Timeframe: January 15 to January 21, 2022
Contributors: Affan Bin Saber, G.M. Sifat Iqbal, and Farhan Uddin Ahmed
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Afghanistan: UN’s top women meet Taliban over female aid worker ban
In a country where women are barred from university and secondary schools and banned from many workplaces, the world’s biggest aid operation is now at risk of failing those who desperately need it.
And it’s happening in the cruelest depths of winter when famine and frostbite are knocking at the door.
In the middle of a deepening crisis, the most senior UN delegation to visit Afghanistan since the Taliban swept to power in 2021 has flown into Kabul.
The UN secretary general dispatched his deputy Amina Mohammad, the UN’s most senior woman, with a team that also includes the head of UN Women, Sima Bahous.
2. Economics & Business
Covid: China 2022 economic growth hit by coronavirus restrictions
China’s economy grew last year at the second slowest rate in almost half a century – a sign of how the country’s strict coronavirus regulations have affected businesses.
Official figures show the gross domestic product (GDP) of the world’s second-largest economy rose by 3% in 2022.
That is way below the government’s target of 5.5% but better than most economists had forecast.
Last month Beijing abruptly lifted its strict zero-Covid policy.
The policy had a major impact on the country’s economic activity last year but the sudden relaxation of the rules has led to a jump in Covid cases that threatens to also drag on growth in the early part of this year.
Nigeria’s interest to increase trade with Bangladesh
Akinremi Bolaji, director for economic, trade, and investment of the foreign affairs ministry of the west African nation mentioned that Nigeria is willing to expand trade with Bangladesh after noticing several developments in the last decade.
He said this at a multi-sectoral investment meeting held between Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (Bida) and the representatives of various ministries and departments of the Nigerian government at Bida’s conference room in Dhaka on 15th January. The Nigerian government is reviewing the possibilities of creating cooperation between the two nations in various sectors, including business, trade, investment, and information technology, he mentioned.
At this event, Lokman Hossain Miah, executive chairman of Bida, said that Bangladesh has completely changed in the past decade and become a role model for development
Source: The Daily Star
3. Science & Technology
Scientists steer lightning bolts with lasers for the first time
Scientists have steered lightning bolts with lasers for the first time in the field, according to a demonstration performed during heavy storms at the top of a Swiss mountain.
The feat, which involved firing powerful laser pulses at thunderclouds over several months last year, paves the way for laser-based lightning protection systems at airports, launchpads and tall buildings.
“Metal rods are used almost everywhere to protect from lightning, but the area they can protect is limited to a few metres or tens of metres,” said Aurélien Houard, a physicist at École Polytechnique in Palaiseau. “The hope is to extend that protection to a few hundred metres if we have enough energy in the laser.”
Lightning bolts are huge electrical discharges that typically spark over two to three miles. The charge carried in a bolt is so intense that it reaches 30,000C, about five times hotter than the surface of the sun. More than a billion bolts strike Earth each year, causing thousands of deaths, 10 times as many injuries, and damage that runs into tens of billions of dollars.
Source: The Guardian
China records first population decline in 60 years
China’s population shrank in 2022 for the first time in more than 60 years, a new milestone in the country’s deepening demographic crisis with significant implications for its slowing economy. The population fell in 2022 to 1.411 billion, down some 850,000 people from the previous year, China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced during a Tuesday briefing on annual data.
Analysts said the decline was the first since 1961 during the great famine triggered by former leader Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward.
“The population will likely trend down from here in coming years. This is very important, with implications for potential growth and domestic demand,” said Zhiwei Zhang, president, and chief economist at Pinpoint Asset Management.
Disclaimer: The information provided here is obtained solely from the aforementioned third parties. Youth Policy Forum (YPF) is not responsible for any misinformation or misrepresentation.