Week 35 of 2022 – YPF Around the Globe (English)

Timeframe: August 27 to September 1, 2022

Contributors: G.M. Sifat Iqbal and Farhan Uddin Ahmed

To read Bangla, click here.

1. Politics

Bolsonaro narrows Lula’s lead ahead of Brazil election – poll

Leftist leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s lead over far-right incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro for Brazil’s October election has narrowed slightly, a CNT/MDA poll said on Tuesday, confirming a tightening in the race shown by other major polls.

Lula has 42.3% of voter support against 34.1% for Bolsonaro in first-round voting, compared with the previous CNT/MDA survey in May when Lula had 40.6% to Bolsonaro’s 32%.

Lula would win an expected second-round runoff against Bolsonaro by 50.1% of votes versus 38.8%, a narrower 11.3% advantage than his 14-point lead in May and down from 18 points in December, the poll showed.

Lula leads among those with income of up to two minimum wages, with schooling up to 9th grade, Roman Catholics, and in the poorer Northeast region of Brazil, according to the poll, conducted before Sunday’s first presidential debate.

Bolsonaro is favored by voters with income above two minimum wages, with average or higher education, evangelicals, and in the South and Midwest regions as well as Brazil’s Amazon, it said.

Source: Euronews

2. Economics & Business

Australian company started drilling in Zimbabwe for oil and gas

A new oil and gas well that will be 3.5 kilometers deep is being drilled in northern Zimbabwe by Australian company Invictus Energy in partnership with the government.

The project is being called “a game changer” for the country, as it could improve its power supply and economy.

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa says the government is excited about potential oil and gas discoveries in Zimbabwe.

Source: BBC

Egypt in final stages of securing $3bn IMF loan

Egypt is in the final stages of signing a new financing agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) worth $3 billion to continue with its economic reform programme, local media outlets reported, citing informed sources.

The sources said Cairo had originally planned to obtain between $5-$10 billion, however IMF officials demanded Cairo meet a number of conditions including the complete lifting of subsidies on fuel and bread to reduce the budget deficit and liberalising the US dollar exchange rate against the Egyptian pound among other measures.

The sources pointed out that the Egyptian side did not agree to all the conditions, especially the one related to completely lifting subsidies from foodstuffs in an effort to maintain public stability.

Source: Middle East Monitor

Import LC payments drop 25% in August

Payments against import letters of credit (LCs) in August dropped 25% month-on-month thanks to various steps such as elevating the LC margin to 100% to stabilise the country’s foreign exchange market.

LC payments stood at $5.93 billion in August, a drop from $7.42 billion in the previous month, according to the latest report of the Bangladesh Bank.

LC payments are gradually decreasing as the central bank is selling dollars for the imports of daily essentials only and imposing the highest LC margins for other products, according to central bank officials.

Source: The Business Standard

3.  Science & Technology

Meta and Jio launch grocery shopping on WhatsApp in India

Meta and an e-commerce venture between India’s Reliance Retail and Jio Platforms are bringing grocery shopping to WhatsApp in what they said was a global-first end-to-end shopping experience on the popular instant messaging platform.

Customers in India will be able to browse JioMart’s entire grocery catalog on WhatsApp, add items to a cart and make payments via local payments rail UPI without ever leaving the instant messaging service, the companies said.

Meta is a significant minority investor in Jio Platforms, the country’s largest telecom subscriber with over 421 million subscribers. JioMart is the $221 billion Indian conglomerate’s attempt at taking on Amazon and Flipkart in India. Ambani’s Reliance Retail is the largest retail chain in the country, but currently, it has limited e-commerce offerings.

Source: Tech Crunch

4. Environment

Pakistan floods: Satellite photos show extent of destruction

Monsoon rains have caused devastating floods in Pakistan, leaving millions homeless, destroying buildings, bridges, and roads, and leaving vast swathes of the country under water.

Flash floods and landslides along the Indus and Kabul rivers have left more than 1,000 dead and 1,600 injured – with the southern districts of Balochistan and Sindh worst affected.

Mountainous regions in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have also been badly hit.

Source: BBC

Major sea-level rise caused by melting of Greenland ice cap is ‘now inevitable’

Major sea-level rise from the melting of the Greenland ice cap is now inevitable, scientists have found, even if the fossil fuel burning that is driving the climate crisis were to end overnight.

The research shows the global heating to date will cause an absolute minimum sea-level rise of 27cm (10.6in) from Greenland alone as 110tn tonnes of ice melt. With continued carbon emissions, the melting of other ice caps and thermal expansion of the ocean, a multi-metre sea-level rise appears likely.

Billions of people live in coastal regions, making flooding due to rising sea levels one of the greatest long-term impacts of the climate crisis. If Greenland’s record melt year of 2012 becomes a routine occurrence later this century, as is possible, then the ice cap will deliver a “staggering” 78cm of sea-level rise, the scientists said.

Source: The Guardian

5. Society

India’s Supreme Court widens the definition of ‘family’

India’s Supreme Court has ruled that family benefits under the law must be extended to blended families, same-sex couples and other households the court considers “atypical”, widening its definition of family. It is the latest in a series of court decisions to challenge the country’s conservative mores, and it could have major implications for the rights of women and gay people.

The court ruled in favour of Ms Deepika Singh, a nurse whose employer, a government medical institute in northern India, had denied her application for maternity leave after she gave birth because she had already taken leave to care for her husband’s children from a previous marriage.

Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, the justice who wrote the order, wrote that “family” could be defined by various configurations of adults occupying the roles of primary caretakers with both biological and nonbiological children.

The Supreme Court’s judgment is final, but its enforcement abilities are limited, leaving open the question of how much immediate practical effect this order may have, particularly in more conservative parts of India. Moreover, many family matters are decided out of court.

Nonetheless, the ruling was hailed as a milestone in the march toward equality for women and India’s LGBTQ community in a country where family issues — including custody of children — often pit unmarried parents against extended families in lengthy legal battles in family court.

Source: Today Online

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.

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