Items filtered by date: Tuesday, 01 October 2019

Google, the world’s largest search engine, is celebrating Nigeria on its Google Search with a special doodle as the country marks its 59 years of independence.

The doodle features the Nigerian green-white-green flag, with a picture of Aso Rock displayed in the background.

It’s Google’s way of wishing the country a happy Independence Day.

A click on the doodle opens up another page where very important facts about Nigeria and its history are displayed.

The Google doodle is used to celebrate special occasions and individuals around the world.

It has been used to celebrate many historic figures and events around the world.

Nigeria’s Independence Day from British colonial is celebrated annually on the first of October.

Published in World
A Federal High Court in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria has ordered Keystone Bank Limited to pay a Chinese company, Hexing Electrical damages in the sum of $778,118.72 over a breach of contract.
 
The judgement of the court was sequel to a suit filed before the court against Keystone Bank Limited by Chris International Agencies company and Central bank of Nigeria as defendants,  claiming the sum of $778,118.72 being the total outstanding sum of the money  due and payable under the irrevocable letter of credit issued by the bank sometime in September, 2015 to the Chinese company.
 
Keystone Bank on 16th of September, 2015 was said to have issued letter of credit in favour of Hexing Electrical Company Limited, a company registered under the laws of the Peoples Republic of China in the sum of $1,134,545, subject to the provisions of uniform custom and practice for documentary credit.
 
The bank paid $336,421.28 in varying installments to the company, however, despite all demands for the payment of the balance of $798,108.70 the bank was said to have refused and only paid additional $20,000.
 
Consequently, the company petitioned the Central bank of Nigeria, thereafter the company instituted the suit against the bank and two others.
 
The case of the third defendant Chris International Agencies was that by memorandum of understanding with Hexing Electrical, they formed a consortium known as Chris Ejike Hexing consortium  for the purpose of carrying on the business of production, supply and installation of meters in Nigeria, the company entered into a supply and installation agreement with the Enugu Electricity Distribution company, for the supply and installation of indoor, ring type meters with sealable terminal cover.
 
According to  Chris International Agencies Company, the total value of the contract was N485,587,958.10, that the Hexing Electrical company was to manufacture the meters and in accordance with the specification agreed with Enugu Electrical Distribution Company, that it was for this purpose that the Chris international Agencies  took  letter of credit with Keystone bank in favour of Hexing Electrical Company, which the bank had paid part of the sum $356,421.28, adding that Hexing Electrical company did not manufacture the meters according to specification and the contract was subsequently terminated by Enugu Electrical Distribution Company.
 
Chris International Agencies alleged that Hexing Electrical company perpetrated fraud deliberately and as such not entitled to further payment on the letter of credit.
 
At the hearing of the case, Keystone Bank did not file any counter affidavit, its lawyer said the bank would abide by whatever decision the court took.
 
In his judgement, the presiding Judge, Nicholas Oweibo, said the bank did not deny the existence of contract between it and the Hexing Electrical company and that the company had through its affidavit in support shown that the bank failed to completely honour its own part of the contract.
 
He said the evidence had indeed established that Keystone Bank was in breach of its contract with the company.
 
 “Considering the above, I am of the view that Keystone is in breach of the contract it had with Hexing Electrical company. It has been established that the bank had kept in its custody the sum claimed contrary to the terms of the letter of Credit even after the company had accepted to receive naira equivalent. In the circumstances, the company is entitled to 10% interest per annum on the judgement sum of $778,118.72 from the day of judgement until liquidation of the judgement sum.
 
“The complaint of  fraud in this case is not in respect of the documentation of the letter of credit. The fraud complaint is with respect to the goods that the plaintiff did not meet the specification.  In the light of the above, I enter judgment for the plaintiff and grant its prayers by ordering that Keystone Bank pay damages to Hexing Electrical company limited in the sum of $778,118.72 being the money due and payable under the irrevocable letter of credit, an order that the bank pay the company interest at the rate of 10% per annum from the date of judgement until the liquidation of the judgement debt,” he said.
Published in Bank & Finance
President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to release N600 billion for Capital Expenditure in the next three months.
 
The President gave the directive in his nationwide broadcast to mark the Nigeria’s 59th Independence Anniversary on Tuesday in Abuja.
 
He stated that the directive was informed by his administration’s desire to significantly increase investments in the nation critical infrastructure.
 
According to him, the implementation of the 2019 Capital Budget, which was only approved in June 2019, will be accelerated to ensure that critical priority projects are completed or substantially addressed.
 
He revealed that the Federal Government had so far released N1.74trillion for execution of various capital projects in the 2018 fiscal year.
 
“In this regard, we are significantly increasing investments in critical infrastructure. Last year, capital releases only commenced with the approval of the Budget in June 2018.
 
“However, as at 20th June this year, up to N1.74 trillion had been released for capital projects in the 2018 fiscal year,’’ he said.
 
The president noted that the exchange rate in the last three years had remained stable, with robust reserves of 42.5 billion dollars, up from 23 billion dollars in Oct. 2016.
 
He added that, to maximise impact, the federal government would continue to increasingly welcome and encourage private capital for infrastructure development through Public Private Partnerships.
 
Buhari maintained that his administration would also continue the fight against illegal bunkering of crude oil and the smuggling of refined petroleum products across the borders.
 
He said this would include the diligent prosecution and conviction of offenders found guilty of these acts.
 
“Whilst Nigeria remains committed to free and fair continental and international trade, we will not hesitate to take all necessary steps to tackle illegal smuggling, transshipment and other predatory trade practices that destroy jobs in our country,’’ the president added.
 
On power, Buhari reiterated his administration’s determination to reform the power sector to ensure speedy socio-economic transformation across the country.
 
“We are resolute in reforming the power sector. In August this year, we launched the Presidential Power Initiative to modernize the National Grid in 3 phases: starting from 5 Gigawatts to 7 Gigawatts, then to 11 Gigawatts by 2023, and finally 25 Gigawatts afterwards.
 
“This programme, in partnership with the German Government and Siemens, will provide end-to-end electrification solutions that will resolve our transmission and distribution challenges,’’ he disclosed.
 
According to him, the programme will also localise the development and assembly of smart meters as well as the operations and maintenance capabilities of transmission and distribution infrastructure.
 
He expressed delight with the improved inter-agency collaboration between the Ministry of Power and the regulators in the banking and power sectors to ensure that electricity sales, billings and collections were automated and become cashless.
 
“These initiatives are important to ensure that the technical and collection losses in the sector are substantially reduced.
 
“I remain confident that Nigerians will have affordable and uninterrupted electricity supply in the not too distant future.
Published in Bank & Finance
A Federal High Court in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria has ordered Keystone Bank Limited to pay a Chinese company, Hexing Electrical damages in the sum of $778,118.72 over a breach of contract.
 
The judgement of the court was sequel to a suit filed before the court against Keystone Bank Limited by Chris International Agencies company and Central bank of Nigeria as defendants,  claiming the sum of $778,118.72 being the total outstanding sum of the money  due and payable under the irrevocable letter of credit issued by the bank sometime in September, 2015 to the Chinese company.
 
Keystone Bank on 16th of September, 2015 was said to have issued letter of credit in favour of Hexing Electrical Company Limited, a company registered under the laws of the Peoples Republic of China in the sum of $1,134,545, subject to the provisions of uniform custom and practice for documentary credit.
 
The bank paid $336,421.28 in varying installments to the company, however, despite all demands for the payment of the balance of $798,108.70 the bank was said to have refused and only paid additional $20,000.
 
Consequently, the company petitioned the Central bank of Nigeria, thereafter the company instituted the suit against the bank and two others.
 
The case of the third defendant Chris International Agencies was that by memorandum of understanding with Hexing Electrical, they formed a consortium known as Chris Ejike Hexing consortium  for the purpose of carrying on the business of production, supply and installation of meters in Nigeria, the company entered into a supply and installation agreement with the Enugu Electricity Distribution company, for the supply and installation of indoor, ring type meters with sealable terminal cover.
 
According to  Chris International Agencies Company, the total value of the contract was N485,587,958.10, that the Hexing Electrical company was to manufacture the meters and in accordance with the specification agreed with Enugu Electrical Distribution Company, that it was for this purpose that the Chris international Agencies  took  letter of credit with Keystone bank in favour of Hexing Electrical Company, which the bank had paid part of the sum $356,421.28, adding that Hexing Electrical company did not manufacture the meters according to specification and the contract was subsequently terminated by Enugu Electrical Distribution Company.
 
Chris International Agencies alleged that Hexing Electrical company perpetrated fraud deliberately and as such not entitled to further payment on the letter of credit.
 
At the hearing of the case, Keystone Bank did not file any counter affidavit, its lawyer said the bank would abide by whatever decision the court took.
 
In his judgement, the presiding Judge, Nicholas Oweibo, said the bank did not deny the existence of contract between it and the Hexing Electrical company and that the company had through its affidavit in support shown that the bank failed to completely honour its own part of the contract.
 
He said the evidence had indeed established that Keystone Bank was in breach of its contract with the company.
 
 “Considering the above, I am of the view that Keystone is in breach of the contract it had with Hexing Electrical company. It has been established that the bank had kept in its custody the sum claimed contrary to the terms of the letter of Credit even after the company had accepted to receive naira equivalent. In the circumstances, the company is entitled to 10% interest per annum on the judgement sum of $778,118.72 from the day of judgement until liquidation of the judgement sum.
 
“The complaint of  fraud in this case is not in respect of the documentation of the letter of credit. The fraud complaint is with respect to the goods that the plaintiff did not meet the specification.  In the light of the above, I enter judgment for the plaintiff and grant its prayers by ordering that Keystone Bank pay damages to Hexing Electrical company limited in the sum of $778,118.72 being the money due and payable under the irrevocable letter of credit, an order that the bank pay the company interest at the rate of 10% per annum from the date of judgement until the liquidation of the judgement debt,” he said.
Published in Bank & Finance
Tuesday, 01 October 2019 16:26

Typhoon destroys bridge in Taiwan, 6 missing

A bridge in eastern Taiwan collapsed on Tuesday, colliding with boats below and causing casualties, fire safety officials said.

An oil tanker truck that had been about to cross the bridge also fell to the ground.

The seriously injured driver was immediately rescued from the burning vehicle and sent to the hospital, according to the National Fire Agency.

The 21-year-old bridge, located in Nanfangao, a fishing port in Yilan County, collapsed at about 9.30 a.m. (0130 GMT).

So far about 10 people have been pulled from the water and are being treated in hospital, the agency said.

No deaths have been reported.

At least six people on fishing boats remain missing and underwater rescue teams are searching for survivors, the agency said.

Two rescuers from the coastguard were also injured and sent to a hospital, it added.

Most of the people reported injured so far were foreign guest workers from the Philippines and Indonesia, who had been staying on fishing boats to avoid Typhoon Mitag, which brought strong winds and torrential rain to the island late Monday and into Tuesday.

The storm had cleared and the sun was shining in Yilan when the bridge collapsed.

Witnesses interviewed by local broadcaster SET TV said they saw the bridge suddenly “free falling” to the ground.

Separately, at least 12 people were injured when Typhoon Mitag lashed Taiwan.

The Central Emergency Operation Centre (CEOC) said that most people were hurt by falling objects or were blown off motor scooters when the fast-moving typhoon skirted the island.

Part of the power grid was damaged, leaving 66,773 households without electricity, the CEOC said.

Almost 5,000 residents living in the mountains or flood-prone areas were evacuated.

Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau lifted its typhoon and heavy rain warnings on Tuesday as Mitag continued to weaken.

It is expected to reach South Korea late Wednesday, the dpa news reported.

Published in World

More than 100,000 people, both military and civilians Tuesday morning gathered at the historic Tian’anmen Square in Beijing to celebrate the 70th founding anniversary of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

The “National Day” celebration was broadcast live locally and overseas both on television and internet streaming services. Locally, China Media Group (CMG), one of the country’s largest broadcasters transmitted the event live in 4K ultra-high-definition to 70 cinemas in more than 10 provincial-level regions across the country. Over 100 cameras and more than 200 microphones were set up to cover the celebrations, said CMG.

The event was graced by a fierce display of China’s latest military parade, the first of its kind since socialism. “The parade is meant to showcase China’s achievements in building its national defense and armed forces in the past 70 years, as well as the outcomes of recent reforms of the people’s armed forces,” Cai Zhijun, deputy head of the office of the leading group for the military parade said ahead of the event.

A formation of unmanned combat armaments takes part in the military parade

For the first time, China showcased to the world its H-6N, a home-made strategic bomber capable of air refueling and long-range strike. Also showcased in the parade was H-6K, a domestically-developed medium and long-range bomber among other advanced military hardware. A formation consisting of 16 new-type strategic nuclear missile launchers carrying Dongfeng-41 passed through Tian’anmen Square to grace the historic event. A total of 188 military attaches from 97 countries stationed in China were invited to witness the historic event.

For the first time, China showcased to the world its H-6N, a home-made strategic bomber capable of air refueling and long-range strike. Also showcased in the parade was H-6K, a domestically-developed medium and long-range bomber among other advanced military hardware.

President Xi Jinping remembered revolutionary forefathers and martyrs for their feats in pursuing national independence and liberation, a stronger and more prosperous country and the people’s well-being.

“We gathered here today for a grand rally to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the PRC,” said Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission.

“Right at this moment, Chinese people of all ethnic groups and all the sons and daughters of the Chinese nation at home and abroad take pride in and give our best wishes to our great motherland with great joy,” he added.

A state heroes formation takes part in the celebrations of the 70th founding anniversary of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in Beijing

Xi also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, extended warm National Day congratulations to Chinese people of all ethnic groups and all compatriots at home and abroad. He also expressed heartfelt gratitude to friends around the world for their caring for and support to China’s development.

For the first time in a National Day military parade, a formation of Chinese peacekeepers wearing UN peacekeepers’ blue berets and scarves was paraded. The peacekeepers in the formation were drawn from troops most of which have participated in UN peacekeeping missions in Liberia, Mali, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lebanon, Sudan and South Sudan.China has dispatched over 40,000 personnel to 24 UN peacekeeping operations since 1990, with 13 Chinese peacekeepers sacrificing their lives in the frontline of operations.

Xi pledged that the country will stay on the path of peaceful development and pursue a mutually beneficial strategy of opening up.

“We will continue to work with people from all countries to push for jointly building a community with a shared future for humanity,” Xi said. President Xi stressed that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army and the People’s Armed Police Force should always preserve their nature, purpose and character as the forces of the people, resolutely safeguard China’s sovereignty, security, and development interests, and firmly uphold world peace.

Published in World

President Cyril Ramaphosa has vowed to rebuild South Africans’ confidence in the economy, based not merely on hope or expectation of change, but on concrete things.

South Africans want concrete things that can make a difference in the economy and real actions that “move the needle,” the president said in his first weekly message “From the Desk of the President,” a new platform through which the president said, “I will discuss some of the issues that interest and concern South Africans, and talk about the work we are doing in government to tackle these issues.”

After a decade of low growth and deepening poverty, people are looking for signs of progress in tackling the many challenges confronting the country, the president said.

This year the economy will record growth lower than expected, with the government’s finances being stretched and several industries looking at retrenching workers, he said. South Africa’s GDP growth forecast for 2019 has been revised by the National Treasury to 1.5 percent, from an estimated 1.7 percent in 2018. “Much of the confidence that the country had 20 months ago has dissipated as the reality of the problems we face became clearer,” he added.

The important issue is that the government should move in a determined way to effect change while remaining irrevocably committed to rooting out state capture, corruption and malfeasance, Ramaphosa said. South Africans want to change the narrative of doubt to a narrative of opportunity not through clever spin, but through action, he added. As part of efforts to rebuild confidence, funds have been redirected to stimulate economic activity in areas where the majority of South Africans live, Ramaphosa said.

These include finance to support black commercial farmers, the revitalization of industrial parks in townships and the establishment of a Township Economy Fund.The government is also increasing the value of goods and services it procures from small business and cooperatives, Ramaphosa said.Much work is underway to improve the ease and reduce the cost of doing business, as are efforts to restructure state-owned enterprises and ensure that they perform better in meeting the country’s needs, the president said.

South Africa is taking firm action to grow the economy and create jobs, he said.Building on the stimulus and recovery plan, the government will finalize a clear economic growth strategy within the next few weeks, the president promised.”I am certain that with the active involvement of all sectors of society, this will be achieved,” Ramaphosa said.

Published in News Economy
Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday said the country is working closely with the United States to repatriate the $300 million stacked in that by the late despotic leader, Sani Abacha.
 
Buhari, in his independence broadcast on Tuesday morning said his administration was committed to installing a culture of good governance and that it had fought against corruption, by investigating and prosecuting those accused of embezzlement and the misuse of public resources.
 
He said the Federal Ministry of Justice was working with the US Department of Justice to conclude a Memorandum of Understanding to expedite the repatriation of the Abacha funds.
 
“Furthermore, we partnered with our friends abroad to combat tax evasion, smuggling, terrorism and illicit financial flows. In June 2018, I assented to the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act, to provide a domestic legal framework for obtaining international assistance in criminal matters.
 
“This measure has already strengthened our law enforcement agencies in obtaining evidence, investigating suspects and facilitating the recovery, forfeiture and confiscation of property implicated as proceeds of crime.
 
“An example is the US$300 million recently identified as part of the Abacha money-laundering case, working closely with the Government of the United States of America. The Federal Ministry of Justice is working with the US Department of Justice to conclude a Memorandum of Understanding to expedite the repatriation of these funds,” he said.
 
Buhari added that “We have empowered teams of prosecutors, assembled detailed databases of evidence, traced the proceeds of crimes and accelerated the recovery of stolen funds.”
 
The president added that his administration had introduced institutional reforms to enforce the Treasury Single Account policy, introduce the Whistle-blowers’ Initiative, expand the coverage of the Integrated Payroll Personnel and Information System as well as the Government Integrated Management Information System, which had saved billions of Naira over the last four years, and deterred the rampant theft and mismanagement of public funds that had plagued public service.
 
Buhari said the Ministry of Justice, the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission would continue to address this menace of corruption, saying “we are determined to ensure that transparency and good governance are institutionalized in public service.
 
“The P & ID Arbitral Award has underscored the manner in which significant economic damage has been caused by the past activities of a few corrupt and unpatriotic Nigerians. The policies that we are putting in place today are to ensure such criminal and unpatriotic acts do not go without consequences. Our renewed partnership with the 9th National Assembly will facilitate the swift passage of enabling laws that will institutionalise these anti-corruption efforts in our criminal justice system.
 
“In this connection, I call upon our States to intensify their own efforts to instill greater fiscal transparency and accountability. And to ensure greater fiscal efficiency and optimum use of our very scarce resources. The blight of Corruption is fighting back. Nevertheless, this is a battle that we shall see through and this is a war, which we shall win by the Grace of God.
 
“I will also call upon all Nigerians, from every walk of life, to combat Corruption at every turn. By choosing to question and confront corrupt practices, by reporting unethical practices or through whistle-blowing. Together, we can overcome corruption and will no longer be a country defined by corruption,” he said.
 
Published in Bank & Finance

The Lagos State Government has warned the concessionaires managing the Oko-Oba Abattoir to comply with the agreement reached with Government by ensuring that the facility is managed properly in accordance with a proper hygiene culture.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya who gave the warning on Monday when he went on tour of the abattoir noted that the warning became imperative in order to ensure that Lagosians consumed only wholesome meat from the abattoirs.

“We are very much concerned about the implication of consuming unwholesome meat. We cannot toil with the lives of over 21 million Lagosians and that is why as part of our pro-active measures, the State Government will not condone any act of uncleanliness and lawlessness in meat processing and delivery in the State”, she said.

The Special Adviser explained said that the vision of the Governor is to make Lagos a 21st century economy, adding that attention would therefore be given to all areas of the food supply chain with emphasis on the consumption of wholesome meat by the citizen.

She said that an abattoir should be clean and free of dirt as it is the standard practice in advanced countries, stressing that the state government is now encouraging private investment in the meat value chain with the licensing of more private investors to establish mechanised and semi-mechanised slaughtering and processing facilities in the State.

Olusanya noted that constant monitoring, compliance as well as enforcement will in turn prevent spread of diseases, promote data collection for planning, promote good animal welfare to make Lagos a safe place for all inhabitants by discouraging environmental pollution and health hazard.

She said government has decided to promote and benchmark its reforms against international best practices hence it is committed towards improving the conditions of abattoir, access control, waste management, sanitation and removal of illegal structures.

Published in Business

THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has — with immediate effect — banned all cash-in, cash-out and cash-back transactions, which were being used by dealers to extort members of the public of their hard-earned cash.

Further, the cash-in, cash-out and cash-back transactions, had become sources of price instability as traders would charge up to 60 percent if one was not making a cash transaction.

RBZ Director Financial Markets, National Payment Systems Mr Josephat Mutepfa yesterday said it had come to the attention of the central bank that some economic agents were “engaging in illegal activities abusing the cash-in, cash-out and cash-back facilities, thereby compromising the public interest objectives of national payment systems in the economy”.

“Notable activities include the buying and selling of cash through mobile money agents at high rates above the approved charges for cash-in and cash-out, with some economic agents not banking cash sales under the disguise of cash-back services,” said Mr Mutepfa.

“The charging of commissions outside the approved framework adversely affects the smooth operation of payment systems and have the negative effect of distorting pricing of goods and services.

“In view of the above, all mobile payment system providers and merchants are hereby directed to discontinue cash-in and cash-out with immediate effect. Furthermore, all economic agents are, with immediate effect, directed to discontinue cash-back facilities.”

He said banks, mobile payment system providers and other economic agents were reminded to ensure that the entire ecosystem operates within the confines of the law and enforce compliance.

An Econet official told The Herald yesterday that they were studying the ban. “I can confirm we received the directive and we are looking at it,” said the official.

NetOne CEO Mr Lazarus Muchenje and Telecel Zimbabwe CEO Mrs Angeline Vere, were not answering their mobile phones when contacted for comment last night.

Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube told journalists after yesterday’s Cabinet briefing that the decision to ban cash-in, cash-out and cash-back transactions was motivated by the desire to reduce the burden on citizens who were needlessly losing value for their money.

“The feeling here was that on the cash-in, cash-out transactions, there was an implicit exchange rate that was applying because of the discounts that these agents were applying; discounts as high as 55 percent or 60 percent on RTGS balances.

“That’s what (brought) that directive from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. That is what it is trying to deal with, to make sure that it (discounts for cash) does not become yet another rate,” said Prof Ncube.

He said the country was going back to multiple exchange rates and the RBZ ban seeks to try “to close that gap”.

“Then over time, obviously cash in circulation will be increased; so we should expect that to happen,” said Prof Ncube.

Economist Mr Persistence Gwanyanya said the reaction by RBZ on the cash-in, and cash-out transactions “was ostensibly driven by the need to restore sanity in the financial services sector”.

“Given the RBZ’s primary duty to ensure price and financial services sector stability, the intervention of RBZ is unsurprising as our enterprising population was increasingly abusing the cash-in, cash-out facility by selling cash at exorbitant rates of up to 60 percent.

“However, what is more important is to understand the drivers of these unscrupulous behaviours for more effective policy intervention.

“We expected RBZ to concurrently increase the cash in the economy to recommended levels of 10 percent to 15 percent of money supply, which is also the desired level RBZ indicated in the recently announced Mid-Term Monetary Policy Review,” he said.

With the current money supply level of around $15 billion, cash in circulation should be between $1,5 and $2,25billion.

Presently, there is about $600 million cash in circulation, which Mr Gwanyanya said was “way lower than the required amounts”.

“Whilst it may appear obvious that RBZ should simply increase cash in circulation, the issue is a bit complicated as the leadership has already indicated that the bond notes and coins are on their way out, with new currency coming.

“So it’s illogical to increase the amount of money that is being phased out, which speaks to the need to expedite the new currency that was spoken about by the President himself,” said Mr Gwanyanya.

 

Credit: Herald 

Published in Bank & Finance
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