bollemdb

Model-based evaluation of transmissibility and reinfection for the P.1 variant of the SARS-CoV-2


The variant of concern (VOC) P.1 emerged in the Amazonas state (Brazil) and was sequenced for the first time on 6-Jan- 2021 by the Japanese National Institute of Infectious Diseases.

It contains a constellation of mutations, ten of them in the spike protein.

The P.1 variant shares mutations such as E484K, K417T, and N501Y and a deletion in the orf1b protein (del11288-11296 (3675-3677 SGF)) with other VOCs previously detected in the United Kingdom and South Africa (B.1.1.7 and the B.1.351, respectively).

Prevalence of P.1 increased sharply from 0% in November 2020 to 73% in January 2021 and in less than 2 months replaced previous lineages (4).

The estimated relative transmissibility of P.1 is 2.5 (95% CI: 2.3-2.8) times higher than the infection rate of the wild variant, while the reinfection probability due to the new variant is 6.4% (95% CI: 5.7 - 7.1%).

If you have a "normal" pandemic that is fading, but "variants" that [are] surging, the combined total can look like a flat, manageable situation. @spignal


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


COVID19 Historic Peaks Deaths a day @brodjustice


I expect th P.1 Lineage to be dominant worldwide in 8-12 weeks notwithstanding the Focus on SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.1.7

My Thesis is based on the ultra hyperconnectedness of the c21st World.

Therefore, I would be tempering my COVID19 optimism and holding my horses which introduces interesting dynamics into the markets.

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




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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Cremation based estimates suggest significant under- and delayed reporting of COVID-19 epidemic data in Wuhan and China @medrxivpreprint
Misc.



The estimates of cumulative deaths, based on both funeral urns distribution and continuous full capacity operation of cremation services up to March 23, 2020, give results around 36,000, more than 10 times of the official death toll of 2,524.

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08-MAR-2021 Controlling the COVID19 Narrative, suppressing the Enquiry, parlaying the situation into one of singular advantage marks a singular moment
Misc.



Xi has taken calculated risks.

The muscular and multi-faceted nature of Chinese Power is seen in its handling of COVID19.


.@FHeisbourg François Heisbourg: «Le coronavirus, c’est un Tchernobyl chinois à la puissance dix»


First, they staged their "exemplary handling" of the pandemic in a very loud manner, in order to avoid interest in the regime.

And then they severely punished countries that demanded an impartial international investigation, made up of the best experts. 

Australia, which had insisted on the need for transparency, was imposed economic sanctions and a block on its imports.

The debate on the origin of the virus remains totally open, fundamental and potentially explosive.

Controlling the COVID19 Narrative, suppressing the Enquiry, parlaying the situation into one of singular advantage marks a singular moment and Xi Jinping has exhibited Chinese dominance over multiple theatres from the Home Front, the International Media Domain, the ‘’Scientific’’ domain over which he has achieved complete ownership and where any dissenting view is characterized as a ‘’conspiracy theory’’

It remains a remarkable achievement.


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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies



Euro 1.1946

Dollar Index 91.621

Japan Yen 109.08

Swiss Franc 0.9242

Pound 1.3964

Aussie 0.78065

India Rupee 72.571

South Korea Won 1125.49

Brazil Real 5.5855

Egypt Pound 15.713

South Africa Rand 14.7181

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"It is with deep regret that I inform you that today on the 17th of March, 2021 at 6:00 pm we lost our brave leader, the President of the Republic of Tanzania, John Pombe Magufuli," said vice-president Samia Suluhu Hassan.
Africa



He was one of a handful of world leaders, alongside former US President Donald Trump and Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro, who scoffed at the virus, championing alternative medicines.

Mr Magufuli called for prayer instead of face masks, before stopping the publication of statistics in April 2020 when the country had recorded a total of 509 cases and 16 deaths.

Tanzania became an outlier in a region which quickly implemented lockdowns, night-time curfews and travel restrictions to stem infections.

In May last year he revealed he had submitted a variety of fruit and animals to be tested for the virus and that a papaya, quail and goat tested positive, charging there had been "sabotage" at the national laboratory.

'There is no Covid-19'

Mr Magufuli later claimed prayer had saved the country from Covid-19.

"That's why we are all not wearing face masks here. You think we don't fear dying? It's because there is no Covid-19," he said.

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Corona ni ugonjwa @IssaShivji
Africa


Haina heshima wala utii

Haidekezi wala kujipendekeza

Haina ubaguzi wala ustaarabu

Haipendi wala kuchukia

Huwezi kuifunga wala kuifukuza

Huwezi kuitisha wala kuihonga

Haina uongo wala unafiki

Ukweli wake ni moja tu

INAUA INAUA INAUA

Corona is a disease

It has no dignity or obedience

It is neither flattering nor flattering

It is neither discriminatory nor civilized

Like it or not

You can't shut it down or chase it away

You cannot intimidate or bribe

It is neither false nor hypocritical

His truth is only one

KILLS KILLS KILLS KILLS

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Huwezi kuiua kwa bastola Unaweza kuizuia kwa barakoa @IssaShivji
Africa



You can't kill it with a pistol

 ou can block it with bars

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Africa can now look forward to a more practical and rules-based relationship with the US. @patthaker
Africa



Biden’s presidency may not be transformative for Africa, but after Mr Trump’s overt disparagement of the continent, regional states can now look forward to a more practical and rules-based relationship with the US.

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Nature shows us that the Medemer path embodies support to one another; to coexistence & to strength in unity. @AbiyAhmedAli
Africa


Nature shows us that the Medemer path embodies support to one another; to coexistence & to strength in unity. The birds of Lake Tana and the source of the Abay River show us that through mutual support & soaring together, they can surpass what seems miles ahead of them.

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@PMEthiopia has launched an unwinnable War on Tigray Province.
Africa



Ethiopia which was once the Poster child of the African Renaissance now has a Nobel Prize Winner whom I am reliably informed

PM Abiy His inner war cabinet includes Evangelicals who are counseling him he is "doing Christ's work"; that his faith is being "tested". @RAbdiAnalyst

@PMEthiopia has launched an unwinnable War on Tigray Province.

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303,733 Active COVID-19 Cases in Africa @BeautifyData
Africa



-41.589% below record high from Jan 2021 

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Active #Covid19 cases record 520,000 was in January 2021 @NKCAfrica
Africa



Conclusions 



Looks like the Trough and set for an Up Turn imminently 

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Africa is currently reporting a million new infections about every 65 days @ReutersGraphics
Africa


Ivory Coast and Togo at peak Mauritius 99% Guinea 98% Botswana and Libya 90% Ethiopia 89% 

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The actual situation of #COVID19KE positive cases and deaths are currently underreported to MOH - for various reasons @DrAhmedKalebi
Africa



The actual situation of #COVID19KE positive cases and deaths are currently underreported to MOH - for various reasons, so the real scenario is certainly much-much-much worse and can further deteriorate 



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Kenya External Debt @patthaker
Kenyan Economy


Kenya will turn to multilateral sources, highlighted by a pending IMF funding of $2.4bn. Closer IMF involvement may also expose uncounted foreign borrowing by state entities.

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@KCBGroup reports FY 2020 Earnings EPS -22.094% here
N.S.E Equities - Finance & Investment



Par Value:                  1/-

Closing Price:           39.95

Total Shares Issued:          3087443344.00

Market Capitalization:        123,343,361,593

EPS:                6.10 

PE:                  6.549

KCB Full Year Results through 31st Dec 2020 

FY Total Assets 987.810b versus 898.572b

FY Financial Assets at Fair Value 94.284b versus 66.238b

FY Financial Assets at amortised cost 111.357b versus 96.977b

FY Loans and Advances to Customers [net] 595.255b versus 539.747b

FY Deposits from Customers 767.224b versus 686.583b

FY Net Interest Income 72.144b versus 61.424b

FY Non Interest Revenue 23.852b versus 22.877b

FY Total Income 95.996b versus 84.301b

FY Credit Impairment Losses [27.509b] versus [8.889b] 

FY Income after Impairment Charge 68.880b versus 75.412b

FY Total Operating Expenses [43.291b] versus [38.679b]

FY Profit Before Tax 25.719b versus 36.897b

FY Profit After Tax 19.604b versus 25.165b

FY EPS 6.10 versus 7.83 -22.094%

FY Dividend 1 versus 3.50

Cash and Cash Equivalents 65.174b

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KCB Group Investor Presentation
N.S.E Equities - Finance & Investment



25.2M Customers

Restructured 3,800 SME loans valued at Kes 7.5 billion

98% Transactions performed outside the branch.

On average, tellers are now doing half of the daily transactions they used to do five years ago


MOBILE BANKING Channel Performance

Mobile Revenue (Kes M) Kes 1 Trillion

Value of mobile banking transactions driven by a 7X growth in mobile banking deposits.


-22% Decline in mobile banking revenues due to fee waivers

-27% Decline in total mobile loans Advanced driven by a 50% decline in KCB Mpesa disbursements

50% Growth in Agency Banking Volumes to Kes 448B due to continued shift to digital channels


14.7% Group NPL ratio driven by Tourism, restaurants & hotels and manufacturing sectors

14.1% Industry NPL (Kenya) as at December 2020, up from 12.0% in December 2019


19.6%  Proportion of KCB’s restructured loan book  representing total value of Kes. 106.1 billion

Cost to Income Ratio 44.7%

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KCB Group Plc. reported a net profit of KShs. 19.6B for the full year ending December 2020. This was a 22% decline from the KShs.25.2B a year earlier @KCBGroup
N.S.E Equities - Finance & Investment



KCB Group Plc. reported a net profit of KShs. 19.6B for the full year ending December 2020. 

This was a 22% decline from the KShs.25.2B a year earlier as higher provisions for loan losses & subdued economic activity associated with the COVID-19 pandemic hit business performance.

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.@KCBGroup An overview of the performance by our subsidiaries
N.S.E Equities - Finance & Investment



Conclusions

Inexpensive on a PE Ratio of 6.549

A great deal will depend on the shape of the Rebound in 2021

I think there is plenty of scope with the subsidiaries over the next 5 years

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COOP Bank Kenya reports FY 2020 EPS -20.161% Earnings here
N.S.E Equities - Finance & Investment



Par Value:                  1/-

Closing Price:           12.85

Total Shares Issued:          5867179554.00

Market Capitalization:        75,393,257,269

EPS:             1.98 

PE:               6.489 

COOP GROUP FY Earnings through 31st Dec 2020 versus 31st Dec 2019 

FY Assets 536.945b versus 457.008b

FY Investment Securities held at Amortised Cost Kenya Government Securities 98.167673b versus 76.871525b

FY Investment Securities Fair Value through other comprehensive Income 63.718146b versus 40.931155b

FY Loans and Advances [net] to Customers 286.634b versus 266.712b

FY Customer Deposits 378.630453b versus 332.823917b

FY Total Interest Income 48.840645b versus 43.639479b

FY Total Interest Expenses 12.491679b versus 12.236147b

FY Net Interest Income 36.348966b versus 31.303331b

FY Total Non Interest Income 17.480723b versus 17.156662b

FY Total Operating Income 53.829689b versus 48.459993b

FY Loan Loss Provision 8.111824b versus 2.539071b

FY Staff Costs 13.421b versus 12.374217b

FY Other Operating Expenses 12.621578b versus 8.717b

FY Operating Expenses 39.397b versus 27.794b

FY Profit before Tax 14.281861b versus 20.705753b

FY Profit after Tax 10.812876b versus 14.311247b

FY EPS 1.98 versus 2.48

FY Dividend 1.00 unchanged 

Cash and Cash Equivalents 22.033b 

Conclusions

They lifted their loan Loss Provision sharply.

Would be interesting to know more detail around ''Other Operating Expenses''

The Dividend equates to a 7.78% Yield which will underpin the price

Its in an interesting niche which niche has plenty of room to leverage further 

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