Week 32 of 2021 – YPF Around the Globe

Timeframe: 13th August – 19th August 2021

Mansib Khan, Musarrat Sarwar Chowdhury, Sabyasachi Karmaker, and Farhan Uddin Ahmed.

1. Economics & Business

Toyota to Cut Output as Chip Shortage Finally Catches Up to It

Japan’s largest carmaker said Thursday it was cutting production in the country by 40% in September because of a shortage of semiconductors. Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. also said this week they are scheduling more downtime at several North American factories. For much of this year, the chip-shortage challenges in the auto industry have largely stemmed from car companies miscalculating how quickly auto sales would bounce back and not ordering enough semiconductors.

Source: WSJ

2. Politics

Taliban Promise Peace, but Doubt and Fear Persist

For the first time since retaking power in Afghanistan, the Taliban’s leaders on Tuesday sketched out what their control of the country could look like, promising peace at home and urging the world to look past their history of violence and repression.

“We don’t want Afghanistan to be a battlefield anymore — from today onward, war is over,” said Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban’s longtime chief spokesman, in a news conference in Kabul, the capital.

Source: NYT

3. Significant Corona Update

New Zealand goes into lockdown as Britain permits vaccination to children as health officials realize vaccination drives will not be enough to reopen their economies

NZ PM Jacinda Ardern orders a three-day lockdown after five cases in the relatively Covid-19 free state. Another holdout, Hong Kong, has increased the hotel quarantine period to at least two weeks even for vaccinated residents coming back home. As adults complete the second dose, Britain’s drug regulator has authorized Modernato push shots to children as young as 12 as schools reopen. Meanwhile, the delta variant resurgences have forced US transportation and health agencies to extend the mask mandate for travelers. Finally, a new study that was recently published suggests the Wuhan wet market has had traces of the COVID-19 virus just before the New Year ban.

Source: Bloomberg

4. Science & Technology

TikTok’s new privacy features make teens think about their decisions

TikTok has revealed new privacy settings for teens, aiming to protect them from predatory DM slides and harassment. Announced in a blog post on Thursday, TikTok will now automatically switch off direct messaging for new users aged between 16 to 17. Teens can still easily switch their DMs on via the settings menu, but it will have to be an active choice. The video-sharing app will also prompt current users in this age range who haven’t used DMs before to review and confirm their privacy settings when they eventually do try to use it.

Source: Mashable

5. RMG/ Agriculture

Is the Robot-Filled Future of Farming a Nightmare or Utopia?

Picture this: colossal, gas-powered autonomous robots bulldoze across acres of homogeneous farmland under a blackened sky that reeks of pollution. The trees have all been chopped down and there are no animals in sight. Pesticides are sprayed in excess because humans no longer tend to the fields. The machines do their jobs—producing massive amounts of food to feed our growing population—but it’s not without ecological cost.

Or, envision another future: Smaller robots cultivate mosaic plots of many different crops, working around the trees, streams, and wildlife of the natural landscape. They’re powered by renewable energy sources, like the sun, wind, or maybe water. Agrochemicals are a thing of the past because the robots help the ecosystem remain in harmony, so pests and superweeds are kept at bay. It’s a futuristic Garden of Eden, complete with blue skies, green pastures, and clean air.

Which world would you want your food to come from?

Source: Wired

6. Social and Education

China’s Crackdown on EdTech: After school tutoring shunned as regulators lead to a fall in stocks

In a sweeping overhaul of China’s hyper-competitive after-school market, regulators ban raising funds by after-school coaching centers that teach the same subjects as the school curriculum. This $100 billion market ballooned by overseas investments now finds itself in a bind as the ban on after-school coaching means either the coaching centers have to pivot to a more sustainable business model and find alternate modes of finance.

Source: Bloomberg

7. Environment

Haiti Earthquake: Death toll from 7.2-magnitude earthquake rises to over 1,200 people

Following a 7.2-magnitude earthquake on August 14, the Haitian government announced a state of emergency, with at least 1,297 people killed and more than 5,700 injured, according to the country’s civil protection agency. The quake struck at 8:30 a.m. about 6.2 miles deep, with its epicenter about 7.5 miles northeast of Saint-Louis-du-Sud in the country’s southwest. Nearly 27,000 homes were destroyed or damaged in the earthquake and hospitals were unable to provide medical supplies due to blocked roads. The earthquake has been compared to one in 2010 that leftover 220,000 Haitians dead.

Source: CNN

8. Expert Opinion

Taliban victory major humiliation for the US, but perhaps that’s the silver lining – Marwan Bishara

Last week’s turn of events in Afghanistan has been utterly shocking but hardly surprising. But was it really inevitable? This may have been inevitable considering the US blunders and its partners’ failings, but it did not have to be so utterly humiliating. But then again, the humiliation may be the one silver lining after the two decades of tragedy- writes Marwan Bishara of Al Jazeera

Source: Al Jazeera

Disclaimer: The information provided here is obtained solely from the third parties mentioned above. Youth Policy Forum (YPF) is not responsible for any misinformation or misrepresentation.

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