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Six degrees

Jemma Zoe Rogers

 

Standard Chartered, which, as one of Hong Kong's three note-issuing banks, released the world's first $150 bill (in any currency) in the city, in 2009, was last week accused by New York's banking regulator of sustained violations of sanctions on Iran. Perhaps understandably, StanChart officials said they were "surprised" by the accusations. Standard Chartered came into being in 1969, when the Standard Bank of British South Africa and the Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China merged. Someone who would remember that marriage would be an employee who was hired by Standard Bank in May 1965 and continued to work for the merged company until 1979: John Major …

Britain's prime minister from November 1990 to May 1997, Major was popular among his electorate, despite the common perception of him as being incredibly boring. He may have just been playing it safe, however, as a result of a near-death experience he had in 1967. While working for the bank, Major was nearly killed in a car accident in Jos, Nigeria …

Colloquially known as "J-town" or "Jesus our saviour", Jos is the administrative capital of the Plateau State, and lately it could have done with a bit of divine intervention. In recent years it has seen clashes between its Muslim and Christian populations and last month a flood destroyed more than 200 homes and left at least 35 people missing. In Nigeria's days as a British colony, the city was an important centre for tin mining and attracted many families looking for work; families such as that of Panshak Zamani …

Better known by his stage name Ice Prince, Zamani is a prominent hip hop artist and winner of the Hennessy Artistry competition for urban/contemporary music in 2009. He began writing his hip hop music, which he has described as "rubbish", at secondary school, after having had a primary education at St Murumba School, among whose alumni are also the identical twin brothers who make up R&B duo P-Square and Mikel John Obi …

The Chelsea player started his football career at the age of 12 and has been a member of the Nigerian national team since 2005. A year ago today, Obi's father was kidnapped in Jos. Despite having been informed, Obi played the opening game of last year's Premier League season, against Stoke City. He made an announcement after the game calling for the people of Nigeria to help him find his father, who was released unharmed 10 days later. In the final of last season's FA Cup, Chelsea came up against a team that have an ingrained animosity towards the Londoners, according to Obi, and "always come after us", even if they are not having a particularly good spell: Liverpool …

Liverpool lost that game but the club still has plenty to be proud of, having won more European Cup/Champions League titles (five) than any other English team. Current Euro champions Chelsea have just the one title by comparison. That illustrious history was no doubt one of the reasons a new sponsor was eager to take its place on Liverpool jerseys last year, when a Carlsberg contract ended. The new sponsor?

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