This crisis is different’: the dramatic rebound in the global economy

Economy, Policies

This crisis is different’: the dramatic rebound in the global economy

From an economic point of view, it is almost as if the last year was just a bad dream.

As recently as October, the IMF was warning that coronavirus will cause “lasting damage” to living standards across the world with any recovery likely to be “long, uneven and uncertain”.

Yet the forecast it released this week is very different. By 2024, the IMF now believes, the US economy is likely to be stronger than it had predicted before the pandemic. For most advanced economies, it says, there will be only limited scars from the crisis.

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Financing Border Wars

Threats, Transnational Crime

Financing Border Wars

The border industry, its financiers and human rights.

This report seeks to explore and highlight the extent of today’s global border security industry, by focusing on the most important geographical markets—Australia, Europe, USA—listing the human rights violations and risks involved in each sector of the industry, profiling important corporate players and putting a spotlight on the key investors in each company.

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Great American Stories: World War I, Why We Fought

State War

Great American Stories: World War I, Why We Fought

On this date 104 years ago, a U.S. president broke a solemn election-year promise and committed Americans to fight and die on Europe’s battlefields in a war characterized by unfathomable human carnage.

Woodrow Wilson’s first recollections as a boy in Virginia and Georgia during the Civil War were of the lessons of loss. By 1917, human beings had become expert at killing: More soldiers died in the first few hours of the Battle of the Somme than in three days at Gettysburg.

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Article: Cold War 2.0 isn’t about nuclear weapons

Civil War, Threats

 Cold War 2.0 isn’t about nuclear weapons

THE so-called ‘Cold War 2.0’ brewing between the United States and China/Russia bears little resemblance to the post-World War II scenario. The present scenario is different in two fundamental ways: it does not have roots in two opposing ideologies of communism and capitalism, with one trying to overwhelm the other, and it is least about establishing military superiority in terms of achieving a permanent nuclear edge over the rival bloc.

The current phase of rivalry between the US and China/Russia is more about preserving US unilateral hegemony over economy, technology and global sphere of influence than about military’s offensive and defensive capabilities. The rise of China and Russia challenges the US more in terms of the latter’s unilateral domination in essentially non-military fields, although both economy and technology have military implications as well.

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Wealth Matters: Could US dollar lose its status as a reserve currency?

Economy, Policies

The International Far-Right Terrorist Threat Requires a Multilateral Response

A frequent question I encounter is whether the U.S. dollar will lose its status as the world’s primary reserve currency.

Investors are concerned that the Federal Reserve’s easy monetary policy, combined with rising budget deficits, will undermine confidence in the dollar. The recent decline in the dollar over the past year has heightened these concerns.

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Millions Spend Easter Weekend Under COVID-19 Lockdowns

Policies, Society

Millions Spend Easter Weekend Under COVID-19 Lockdowns

India’s health ministry said Sunday that it recorded 93,249 new COVID cases in the previous 24-hour period, the highest daily tally this year in the South Asian nation.

Only two other nations have more coronavirus infections than India’s 12.4 million cases, according to Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. The U.S has 30.6 million cases, while Brazil has 12.9 million. Millions of people worldwide are under new lockdown restrictions this Easter weekend thanks to coronavirus infections that have surged despite the continued rollout of vaccination campaigns.

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A second cold war is tracking the first

Civil War, Threats

A second cold war is tracking the first

In Washington, Beijing and Moscow, officials all say that they want to avoid a new cold war. A recent piece in the New York Times suggests they have little reason for concern. It argued that “superpower rivalries today bear little resemblance to the past”. The article pointed to Russia’s relative weakness and China’s technological prowess to underline how things have changed since the late 1940s.

Those differences exist, of course. But to me, the parallels between today’s events and the early years of the cold war look increasingly convincing, even eerie.

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Extreme poverty isn’t natural, it’s created

Poverty, Threats

Extreme poverty isn’t natural, it’s created

Over the past few years, this graph has become a sensation.  Developed by Our World In Data and promoted widely by Bill Gates and Steven Pinker, the graph gives the impression that virtually all of humanity was in “extreme poverty” as of 1820 (i.e., living on less than $1.90 per day, PPP; less than is required for basic food).

OWID has used this figure to claim that extreme poverty was the natural or baseline condition of humanity, extending far back into the past: “in the thousands of years before the beginning of the industrial era, the vast majority of the world population lived in conditions that we would call extreme poverty today.”

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Report says more than 100 million children fail basic reading skills because of COVID-19

Education, Policies

Report says more than 100 million children fail basic reading skills because of COVID-19

A UNESCO statement said in 2020, instead of 460 million children experiencing reading difficulties, that number jumped to 584 million.

A new study, released on Friday by the UN cultural agency, has revealed that more than 100 million more children, than expected, are falling behind the minimum proficiency level in reading, due to COVID-related school closures.

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Study exposes global ripple effects of regional water scarcity

Ecology, Threats

Study exposes global ripple effects of regional water scarcity

Water scarcity is often understood as a problem for regions experiencing drought, but a new study led by Tufts University researchers finds that not only can localized water shortages impact the global economy, but changes in global demand can have positive and negative ripple effects in river basins across the globe.

In addition to Tufts engineers, the team included experts from the Joint Global Change Research Institute at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and Cornell University.

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