Week 4 of 2023 – YPF Around the Globe (English)

Timeframe: January 22 to January 28, 2022

Contributors: Affan Bin Saber, G.M. Sifat Iqbal, and Farhan Uddin Ahmed

To read Bangla, click here.

1. Politics

President Zelenskyy shakes up Ukraine’s Cabinet amid corruption allegations

A string of resignations, dismissals, and reassignments shook Ukraine’s government Monday and Tuesday, as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and other leaders of the government confirmed the shake-up of high-level positions.

A liaison for Ukraine’s Cabinet informed the country’s parliament that it had dismissed six deputy ministers and five regional administrators for undisclosed reasons.

In his remarks, Zelenskyy also barred Ukrainian officials from leaving the country after social media posts showed Deputy General Prosecutor Oleksiy Symonenko vacationing in Spain. Under Ukrainian martial law, military-age men are forbidden from leaving Ukraine without expressed permission.

Source: NPR

Lula opens ‘genocide’ probe for Yanomami people

Brazil’s justice minister requested an investigation into potential crimes of genocide against the Indigenous Yanomami people Monday, as the country sent further aid and personnel to respond to a crisis of malnutrition and disease that officials have directly linked to illegal mining.

On Monday, days after the government declared a medical emergency in Brazil’s largest Indigenous reserve, Justice Minister Flávio Dino said he had requested that federal police open an investigation “into crimes of genocide, failure to provide emergency assistance, environmental crimes and other crimes, since there are reports of embezzlement, corruption and siphoning of public funds meant for Indigenous health care.”

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who traveled to the Yanomami territories in the north of the country Saturday, has blamed the previous government for the crisis.

Source: Washington Post

2. Economics & Business

Nigeria’s new seaport expected to drive country’s growth

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.

Source: BBC

Banks Plan Payment Wallet to Compete With PayPal, Apple Pay

Several banks in the U.S. are working together to develop a digital wallet set to launch by the middle of 2023. The digital wallet will be linked to the consumer’s debit or credit cards, allowing them to pay at a merchant’s online checkout. This will be their gateway to compete with PayPal, Apple, and the like.

In recent years, the tech giant Apple has expanded to financial services, thus posing a significant threat to the banks. The banks are anxious about losing their hold on the customers. Therefore the digital wallet can give them the advantage of retaining their customer base. However, there are obstacles, such as fraud and rejected payments through the digital wallet, since customers would not have to type their card numbers. The banks are working on the details to rectify any customer experience obstacles.

The digital wallets will first roll with cards as the consumer base of the U.S. is more familiar with shopping with that method.

Source: Fox Business

3. Science & Technology

Australian engineers design hydrogen powered diesel engine

In order to reduce carbon emission by up to 85% of mining industry heavy vehicles Engineers at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) say they have successfully modified a conventional diesel engine to use a mix of hydrogen and a small amount of diesel.

This project is the brainchild of prof Shawn Kook and his team at the university’s School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering. What makes the unique is the way it mixes hydrogen and diesel and then introduces it to the engine cylinder for combustion. When applied in a carefully calibrated way about 90% of the fuel in the UNSW hybrid diesel engine is hydrogen. If hydrogen is not introduced into the fuel mix at the right moment “it will create something that is explosive that will burn out the whole system,” Prof Kook explains.

The Australian team is in a global race to develop hybrid diesel-hydrogen engines. Engineers in other countries are working on their concepts and designs but the Sydney team believes it has an edge.

Source: BBC

4. Environment

Elephant extinction must be avoided for sake of climate, study warns

The animal population of the Congo rainforest plays a key role in the forest being a carbon sink. The Congo rainforest is home to many endangered elephants that are victims of poachers who kill thousands of these elephants for their tusks. The latest study revealed that if these animals become extinct, Congo would lose 9% of its ability to capture atmospheric carbon. Hence, policymakers must take the importance of forest elephants for climate mitigation seriously to generate the support needed for elephant conservation.

Source: Sky News

5. Education

Sweden and IUB sign 4-year climate action partnership

4-year partnership to strengthen climate action was launched in Bangladesh by Sweden and IUB. Tanweer Hasan, vice chancellor of IUB, and Maria Stridsman, head of cooperation and deputy head of the Swedish embassy in Dhaka, signed the agreement on behalf of the two parties.

The project, called “Capacity Strengthening of Multi-actors to Limit Climate Change Impacts and Enhance Resilience”, will be implemented by the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) of IUB. The project is expected to fill the knowledge gaps on climate change issues that exist at local, regional, institutional and national levels thereby capacitating multiple actors to take up leadership in climate action.
The cooperation between IUB and Sweden aims also to improve collaborations among actors to develop common and coherent approaches to address climate change.

Source: Prothom Alo

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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