Category Archives: International

World Economic Forum: Top Stories – Jan 13, 2023

World Economic Forum – January 13, 2023 top stories:

0:15 Solar powered car drives 1000kms – The Sunswift 7 weighs just 500kg. While an average car weighs between 1,500 and 2,000kg and boasts incredibly low rolling resistance due to its shape. A team at UNSW Sydney designed and built the car. Which completed 240 laps of a special test circuit. Equal to driving from Sydney to Melbourne, plus 100km.

1:32 3D printed bionic arms – Cure Bionics 3D-printed prosthetics are lightweight and muscle-controlled. They can be attached without surgical intervention and are charged wirelessly by solar power. The arms can be printed and ready within a week at the cost of just $3,000. Other providers can take months and charge up to $100,000. Cure Bionics’ arms are available for children with limb differences aged 8 and up. The low weight makes them easy for kids to operate. An immersive VR training programme helps patients learn to use their arms even before it’s made. Cure Bionics was founded in Tunisia, where the start-up has already launched a prototype. In spring 2023, it’s releasing a public version.

3:17 Geneva introduces driverless buses – 15 self-driving minibuses will be deployed in 2025. Providing an on-demand, door-to-door service, 24 hours a day. This pilot project will run for 1 year alongside similar schemes in Germany and Norway.

4:55 Implants restore vision to blind people – The implants were given to 20 people by scientists at Sweden’s Linköping University and LinkoCare Life Sciences. 14 were blind and 6 were on the verge of losing their sight. After 2 years, none of them were blind.

Culture & Tradition: The Beekeepers Of Slovenia

UNESCO – In Slovenia, beekeeping is a way of life for many individuals, families and communities, who obtain bee products for food and traditional medicine and use their knowledge and skills to care for the honeybees and the environment.

Communities express a loving and respectful attitude towards bees, and the knowledge, skills and practices relating to their keeping are shaped by centuries of tradition and transmitted from generation to generation. Beekeepers view their bees as teachers and friends. They expand their knowledge and skills through constant research.

Analysis: The World Ahead 2023 – The Economist

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Ten trends to watch in the coming year

A letter from Tom Standage, editor of “The World Ahead 2023”

1. All eyes on Ukraine. Energy prices, inflation, interest rates, economic growth, food shortages—all depend on how the conflict plays out in the coming months. Rapid progress by Ukraine could threaten Vladimir Putin, but a grinding stalemate seems the most likely outcome. Russia will try to string out the conflict in the hope that energy shortages, and political shifts in America, will undermine Western support for Ukraine.

2. Recessions loom. Major economies will go into recession as central banks raise interest rates to stifle inflation, an after-effect of the pandemic since inflamed by high energy prices. America’s recession should be relatively mild; Europe’s will be more brutal. The pain will be global as the strong dollar hurts poor countries already hit by soaring food prices.

3. Climate silver lining. As countries rush to secure their energy supplies, they are turning back to dirty fossil fuels. But in the medium term the war will accelerate the switch to renewables as a safer alternative to hydrocarbons supplied by autocrats. As well as wind and solar, nuclear and hydrogen will benefit too.

4. Peak China? Some time in April China’s population will be overtaken by India’s, at around 1.43bn. With China’s population in decline, and its economy facing headwinds, expect much discussion of whether China has peaked. Slower growth means its economy may never overtake America’s in size.

5. Divided America. Although Republicans did worse than expected in the midterm elections, social and cultural divides on abortion, guns and other hot-button issues continue to widen after a string of contentious Supreme Court rulings. Donald Trump’s formal entry into the 2024 presidential race will pour fuel on the fire.

6. Flashpoints to watch. The intense focus on the war in Ukraine heightens the risk of conflict elsewhere. With Russia distracted, conflicts are breaking out in its backyard. China may decide that there will never be a better time to make a move on Taiwan. India-China tensions could flare in the Himalayas. And might Turkey try to nab a Greek island in the Aegean?

7. Shifting alliances. Amid geopolitical shifts, alliances are responding. nato, revitalised by the war in Ukraine, will welcome two new members. Will Saudi Arabia join the Abraham accords, an emerging bloc? Other groupings of growing importance include the Quad and aukus (two American-led clubs intended to deal with China’s rise) and i2u2—not a rock band, but a sustainability forum linking India, Israel, the United Arab Emirates and the United States.

8. Revenge tourism. Take that, covid! As travellers engage in post-lockdown “revenge” tourism, traveller spending will almost regain its 2019 level of $1.4trn, but only because inflation has pushed up prices. The actual number of international tourist trips, at 1.6bn, will still be below the pre-pandemic level of 1.8bn in 2019. Business travel will remain weak as firms cut costs.

9. Metaverse reality check. Will the idea of working and playing in virtual worlds catch on beyond video games? 2023 will provide some answers as Apple launches its first headset and Meta decides whether to change its strategy as its share price languishes. Meanwhile, a less complicated and more immediately useful shift may be the rise of “passkeys” to replace passwords.

10. New year, new jargon. Never heard of a passkey? Fear not! Turn to our special section, “Understand This”, which rounds up the vital vocabulary that will be useful to know in 2023. nimbys are out and yimbys are in; cryptocurrencies are uncool and post-quantum cryptography is hot; but can you define a frozen conflict, or synfuel? We’ve got you covered.

World Economic Forum: Top Stories Of The Week

World Economic Forum ‘Stories of the Week’ for October 14, 2022:

00:15 How a Chinese village eradicated poverty – In 2017, nearly a third of villagers lived below the poverty line. Here’s how one the project saw poverty drop from 28% to zero in just 3 years.

02:28 New mosquito repellent – From 2015 to 2019, dengue fever cases in Southeast Asia rose by 46%. This new repellent may be the answer.

03:35 Australia to end species extinction – More than one in ten species have gone extinct in the past 200 years. The Australian government is now taking steps to prevent further extinctions.

05:12 Firefighters’ AI helmet – The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service trialled the helmet which could help them better locate victims and teammates in firefighting situations.

The World Economic Forum is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation. The Forum engages the foremost political, business, cultural and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. We believe that progress happens by bringing together people from all walks of life who have the drive and the influence to make positive change.

Political Analysis: Brazil – A Fractured Nation (FT)

Latin America’s largest nation is facing its most important election in decades as Jair Bolsonaro and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva square off amid deep political and cultural polarisation. FT Brazil bureau chief Bryan Harris travels the nation to look at the enormous economic and social challenges facing the next president. He meets wealthy farmers, truckers, evangelicals and those facing food insecurity. Read more at https://on.ft.com/3Cjrg5T

Brazil, officially the Federative Republic of Brazil, is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers and with over 214 million people, Brazil is the world’s fifth-largest country by area and the seventh most populous.

Opinion: A New Look Gulf, Putin’s Desperate Draft & The Google-Meta Duopoly

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, a new-look Gulf, Vladimir Putin’s partial mobilization (10:45), and the Google-Meta advertising duopoly (15:00). 

Previews: Foreign Affairs Magazine – Sept/Oct 2022

September/October 2022

Foreign Affairs at 100 – The Magazine Marks a Century

September/October 2022

The Beginning of History

Surviving the Era of Catastrophic Risk – By William MacAskill

The Dangerous Decade – A Foreign Policy for a World in Crisis By Richard Haass

Opinion: Disunited States Of America, Britain Can’t Build, Pakistan Flooding

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, the disunited states of America, why Britain can’t build (9:15) and Pakistan’s worst floods in recent memory (17:05).

World Journalism: New Internationalist – Sept ’22

September-October 2022, Issue 539

Railways can be a world unto themselves. When properly managed, this can mean it’s easier to get things done on the railways than in other parts of an economy. That should be a huge opportunity for reducing climate emissions by getting passengers off the roads and out of the skies. But unless we re-purpose rail networks to serve the interests of people – and not those of the empires and corporations which built them and run them to this day – we can’t succeed. This edition explores how we can make a start on this task.

WILL BOLSONARO’S SPENDING SPREE LEAVE ANY WINNERS?

With an election looming, Jair Bolsonaro has set an economic timebomb for Brazil, writes Leonardo Sakamoto.

Opinion: The Long War In Ukraine, Supreme Court Activism, Business Books

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, how to win the long war in Ukrainewhy the Supreme Court’s judicial activism will deepen cracks in America (10:20), and beach reads for business people (17:55).