Timeframe: October 1st – October 7th, 2021
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Maisha Maliha, Mansib Khan, Musarrat Sarwar Chowdhury, Sabyasachi Karmaker, Samia Tahsin Hoque, and Farhan Uddin Ahmed.
1. Economics & Business
IMF trims 2021 GDP forecast, citing ‘vaccine divide,’ inflation
The International Monetary Fund expects global economic growth in 2021 to fall slightly below its July forecast of 6%, IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva said on Tuesday, citing risks associated with debt, inflation, and divergent economic trends in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We face a global recovery that remains ‘hobbled’ by the pandemic and its impact. We are unable to walk forward properly – it is like walking with stones in our shoes,” she said in a virtual speech at Bocconi University in Italy.
Pandora papers: biggest ever leak of offshore data exposes financial secrets of rich and powerful
The secret deals and hidden assets of some of the world’s richest and most powerful people have been revealed in the biggest trove of leaked offshore data in history.
Branded the Pandora papers, the cache includes 11.9m files from companies hired by wealthy clients to create offshore structures and trusts in tax havens such as Panama, Dubai, Monaco, Switzerland and the Cayman Islands.
They expose the secret offshore affairs of 35 world leaders, including current and former presidents, prime ministers, and heads of state. They also shine a light on the secret finances of more than 300 other public officials such as government ministers, judges, mayors, and military generals in more than 90 countries.
Source: The Guardian
3. Significant Corona Update
Ivermectin: COVID misinformation continues to spread even after being debunked by researchers
Repeated studies have shown that vaccines work. Yet a vocal minority in the US refuses to take the shot. Instead, the group has focused on ivermectin, a veterinary medicine that is considered a cheap, patent-free option. Social media has tried to cut covid misinformation but vaccine skeptics have taken to messaging apps to spread disinformation. In other news, Pfizer’s covid pill promises to cut severe hospitalizations by half.
4. Science & Technology
WHO recommends widespread use of the world’s first malaria vaccine for children
In what it called a “historic” move, the World Health Organization said Wednesday it has recommended widespread use of the world’s first and only malaria vaccine among children in sub-Saharan Africa and other regions where there are moderate to high levels of malaria transmission.
The recommendation was based on results from an ongoing pilot program of vaccinations in child health clinics across Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi, according to WHO. The program, which launched in 2019 and has reached over 800,000 children, demonstrated that the RTS, S/AS01 vaccine, also known as Mosquirix, is safe, cost-effective, feasible to deliver, and significantly reduced deadly severe malaria by about 30%, WHO said in a news release.
Down with Facebook: A whistleblower reveals how its executives consistently chose profit over civic responsibility
Facebook and its messaging apps glitched for 6 hours on Monday, creating chaos in countries like India where it is effectively the internet. In a testimony to the US Congress, a Facebook whistleblower revealed how Mark Zuckerberg chose to prioritize meaningful social interaction (MSI) over reliable news, leading to its algorithm driving divisive news shared by friends and family. Instagram, in its own research, revealed how its content led to low self-esteem among girls aged 13 to 18, who felt that not being on the photo-sharing platform will lead to them being ostracized. The bipartisan committee was shown evidence of how the news feed prioritizes engagement by not putting content in chronological order (like Twitter) but whatever retains the eyeballs.
Source: New York Times
5. RMG/ Agriculture
Indian farmers to step up protests after nine killed in violence
Farmers in India have vowed to intensify their months-long protest against laws aimed at liberalizing agriculture as tensions flare a day after nine people were killed in northern Uttar Pradesh state’s Lakhimpur Kheri district.
The Uttar Pradesh government on Monday announced 4.5m Indian rupees ($60,530) compensation to the families of the victims of Sunday’s violence. The state government also said a retired High Court judge will investigate the incident.
Source: Al Jazeera
Major oil spill off the coast of Southern California threatens shores
On Saturday, a leak at an oil pipeline off the coast of Southern California caused more than 100,000 gallons of oil to spew into the Pacific Ocean, coating local wildlife habitats, shutting down a swath of popular beaches, and potentially harming human health.
8. Expert Opinion
Conservative takeover in the US Supreme Court may be a turning point- Goldstein and Gornstein
For the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, Monday marks the first time nearly all of them will gather together in the courtroom since the lockdown a year and a half ago. But if some of the justices greet the new term with great anticipation for a new conservative legal era, others likely are facing the term with dread. Legal experts share their views on NPR.
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.