Russia halts deal over Ukraine Black Sea grain exports after drone attacks:
A UN chartered vessel with more than 23,000 metric tons of grain in Yuzhne, Ukraine, in August. | AFP-JIJI
On Saturday, Russia suspended participation in a UN-brokered Black Sea grain deal. The deal allowed shipments of grain from Ukraine, one of the world’s largest exporters. This is due to Russia telling the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in a letter that it was suspending the deal for an “indefinite term” because it could not “guarantee safety of civilian ships” traveling under the pact. Russia’s defense ministry said Ukraine attacked the Black Sea Fleet near Sevastopol on the annexed Crimean peninsula with 16 drones early on Saturday, and that British navy “specialists” had helped coordinate the “terrorist” attack. Though, Russia says, it had repelled the attack but that the ships targeted were involved in ensuring the grain corridor out of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports. Britain on Saturday said Russia’s claims, including that British navy personnel blew up the Nord Stream pipelines last month, were false and aimed at distracting attention from Russian military failures. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said what he called Russia’s nonsensical move required a strong international response from the UN and the Group of 20 major economies. Russian Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev said Russia was ready to supply up to 500,000 metric tons of grain to poor countries in the next four months for free, with assistance from Turkey, and supplant supplies of Ukrainian grains.
Bolsonaro, Lula in close race as final Brazil votes tallied:
Electoral workers carry electronic voting machines and election materials, to be taken by boat to polling stations a day ahead of the country's presidential runoff election, in Autazes, Amazonas state, Brazil, Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022. (AP Photo/Edmar Barros)
Incumbent Jair Bolsonaro and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva are very close in Brazil’s runoff presidential election with 90.7% of the votes tallied. According to the country’s election authority, Da Silva has 50.5% compared to 49.5% for Bolsonaro. Because the vote is conducted electronically, initial results are out quickly and final results are usually available a few hours later. The election pits an incumbent vowing to safeguard conservative Christian values against a leftist former president promising to return the country to a more prosperous past. The vote will determine if the world’s fourth-largest democracy stays the same course of far-right politics or returns a leftist to the top job. The president displayed his tremendous digital mobilization in recent days as his campaign introduced claims of possible electoral manipulation. For months, he claimed that the nation’s electronic voting machines are prone to fraud, though he never presented evidence, even after the electoral authority set a deadline for him to do so. Most opinion polls before the election gave a lead to da Silva, universally known as Lula, though political analysts agreed the race grew increasingly tight in recent weeks. There were multiple reports of what critics said appeared attempts to suppress turnout of likely voters for da Silva, who was president from 2003-2010.
Nigeria aims to achieve 100% cashless economy:
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is making efforts to ensure that Nigeria operates a 100 percent cashless economy. President Muhammadu Buhari formally launched the digital currency at the state house in Abuja on October 25, 2021. Buhari had said it would help move people and businesses from the informal into the formal sector, thereby increasing the tax base of the country.
The Naira and its underlying technology, called blockchain, was projected to increase Nigeria’s GDP by $29 billion over the next 10 years. At the anniversary, Governor Godwin Emefiele of the CBN said Nigeria must move from a cash economy to a predominantly cashless one. He says, “At this time, I can say from what I have read from online banking to introducing the POS to ATMs, to mobile banking, working and collaborating with the ministry of education, I want to say that we have provided all the necessary infrastructure that should enable us to make cashless a nationwide journey. Emefiele further said the eNaira was another product added for Nigerians to embrace a cashless economy and has recorded over eight billion transactions in its first year of operation. The CBN Governor further pledged that the apex bank would continue to act decisively to encourage innovation, while also protecting the interests of consumers and other stakeholders.