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Category: Economy (Page 1 of 7)

Women Peace Security Index for 2023

Georgetown University’s Institute for Women, Peace and Security (GIWPS) seeks to promote a more stable, peaceful, and just world by focusing on the important role women play in preventing conflict and building peace, growing economies, and addressing global threats like climate change and violent extremism.

This fourth edition of the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Index ranks and scores 177 countries on women’s status. The results show that countries where women are doing well are also more peaceful, democratic, prosperous, and better
prepared to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

This year, nine of the top ten best countries to be women are European, with Scandinavian countries leading the rankings. Denmark leads the 2023 rankings, scoring more than three times higher than Afghanistan.

1 Denmark
2 Switzerland
3 Sweden
4 Finland
4 Iceland
4 Luxembourg
7 Norway
8 Austria
9 Netherlands
10 New Zealand

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The intelligence chiefs of the ‘Five Eyes’ security alliance join Dr. Condoleezza Rice on stage to discuss current threats facing democratic nations

The Five Eyes is a coalition of five countries » Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. It grew from the 1946 BRUSA agreement, shortly after the end of World War II, to share intelligence and coordinate security efforts. The five member countries have a long history of trust and cooperation, and they share a commitment to common values.

More » FBI | Toronto Star | The Guardian | Globe & Mail | CBC | ABC (Australia) | AFR

The economy has been strong. Why are economists so eager to predict it will tank?

Why are economists so consistently wrong?

LA Times »

El-Erian alluded in his column to the chronic unreliability of economic projections. “By my count,” he wrote, “this will be the sixth time in the past 15 months that conventional wisdom shifts for the world’s most influential economy.”

Why anyone would lend credence to economic projections that get revised on average nearly every other month is a mystery.

Venice is charging a €5 entry fee due to overtourism


Over the past three decades, Venice has become one of the most notable victims of overtourism. The city currently welcomes an estimated 30 million visitors per year, far above the 50,000 residents that actually call it home. And more than two thirds of visitors come just for the day.

This month, Venice’s municipal authorities announced plans to fight these issues with a controversial move: charging day trippers a €5 entrance fee. This will make Venice the first city in the world to charge visitors to enter its premises. News of the entry fee has sparked controversies, and with travellers eager to understand how the new measure will affect them, BBC Travel talks to authorities and locals to understand when it starts, who will have to pay and how people can visit the city in a more sustainable way.

98% of Europeans breathing highly damaging polluted air linked to 400,000 deaths a year

The Guardian »

Analysis of data gathered using cutting-edge methodology – including detailed satellite images and measurements from more than 1,400 ground monitoring stations – reveals a dire picture of dirty air, with 98% of people living in areas with highly damaging fine particulate pollution that exceed World Health Organization guidelines. Almost two-thirds live in areas where air quality is more than double the WHO’s guidelines.

The worst hit country in Europe is North Macedonia. Almost two-thirds of people across the country live in areas with more than four times the WHO guidelines for PM2.5, while four areas were found to have air pollution almost six times the figure, including in its capital, Skopje.

Traffic, industry, domestic heating and agriculture are the main sources of PM2.5 and the impact is often felt disproportionately by the poorest communities. »

The Guardian looks at how Finland is a better place to have child

Finland is a world leader when it comes to early years education. Childcare is affordable and nursery places are universally available in a system that puts children’s rights at the centre of decision-making.

Now the country is applying the same child-first thinking to paternity-leave policies in an attempt to tackle gender inequality in parenting. The Guardian’s Alexandra Topping travels to Helsinki to find out why the UK pre-school system lags so far behind and whether it really is easier to be a parent in Finland.

‘Why don’t men rebel?’: what the world can learn from childcare in Finland

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Patagonia HQ’s Café Sous Chef

Food is a big deal. At the cafés on Patagonia campuses, sometimes the lines form out the door—especially when there’s a surprise berry crumble in the afternoon. They’re where we talk about the surf, put brussels sprouts on a friend’s plate when they can’t reach the tongs on the opposite side and gobble down a gourmet menu. In this short, Sous Chef Mel tells us about feeding people at Patagonia, creating things that never last long and working with local farmers who provide fresh ingredients.

What We Do: Patagonia HQ's Café Sous Chef | Patagonia

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Child poverty more than doubled in U.S. after expanded tax credits, stimulus checks ended


  • The child poverty rate surged to 12.4% in 2022, up from 5.2% in the year prior, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • The bureau attributed the increase in child poverty to the expiration of expanded child tax credits and the end of stimulus checks.
  • The U.S. had made historic gains in fighting child poverty during the Covid-19 pandemic due in large part to the expanded tax credits. »

More than 2000 killed as buildings collapse during earthquake in Morocco [Updated]

A strong earthquake of magnitude 6.8 has struck central Morocco, killing at least 820 2000 people.

The epicentre was in the province of Al Haouz, in the High Atlas Mountains, 71km (44 miles) south-west of Marrakesh, at a depth of 18.5km, the US Geological Survey said.

The quake struck at 23:11 local time (22:11 GMT) on Friday, September 8, 2023. There was a magnitude 4.9 aftershock 19 minutes later.

Rescuers were searching for survivors. Casualty figures are expected to rise as the search continues and as rescuers reach remote areas.

NY Times | BBC | North Africa Post | The East African | Euronews | France 24 | Le Monde | Al Jazeera

Death toll in Morocco earthquake rises to 2,000 | DW News

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Employees keep resisting the call to return to the office full time

Washington Post »

Even with millions of workers across the country being asked to return to their cubicles, office occupancy has been relatively static for the past year. The country’s top 10 metropolitan areas averaged 47.2 percent of pre-pandemic levels last week, according to data from Kastle Systems. This time last year, the average was around 44 percent.

The lagging return is vexing leaders from city halls to the Oval Office as downtowns struggle to rebound from the pandemic. President Biden recently called on Cabinet officials to urge their employees to return to offices this fall, as downtown D.C. struggles to regain its pre-pandemic crush of commuters. (A July report from the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office showed that 17 of 24 federal agencies had average building utilization of 25 percent or less.)

About 52 percent of remote-capable U.S. workers are operating under hybrid arrangements, according to data from Gallup, while 29 percent are exclusively remote. And though executives like Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg have argued that the rise of flexible work has had a deleterious effect on productivity, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that labor productivity rose 3.7 percent in the second quarter of 2023 and is up 1.3 percent compared to this time last year.

BRICS welcome six emerging countries » including Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt » into the club of large and populous emerging economies

At the summit in Johannesburg, BRICS » Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa » agreed to make Argentina, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates full members from January 1, growing the blocs role as a geopolitical alternative to Western-led world order.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping stated the world was undergoing major shifts and had entered a new period of “turbulence and transformation.” Ironically, Xi blamed countries that form “exclusive blocs” for the problems.

Can, will BRICS dethrone the US dollar? » The world’s reserve currency is facing increasing challenges from countries who want options beyond the greenback.

The leaders of Brazil, India, and China are all in South Africa — which is hosting the annual event this year — while Russian President Vladimir Putin is participating virtually to avoid arrest under an International Criminal Court (ICC) warrant over war crimes in Ukraine.

The Guardian | Le Monde | DW | NY TimesRFi | Al Monitor | Al Jazeera

BRICS summit: Bloc announces 6 new members including Saudi Arabia and Iran • FRANCE 24 English

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Chinese President Xi Jinping failed to attend a business forum in South Africa where he was expected to deliver a speech defending China’s economy and its support for emerging markets

This seems is rather significant.

BRICS is Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

Bloomberg »

According to a public schedule, the Chinese leader was set to address the BRICS Business Forum on Tuesday, after meeting with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa earlier that day. Instead, delegates were greeted on stage by Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, who read the speech without giving an explanation for Xi’s absence.


Eight nations of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization are meeting in Belém to discuss the joint goals for rain forest protection

AP »

The Amazon stretches across an area twice the size of India, and two-thirds of it lies in Brazil. Seven other countries and one territory share the remaining third — Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname, Ecuador and French Guiana. Presidents from all but Ecuador, Suriname and Venezuela are attending.

Massive destruction of the Amazon forest is a climate disaster and all the countries at the summit have ratified the Paris climate accord which requires signatories to set targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But that’s about as far as their shared policy goes.

Reuters »

On Wednesday, Amazon countries will meet with leaders of the Congo, the DRC and Indonesia, looking to issue a joint statement from the world’s three major rainforest basins. Norway and Germany, which have funded Amazon preservation, and France, which controls the Amazon territory of French Guiana, will also participate.

Italy is looking for the exit ramp off China’s Belt and Road

Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s government says joining China’s Belt and Road program four years ago under a previous government had done little to boost Italian exports, while Chinese exports to Italy had soared.

Rome is the only major Western power to join Belt and Road initiative.

Critics have long claimed it’s a tool for China to spread its geopolitical and economic influence.

DW »

Italy, largest economy to sign China's Belt & Road pact, weighs how to exit the initiative | DW News

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U.S. companies are buying less from China

Washington Post »

Through the first five months of this year, U.S. imports from China were down 24 percent from the same period one year ago, according to the Census Bureau. Companies such as HP, Stanley Black & Decker and Lego are among those that have been repositioning their supply lines for American consumers, either to avoid the risk of being pinched between rival superpowers or as part of a longer term strategy to produce goods closer to customers.

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