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Tom Hanks hails Edinburgh bookseller ‘hero’ for his dedication to typewriters

Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks hails Edinburgh bookseller ‘hero’ for his dedication to typewriters

An Edinburgh bookseller and Scotland’s only typewriter mechanic has been hailed a hero by Tom Hanks for his dedication to the machines.

In the summer Tom Hodges, who runs Typewronger Books in Edinburgh, sent a letter to the actor to let him know of his shop and the typewriter exhibition currently running at the National Museum of Scotland.

In his letter Hodges explained all about his life including how he became a typewriter mechanic and “geek” while living at the famous Paris bookshop Shakespeare and Company. He also included an origami dragon that he had made.

To his surprise he received a typed reply from the You’ve Got Mail star, who himself has a collection of 120 typewriters and loves to write using one.

Hodges said: “I receive letters from people all the time and they are all precious to me but it is not every day you receive one from a Hollywood legend and they call you their hero. I love all his films but I also love the fact he is such a fan of typewriters.

“It is a gorgeous letter and I am made up about it. It’s all been a bit surreal. It will be framed and have pride of place in the bookshop.”

Hanks wrote his reply on the set of the Baz Luhrmann-directed Elvis biopic in which Hanks will play the singer’s notorious manager, Colonel Tom Parker. The letter even had a reproduction Colonel Parker letterhead.

In Hanks’s missive, which endearingly has a number of typos, the actor commended Hodges for “battling against the giants to sell the best of books – and keep typewriters alive”.

He also suggested he may well drop in on Typewronger Books if he is ever in Leith.

Hodges, 35, who typed his letter to Hanks on his grandfather’s old Remington Noiseless typewriter, said he is a typewriter and independent bookshop “evangelist”.

In Typewronger Books – inspired by Hodges’s skill at making “right” defective typewriters – there is a typewriter for people to come in and use and write a letter or even the beginning of their novel.

Hodges is keen to move away from the “obsession with perfection” that has come with the advent of computers and cutting and pasting.

As for the charm of the machines, the bookseller and typewriter mechanic who has more than 100 of his own machines concluded: “I love playing with the mechanisms, but for me it is the sound and the sensation of hitting the keys of a typewriter that is magical.”

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35 illegal tax collectors facing prosecution in Benue

The Acting Chairman of the Benue State Internal Revenue Service (BIRS), Emmanuel Agena, has revealed that 35 persons involved in illegal tax collection in the state are currently facing prosecution.

Agena announced that the agency has set an ambitious target to generate over N16 billion in revenue for the year 2024 following the successful surpassing of its N14 billion target in 2023.

Speaking to journalists on Monday, Agena expressed concern over the activities of illegal tax collectors in the state, noting that many of them were supported by influential personalities.

He stated that his administration at the BIRS had put an end to the era of patronage by politicians, aiming to significantly reduce illegal tax collection activities.

The BIRS boss also condemned a recent incident in which a truck carrying palliatives from Adamawa to Anambra State was hijacked by youths in Aliade, Gwer East.

He disclosed that three suspects have been arrested in connection with the incident.

“A truck was intercepted and the driver beaten while the windscreen of the vehicle broken and over N200,000 was stolen.

“Three persons have been arrested and are in police custody. They will be moved to DSS for thorough investigation.

“We aim to flush out or reduce illegal tax collectors to the barest minimum. Already, 35 people who engaged in illegal tax collection were arrested and facing prosecution.

“This has been a big challenge. We have constituted a team headed by the director of Tax collection. Prominent people in the state are involved in encouraging these boys,” he stated.

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Nigeria’s Inflation rate hits 33.20% in March- NBS

The National Bureau of Statistics NBS says Nigeria’s inflation rate jumped to 33.20% in March 2024 compared to February 2024 headline inflation rate which was 31.70%.

A report released by the NBS on Monday, April 15, reads

“Looking at the movement, the March 2024 headline inflation rate showed an increase of 1.50% points when compared to the February 2024 headline inflation rate.

“On a year-on-year basis, the headline inflation rate was 11.16% points higher compared to the rate recorded in March 2023, which was 22.04%. On a month-on-month basis, the headline inflation rate in March 2024 was 3.02%, which was 0.10% lower than the rate recorded in February 2024 (3.12%).

“This means that in the month of March 2024, the rate of increase in the average price level is less than the rate of increase in the average price level in February 2024.”

 

The inflation report by the NBS followed the hike of Nigeria’s interest rate from 22.75% to 24.75% by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The March inflation rate was released at a time when measures by the apex bank to strenghten the naira against foreign exchange have seen some positive results.

The naira has appreciated against the dollar in recent weeks, gaining over 40%, from about N1,900/$ to about N1,100/$1 now.

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NAFDAC seals popular Supermarket in Ibadan

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC) has sealed a popular groceries and cosmetics supermarket, Pinnacle in Dugbe area of Ibadan over sale of fake products.

The supermarket, usually a beehive of activities was now a shadow of itself as the gate leading to the premises was shut with an inscription directing customers to its branch at Challenge.

Management of the supermarket cited technical issues as reason for its closure.

An inside source who pleaded for anonymity however revealed that problem started on Tuesday, 2nd April , 2024 when NAFDAC surveillance team stormed the mall to enforce total shutdown of the premises, thereby forcing shoppers out of the supermarket.

“The NAFDAC team came inside the mall and told us to close, even though people were many inside who wanted to do shopping but they couldn’t because the technical issue started and they all went away in disappointment”, the source said.

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