Pope Boosts Powers of Vatican Financial Authority After Scandals

Germany to Spend up to $7.3 Billion on Virus-Vaccination Drive

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Germany will spend as much as 6 billion euros ($7.3 billion) on vaccinating its population against the coronavirus.

“That’s a lot of money,” Health Minister Jens Spahn said at a conference in Berlin on Saturday. Still, the cost of “not getting it under control is higher,” he said.

The cost of drugs, vaccination stations and digital tools will likely be between 5 billion euros and 6 billion euros, Spahn said. By contrast, the nation will likely spend as much as 20 billion euros on November support for restaurants and cafes, he said.

Germany aims to beginmass vaccinations by the summer of next year, Spahn said earlier in an interview with T-Online. European Union nations will probably trail other Western countries in rolling out vaccines, potentially prolonging economic risks from the pandemic.

READ MORE: Germany Can Keep Spending to Contend With Pandemic, Merkel Says

Spahn also reiterated that citizens won’t be obliged to get vaccinated.

Tanzania’s Re-Elected President Retains Biteko as Mines Minister

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Tanzanian President John Magufuli reappointed Doto Biteko as his mining minister in cabinet postings following his re-election in October.

Medard Kalemani retained his role of energy minister, State House Chief Secretary John Kijazi announced on the state’s Tanzania Broadcasting Corp. on Saturday.

Magufuli, who won a second five-year term, left several key ministerial posts unchanged. Last month, he reappointed Philip Mpango as finance chief and Palamagamba Kabudi continued as foreign minister.

Tanzania is Africa’s fourth-largest gold producer, with miners includingBarrick Gold Corp. operating there. The East African country also has an estimated 57.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves.

Scottish Power Takes on Yorkshire Energy Customers Post-Collapse

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Scottish Power Ltd. will take onYorkshire Energy Ltd.’s customers after the gas and electricity company went bust this week.

Ofgem appointed Scottish Power to supply Yorkshire’s 74,000 domestic customers and some non-domestic users after a competitive tender, the regulator said in a statement Saturday. The switch will take place on Sunday and customers won’t be charged exit fees if they decide to go with another supplier, Ofgem said.

Rising commodity prices and difficult trading conditions from the Covid-19 pandemic have hurt smaller U.K. energy suppliers this year. The problems have raised concerns larger players could face less competitive pressure in the market in future. The total number of U.K. suppliers has fallen from more than 70 a few years ago to about 50, according to Royal Bank of Canada.

Yorkshire Energy, also known as Daisy Energy, started two and a half years ago as one of a number of small companies looking to get into the market. Another small player, Bristol Energy, was acquired by Together Energy in September.

Barack Obama Has 1 Key Tip For Drake To Play Him In His Biopic

Barack Obama is down with Drake wanting to play him someday in a film about his life.

And on Friday’s broadcast of “The Tonight Show,” the former president shared a tip that could boost the Canadian rapper’s performance (if it ever happens).

“Well, apparently, based on all the people who do imitations of me, the key is to talk really… slowly,” Obama told host Jimmy Fallon.

“And… the… slower… the more… strange pauses there are… in your speech,” he lightheartedly added.

Check out the video here. (The Drake comments start at about the 8:52 mark.)

Drake expressed his desire to play Obama back in 2010.

“I hope somebody makes a movie about Obama’s life soon because I could play him,” the musician told Paper. “That’s the goal.”

“I watch all the addresses,” he went on. “Anytime I see him on TV, I don’t change the channel, I definitely pay attention and listen to the inflections of his voice. If you ask anyone who knows me, I’m pretty good at impressions.”

Obama, in an interview with Complex News last month, described Drake as a “talented, talented brother” who would have “my household’s stamp of approval. I suspect Malia and Sasha would be just fine with it.”


Pope Boosts Powers of Vatican Financial Authority After Scandals

Pope Francis has boosted the supervisory powers of the Vatican’s financial intelligence and anti-money laundering unit, the latest salvo in his push to turn the page on money scandals.

Under Pope Francis’s plan, the agency will be split into three parts: vigilance, rules and legal affairs, and financial information, the Vatican said in a statement on Saturday.

The changes follow a visit by inspectors of the Council of Europe’s Moneyval agency on measures to prevent money-laundering and funding terrorism. The Moneyval team is due to report on its findings in the spring.

The overhaul is part of reforms wanted by Francis to ensure “transparency and reinforce controls in the economic-financial sector,” the agency’s president Carmelo Barbagallo, previously at Italy’s central bank, told Vatican media in an interview.

Francis has issued edicts to reform Vatican finances in the wake of scandals including over a London property deal involving losses of between £66 million and £150 million. His attempts, which have multiplied in the past year, have met with resistance from officials in the Curia, the bureaucracy that runs the Roman Catholic Church.

As part of the overhaul, the Pope also changed the name of the agency to the Supervisory Financial Information Authority, previously known as the Financial Information Authority.