Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 35 n°79

Posts Tagged ‘pandemic’

Democracies must heed lessons of Covid-19 pandemic to avoid further backsliding and loss of voter trust

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 15 aprile 2022

STOCKHOLM— Governments must heed the lessons of two years of a Covid-19 pandemic that has reinforced democratic backsliding across the world in order to avoid further erosion of basic civil liberties and combat rising authoritarianism, while recovery plans need to focus on the hardest hit—women and marginalized communities.These are some of the main findings of the “Global State of Democracy in Focus: Taking stock after two years of Covid-19”, published on Wednesday by International IDEA. Supported by the European Union, International IDEA has tracked governments’ responses to the pandemic over the last two years and how policies affected democracy and human rights.The Report comes at a timely moment. The pandemic surfaced just as authoritarian regimes were growing in numbers, while many democracies were backsliding and adopting authoritarian tactics by restricting free speech and weakening the rule of law. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has also increasingly polarized the world into two camps; authoritarian regimes and democracies. “Governments have struggled to find the right balance between individual rights and protecting public health. This was made worse by a pre-existing context of growing mistrust within societies and between the people and their leaders”, says International IDEA Secretary-General Kevin Casas-Zamora.

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Welcome to our weekly newsletter highlighting the best of The Economist’s coverage of the pandemic and its effects

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 27 febbraio 2022

Hong Kong’s refusal to live with covid-19 is causing chaos. Having managed to keep the virus at bay for two years, the territory—which is attempting to replicate the Chinese mainland’s “zero-covid” approach—has seen a surge of infections. Mass testing of all its 7.4m people is planned throughout March.In England, meanwhile, coronavirus regulations are no more. Many public-health advisers fear they may have been scrapped too soon. But covid in England is no longer the same disease that shut down the country in 2020 and 2021.Nearly a year has passed since Congress approved the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), promising spending of $1.9trn, equivalent to 9% of GDP. Many, including The Economist, worried that such federal largesse looked excessive. These fears have been borne out. In the United States section, we examine how states are using, and misusing, funds from ARPA. Governors are benefiting politically today, but they are creating liabilities for tomorrow.Are some countries faking their covid death counts? A study casts doubt on some abnormally neat numbers. It finds the variance in reported death tolls to be suspiciously low in several countries—almost exclusively without a functioning democracy or a free press.Cities have often bounced back from crises—from pandemics and earthquakes to floods and fires. But with the mass return to office work still uncertain, the pandemic has sharpened debate about what the future holds for commercial hubs. Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-In-Chief The Economist

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How the pandemic will end

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 21 ottobre 2021

Welcome to our weekly newsletter highlighting the best of The Economist’s coverage of the pandemic and its effects.All pandemics end eventually. Covid-19 has started down that path and will gradually become endemic. In that state, circulating and mutating from year to year, the coronavirus will remain a threat to the elderly and infirm. But having settled down, it is highly unlikely to kill on the monstrous scale of the past 20 months. In a Briefing this week, we examine how the world will eventually learn to live with covid. Though the destination is fixed, the route to endemicity is not and, in a leader, we argue that the difference between a well-planned journey and a chaotic one could be measured in millions of lives. The end of the pandemic is therefore a last chance for governments to show they have learned from the mistakes they made at its start. Meanwhile, China has decided it does not want to live with the virus. Since the early days of the pandemic, that country’s aim has been to eliminate the coronavirus entirely from within the mainland’s borders. But even as the handful of other countries with “zero-covid” policies, including Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, move to relax them, China is holding out. We ask how long China can maintain such a strict policy. The pandemic has taken a devastating toll on the physical health of millions of people but new research shows that its mental-health effects could prove even more enduring. Covid-19 has led to a sharp increase in depression and anxiety around the world. Women have fared worse than men.More than 2.1m people in Latin America and the Caribbean have died of covid-19; the death rate in the region is easily the highest in the world, according to The Economist’s excess-mortality tracker. The economic toll has also been crushing: output dropped by 7% in 2020, the steepest decline of any region. In our Americas section, we argue that Latin America’s economies now have an opportunity to grow but it would help if their governments overcame their protectionist instincts.More broadly, the IMF warns that the global economic recovery will be grossly uneven—the economic prospects of most poor countries remain far worse than those of rich ones. Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-In-Chief The Economist

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What is the pandemic’s true death toll?

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 7 settembre 2021

Welcome to our weekly newsletter highlighting the best of The Economist’s coverage of the pandemic and its effects.Officially, covid-19 has killed around 4.5m people. But according to our own model, that is a dramatic undercount: we estimate that the actual death toll is 15.2m people, and may be as high as 18.1m.Last year, covid-19 in effect shut down the world’s economy. People stopped travelling and going to restaurants and concerts; they did not need to update their wardrobes, or buy much other than Netflix subscriptions and groceries. The Delta variant is different: it saps growth less dramatically but has fired up inflation.Partly because the virus has stopped tourism—Madagascar’s main source of hard currency—the country’s economy is shrinking dramatically, contributing to a near-famine in the country’s south. Our leader argues that in the short-term, Madagascar’s people need aid, and a lot of it; in the long-term, they need better governance. Vietnam’s economy, by contrast, has continued to grow, albeit slowly, driven by trade, foreign investment and remittances. That has helped lift its people out of poverty; whether they can become rich is less clear.Britain’s response to covid was helped by the sterling reputation of its National Health Service—the country’s strongest brand. When Islamic State set up its own health service, its logo mimicked the NHS’s sans-serif, right-leaning block capitals against a blue background.Finally, our business section ponders the future of meetings as people start returning, whether eagerly or reluctantly, to their offices. Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-In-Chief The Economist

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Welcome to our weekly newsletter highlighting the best of The Economist’s coverage of the pandemic and its effects

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 29 agosto 2021

This week, even more than last, chaos and misery in Afghanistan have nosed covid-19 out of the headlines. But the virus continues to spread. As Americans prepare to send their children back to school, our weekly polling with YouGov shows that most parents have either had their kids jabbed or plan to, and most back mask mandates.Early in the pandemic, Australia appeared a shining success story. By closing its borders, tracing contacts and rigidly enforcing quarantine restrictions, its “covid zero” strategy seemed to be working. (Geography helped, too: it is easier to keep a virus at bay on a remote island than in a country with long land borders.) The Delta variant has ended that strategy. As one doctor in Melbourne noted, even if contact-tracers find an infected person within 30 hours, that person’s contacts would already have passed the virus down several chains of transmission. The country is now putting its hopes in vaccines, and will allow cases to rise as long as hospitals can cope.China, where covid began, has been anxious about the World Health Organisation’s investigation into the disease’s origins. It vehemently rejects any suggestion that covid-19 escaped from a lab, but globally, infections acquired in labs are disturbingly common. China is coping with another sort of outbreak: African swine fever, which is harmless to people but is decimating the country’s immense pig population. The pandemic has sparked social and economic experimentation, as well as public-health innovations. It was long an article of faith, at least among right-leaning economists, that increasing the amount people receive from unemployment insurance (UI) would depress jobs. America’s experience during the pandemic suggests that is not true: states that restricted UI saw rises in hardship, but not employment. Adam Tooze, a historian, has written an “instant history” of the pandemic’s sizeable economic costs. And our Bartleby columnist ponders why women seem more eager than men for remote work to end and office life to resume. Zanny Minton Beddoes.Editor-In-Chief The Economist

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IFAD and Guinea to help rural populations recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 4 luglio 2021

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will provide the Republic of Guinea with a grant to improve the resilience of more than 2,123 poor farming households trying to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, by ensuring rapid access to inputs, information, markets and cash.Despite its rich natural resources, Guinea is among the poorest countries in Africa. Low agricultural productivity, lack of wage employment, lack of access to financial services and poor rural infrastructure are all factors. Guinea has significant undeveloped agricultural potential. Soil and weather conditions are highly favourable to agriculture and just 25 per cent of potential arable land is being cultivated. Guinean agriculture consists mainly of family farming focusing on food crops, mainly cereals (rice and maize), tubers and palm oil. The agriculture sector accounts for 20 per cent of GDP. Growing demand for food is sustained by demographic growth (2.5 per cent in 2016) and urbanization (38 per cent of the population in 2016 versus 33 per cent in 2006).IFAD’s Rural Poor Stimulus Facility (RPSF) will allocate US$ 530,840 to Guinea to support activities of rural producers by supporting production and value chains and market access. The project will provide beneficiaries with agricultural inputs, basic agricultural equipment for food production and processing, technical assistance and training for increased productivity. The target beneficiaries will also receive production kits consisting of seeds (rice, maize and vegetables), fertilisers and plant protection products.

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Turkish Airlines Rises to the Top Amid Pandemic

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 1 luglio 2021

Although the aviation industry took a hard hit in 2020, Turkish Airlines distinguished itself with a relatively impressive financial performance. According to CAPA, Turkish Airlines was the busiest aircraft carrier in Europeduring the pandemic, and one of the top five airlines in the world. This was achieved by a series of astute maneuvers, which allowed the airline to maintain liquidity, keep costs at a manageable level and adapt to the “new normal”. Turkish Airlines successfully ended the fiscal year 2020 with 6.7 billion USD revenue, which accounts for 50% of the preceding year’s level, with a net loss of only 836 million USD. During these uncertain times, the airline was also able to maintain its robust route network. According to Eurocontrol, in April 2021 Turkish Airlines operated an average of 685 flights per day – almost double the number of the closest competitor in Europe, Lufthansa. In 2020, Turkish Airlines flew 28 million passengers with an impressive load factor of 71%. The new Istanbul Airport also stayed on top: even with a 68% loss of traffic, it was still Europe’s most successful airport in December 2020. This success is based on cost cutting activities, capex reduction and active capacity management. In fact, Turkish Airlines achieved such performance without relying on any governmental cash injections. Furthermore, agreements with Boeing and Airbus on fleet growth will further decrease the aircraft financing needs of Turkish Airlines by around 7 billion USD in the coming years. Turkish Airlines also turned the pandemic into an opportunity to increase its cargo operations. In the past year, the airline reconfigured 50 of its passenger aircraft to increase its cargo fleet capacity and become the 6th largest air cargo company in the world. This allowed Turkish Airlines to deliver 50,000 tons of medical supplies, including more than 45 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines,to destinations all over the world.

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Remittance flows to Kenya defy the odds during the COVID-19 pandemic

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 27 Maggio 2021

Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on wages and employment across the world, the Kenyan diaspora community continues to send money back home to their families. The Central Bank of Kenya recently released data showing that remittance flows to the country increased by 10 per cent, from US$2,796 million in 2019 to US$3,095 million in 2020, accounting for three per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This is contrary to projections made in 2020 that predicted that remittances in low and middle income countries were likely to decrease as a result of the pandemic.The increase in remittance flows to Kenya is a result of financial innovations that have opened up more convenient channels, such as using mobile phones for transactions, which make it easy for families to send and receive money despite the wide spread restriction of movement and lockdowns. “The rapid acceleration of digitalization has been the ‘silver lining narrative’ of the pandemic. Remittances have been one of the key beneficiaries of digital transformation as members of the diaspora sent funds to their loved ones back home to help them ride out the ravages of the pandemic,” said Patrick Njoroge, Governor of Central Bank of Kenya.Though the adoption of technology and integration of mobile phone financial services has lowered the cost of transactions over the last ten years from 15 to 8 per cent (Kenya ranks third in sub-Saharan Africa), more still needs to be done to reach the Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDG) recommended target of 3 per cent.It costs more to send money to Kenya from other African countries, including for example from Tanzania, South Africa and Rwanda, than from Germany, Canada and the United States of America (USA). This significantly reduces the amount of money received by families to purchase food, pay for housing, education and healthcare, and to save and invest.A recent study on Kenya released by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) highlights innovative solutions that have the potential to increase access and use of the remittances received by families for greater financial inclusion and investment opportunities. The study also recommends specific actions to safeguard the responses to and recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.“What the remittance market needs now is good practices and innovations that offer digital solutions and financial services to the families who receive remittances to enhance their recovery and resilience,” said Pedro De Vasconcelos, Manager of IFAD’s Financing Facility for Remittances. To achieve greater effectiveness and to spur innovation in the market place, IFAD has launched a national call for proposals under its Platform for Remittances, Investment and Migrants’ Entrepreneurship (PRIME) Africa programme in collaboration with the European Union (EU). The aim is to identify and support initiatives that reduce transaction costs, accelerate digitalization, leverage remittances to deepen financial inclusion and expand formal channels.Remittances represent the human face of globalization. The international community, therefore, must work together to make remittances for affordable and impactful for the millions of families and countless communities who depend on them.

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Pandemic prompts private-banking clients to turn to ESG for positive impact and risk management, Deutsche Bank survey finds

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 20 Maggio 2021

Private-banking clients are increasingly taking environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors such as biodiversity into account as the COVID-19 pandemic has raised their desire to invest in line with their values and to manage potential risks in their portfolios, according to a major survey by Deutsche Bank.Three quarters of the 2,130 clients surveyed around the world by the Chief Investment Office (CIO) of Deutsche Bank’s International Private Bank (IPB) said their investments should have a positive impact and 57 percent said the pandemic had contributed to that view.Just over half – 51 percent – said that investing based on ESG can help manage risk in their portfolios and 74 percent said the pandemic has highlighted the importance of managing risk.While biodiversity loss was highlighted by just 11 percent of respondents as the most important environmental factor, dwarfed by climate change, around half recognised the need to incorporate it into their investment decision-making due to its likely role in exacerbating ocean depletion and land degradation, and accelerating climate change.“ESG has become more and more important in investment decision-making,” Christian Nolting, Chief Investment Officer, wrote in a report on the survey and the role of biodiversity risk in investments. “Biodiversity underpins many environmental, social and governance systems and biodiversity loss is therefore likely to be an increasing focus of public and investor concern.” Other findings of the survey include that women were more likely to say their investments should have a positive impact and to focus on the social pillar of ESG; millennials tended to be more focused on ocean pollution than their older counterparts; and while 54 percent of small- and medium-sized enterprises regard climate change as the main ESG issue in their business only 26 percent have a dedicated ESG strategy. The online survey of IPB clients aged 26 to 70 was conducted in April 2021. It included respondents from 10 countries or regions around the world: Belgium, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and the US.Please click here to read the full report, entitled: “Biodiversity loss: recognising economic and climate threats: Survey of investor attitudes to ESG”. The report was released a day after Deutsche Bank announced that it has become the first bank to join the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA) as a full member, creating a partnership dedicated to bringing financial expertise and innovation to protect the ocean and the communities that depend on it. This Thursday, May 20, Deutsche Bank holds a Sustainability Deep Dive, a three-hour virtual and interactive event where senior managers will give details on the bank’s sustainability strategy. It will include presentations by Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing and the business heads, along with sessions with bank experts on topics such as ESG performance management, taxonomy, climate risk management, diversity and inclusion. For more information and to register, visit the Sustainability Deep Dive site.

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The Economist’s best coverage of the pandemic and its effects

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 20 aprile 2021

Johnson & Johnson’s covid-19 vaccine is the latest to suffer a setback. On April 13th American health authorities paused its use to investigate six cases of unusual blood clots in people who had received the jab, after more than 6m doses were administered. European countries halted the jab too. The jury is still out on whether these blood clots are linked to the Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine but the same rare condition was linked to AstraZeneca’s covid-19 vaccine a week earlier, which suggests that could be the case. Both jabs use a modified adenovirus, though a different one is involved in each.On “The Jab”, our podcast reporting from the sharp end of the vaccination race, we investigate vaccine hesitancy in America. The country is close to delivering jabs to almost all who want them—unfortunately, only seven in ten Americans are interested. In the United States section, we focus on white evangelicals, a community that seems particularly set against the idea of taking covid jabs, and consider the kinds of messaging might be used to persuade the sceptics.Vermont, America’s second-whitest state (after Maine) has made all non-white residents, and those in their households, eligible for the vaccine. The move has raised some legal concerns, but proponents defend it on public-health grounds, since non-white Americans have suffered disproportionately from covid-19. The vaccine roll-out in Hong Kong has become highly politicised. China is pressing Hong Kongers to accept a Chinese vaccine, but many there would prefer a better one. In the Graphic detail section, we delve into the latest clinical and real world trial results for China’s CoronaVac vaccine, developed by Sinovac Biotech. The numbers show that the vaccine underperforms, with efficacy rates that range from 83% to a little over 50%. Not as impressive as the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, which cut the risk of catching covid-19 by more than 90%. On our science podcast, “Babbage”, we investigate one of the covid-19 pandemic’s most compelling mysteries—where did SARS-CoV-2 virus come from? By Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-In-Chief font: The Economist

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Will inflation return after the pandemic?

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 13 dicembre 2020

By The Economist. Our cover this week takes on the subject of inflation. The premise of low inflation is baked into economic policies and financial markets. It explains why governments can borrow heavily, central banks buy up cartloads of debt and stockmarkets soar even as covid-19 rages. Predicting the end of low inflation is a kind of apostasy. Yet an increasingly vocal band of dissenters thinks that the world could emerge from the pandemic into an era of higher inflation. Their arguments are hardly overwhelming, but neither are they empty. Even a small probability of having to deal with a surge in inflation is worrying, because the stock of debt is so large and central-bank balance-sheets are swollen. Rather than ignore the risk, governments should take action now to insure themselves against it. Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-In-Chief

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A special edition on the coronavirus pandemic

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 24 novembre 2020

Welcome to the newsletter highlighting The Economist ’s best writing on the pandemic and its effects. We have two covers this week. In Britain we look at the efforts of the ruling Conservative Party to redesign the British state in order to centralise power in the cabinet and speed up decision-making. Will it work? In our other editions we look at the rivalry between America and China. The achievement of the Trump administration was to recognise the authoritarian threat from China. The task for the Biden administration will be to work out what to do about it. We argue that America should aim to strike a grand bargain with its allies.In our coverage of covid-19 we analyse the continuing good news coming out of vaccine trials. We investigate the links between health outcomes and race and argue that, for the sake of fairness, governments ought to overcome their qualms about collecting data by ethnicity.We look at how Japanese health care is embracing telemedicine and how, in America, charter schools seem to be better at remote learning than public schools. We also report on Walmart’s success in turning the pandemic to its advantage. Our mortality tracker uses the gap between the total number of people who have died from any cause and the historical average for the time of year to estimate how many deaths from the virus the official statistics are failing to pick up. We have been covering the pandemic in Economist Radio and Economist Films, too. This week we have a film about a rise in the mistrust of vaccines. Will that threaten the effectiveness of the vaccines for covid-19? These are strange times. Amid the unexpectedly good news about treatments and vaccines, comes the rapidly mounting totals of infection—a dismal prelude to the deaths that lie between us today and the easing of the pandemic next year. I hope that our coverage helps you take stock of it all. Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-In-Chief The Economist

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EU survey confirms citizens’ call for EU to have more powers to tackle pandemic

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 20 novembre 2020

Bruxelles. In the grip of the second wave of coronavirus, two thirds of EU citizens call for more EU competence and an EU budget with sufficient means to tackle the crisis.The European Parliament released today the full results of its third survey this year asking European citizens their views on the Coronavirus crisis and their attitudes towards the European Union. Although 50% of Europeans feel ‘uncertainty’ again as their key emotional state as the economic impact of the pandemic takes its toll, more people now have a positive image of the EU than in the Spring.With an increasing number of EU citizens feeling uncertain about their future, two thirds of respondents (66%) agreed that the EU should have more competences to deal with the pandemic. In addition, a majority of respondents (54%) think that the EU should have greater financial means to tackle the consequences of the pandemic.However, it is of the utmost importance to EU citizens that EU funds only go to Members States with a functioning judicial system and a robust respect of shared European democratic values. More than three-quarters of respondents (77%) agree that the EU should only provide funds to Member States conditional upon their government’s implementation of the rule of law and of democratic principles. Public health should be the key spending priority, followed by economic recovery and new opportunities for businesses (42%), climate change and environmental protection (37%) as well as employment and social affairs (35%).Attitudes towards the EU have become more positive in comparison with the first survey in April/May 2020 this year. The proportion of respondents who hold a positive image of the EU has increased steadily, from only 31% in April 2020 to 41% in the present survey. However, a majority of respondents remain dissatisfied with the solidarity, or lack thereof, between EU Member States. Around half of the respondents (49%) say they are satisfied with the measures their government has taken so far against the Coronavirus pandemic, while a similar proportion (48%) are not satisfied. Attitudes have become more negative since the last wave of the survey, with a fall in satisfaction with government measures.EU-wide, more than a third of respondents (39%) say that the COVID-19 pandemic has already impacted on their personal income. A further 27% say that they expect such an impact on their finances in the future. Young people and families with children appear to be hit worst by the crisis: 64% of citizens between 16 and 34 years have experienced some form of financial difficulties, 27% of respondents with children have used their personal savings sooner than planned. In five Member States (Cyprus, Greece, Spain, Romania and Bulgaria) more than half of respondents say that the pandemic has already affected their personal income.

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2021 EU budget must focus on supporting a sustainable recovery from the pandemic

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 31 ottobre 2020

Next year’s budget – the first of the 2021-2027 financing period – should “promote fair, inclusive and sustainable growth, high-quality job-creation and its long-term goal of socioeconomic convergence”, MEPs state in their draft resolution, which reflects and accompanies the outcome of the vote on budgetary figures of 15 October.They have set the overall level of the 2021 EU budget at just under € 182 billion in commitment appropriations, representing an increase of € 15 billion compared to the Commission’s proposal. Most of these increases will benefit the EU’s 15 flagship programmes, boosting many programmes and projects that will support the young, researchers, health workers, entrepreneurs, and many other citizens.Other major additions to next year’s budget were voted on in areas such as climate change, energy, digital and transport interconnectivity, SMEs, tourism, security, migration, fundamental rights, and external action. MEPs also aim to achieve a biodiversity spending level of 10% and a climate mainstreaming spending level of 30% for 2021.Details about the different headings, programmes and projects can be found in the draft resolution. The resolution prepared by the General Rapporteur for the Commission’s budget, Pierre Larrouturou (S&D, FR), and the rapporteur for the other institutions’ administrative budget, Mr Olivier Chastel (RENEW, BE), was adopted with 35 votes to 2 and 4 abstentions.

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Welcome to the newsletter highlighting The Economist’s best writing on the pandemic

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 3 ottobre 2020

Our cover this week examines the Republican claim that, as president, Joe Biden would succumb to the plans of the radical left—dramatically expanding the role of government and crippling American business. How much of a danger is that? In our writing on the pandemic we focused on the ramifications of the virus in different countries. We have an analysis of the news that President Donald Trump and the first lady have contracted the disease. Our lead note in Asia tries to get to the bottom of why Pakistan has recorded so many fewer deaths and infections than India, in spite of being poorer. We report on the second wave in Spain and the problems in Iraq. We catch up with the election campaign in New Zealand, where Jacinda Ardern has been riding a covid-19 high. And we trace the connections between the pandemic and booming rich-world house prices. Our mortality tracker uses the gap between the total number of people who have died from any cause and the historical average for the time of year to estimate how many deaths from the virus the official statistics are failing to pick up. We have also been covering the pandemic in Economist Radio and Economist Films. We have a film this week that looks at how covid-19 has disrupted world trade, which was already faltering before the virus struck. The pandemic will not kill off globalisation, but it will deepen the cracks in it. The weather in the northern hemisphere is turning cold. If you are spending more time indoors with people from outside your household, don’t forget your mask! By Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-In-Chief

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Welcome to the newsletter highlighting The Economist’s best writing on the pandemic

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 19 settembre 2020

Our cover this week examines the huge impact that the virus has had on the office and working life. Around the world employees, governments and firms are trying to work out if the office is obsolete—and are coming to radically different conclusions. Before the pandemic only 3% of Americans worked from home regularly; now vast numbers do. How much of this change will stick when a vaccine arrives? The emerging picture is of an “optional office”, which people attend, but less frequently. That will have huge economic costs, from the collapse of city-centre cafés to the $16bn budget shortfall that New York subway’s system faces. Still, rather than turning the clock back, governments and firms need to adapt.Although the plight of mega-cities gets much of the attention, the pandemic is changing suburbs, too. We report from the front line of Britain’s commuterland. Meanwhile the implications of lockdowns continue to extend far beyond work. Our sister publication, 1843, looks at the revival of the drive-in cinema. Latin America is in the midst of an education crisis: more than 95% of the region’s 150m pupils remain at home and most countries have set no date for school reopening. At least the coronavirus pandemic has eliminated the flu season in the southern hemisphere. As we explain in this week’s Graphic detail, lockdowns and social distancing have changed the pattern of this illness dramatically. In the first two weeks of August, the World Health Organisation (WHO) processed nearly 200,000 influenza tests, and found just 46 were positive. In a typical year the number would be closer to 3,500. The WHO itself has been the subject of bitter criticism, not least from the White House. But as we report from Geneva, it has done reasonably well against covid-19. And to perform better it needs more muscle and money. Alongside our analysis we have also published one of our periodic By Invitation essays, this time by Tedros Adhanom, the WHO’s director-general. He outlines the risks from vaccine nationalism but also strikes an optimistic note, as long as countries co-operate rather than fight. “Although we absolutely must not let down our guard, it is possible to imagine the beginning of the end of the health and economic crises caused by the coronavirus.” By Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-In-Chief – Font: The Economist.

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The Economist’s best writing on the pandemic

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 24 agosto 2020

Our cover this week looks at the resilience of the Chinese economy under Xi Jinping as confrontation between America and China escalates. China’s state capitalism is entering a new stage—call it Xinomics—involving tight control over the economic cycle, a more efficient state and a blurring of the boundary between state and private firms. America and its allies must prepare for a long contest between open societies and China’s ruthless mix of autocracy, technology and dynamism.
In our coverage on the pandemic, we report on how photographers who document the impact of covid-19 must grapple with thorny ethical problems. An online “By invitation” column by Nicholas Christakis sets out the epidemiological factors that make SARS-CoV-2 (as the virus is called) so much deadlier and harder to control than the other six coronaviruses that infect humans. Governments are pumping vast amounts of money to sustain crippled economies. In America, though, gridlock in Congress is holding up a second fiscal-stimulus bill. In the euro zone, the European Central Bank is testing the limits of monetary stimulus. And poor countries are suffering from a crunch in microfinance. The pandemic’s consequences for global demand are being felt by firms including Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil producer. Social distancing has profoundly changed the way people behave. Our writers bemoan the decline of the office romance and of gossip. In Economist Films, meanwhile, our experts analyse whether enough money is being spent on the development of vaccines .To keep up to speed, visit our coronavirus hub. We also track official cases and deaths in Europe and America. Separately, our mortality tracker estimates how many deaths from the virus the official statistics are failing to pick up.Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-In-Chief The Economist

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The Economist’s best writing on the pandemic

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 30 luglio 2020

Our cover this week is about the profound shift taking place in economics as a result of covid-19. It will be characterised by government borrowing, money-printing and intervention in capital markets—all underpinned by low inflation. Each era of economics confronts a new challenge. After the 1930s the task was to prevent depressions. In the 1970s and early 1980s the holy grail was to end stagflation. Today policymakers must learn how to manage the business cycle and fight financial crises without a politicised takeover of the economy.In our coverage of the pandemic we report on new speculation that the virus may have started spreading many years ago across the border from China, in Vietnam, Laos or Myanmar. In the rich world nearly half of all deaths from the coronavirus have taken place in care and nursing homes, even though they contain less than 1% of the population. We draw some lessons for the elderly. Elsewhere, we dig into the causes of America’s runaway caseload of covid-19—and how it depends on geometric growth. Our correspondents in Israel and Central Asia write about how, in their own way, both places are struggling with the disease. We catch up with recent progress in vaccines and treatments. And our data journalists take the chance offered by crowd-free football games to answer an age-old question: what explains home advantage?Our mortality tracker uses the gap between the total number of people who have died from any cause and the historical average for the time of year to estimate how many deaths from the virus the official statistics are failing to pick up. And we have plotted the march of covid-19 across America and Europe , exploring which places are successfully battling the disease.
We have also been focusing on the pandemic in Economist Radio and Economist Films. This week we have a film on its impact on American stockmarkets, and why they have enjoyed a record-breaking streak even though the country faces the deepest recession in living memory.Almost seven months into the pandemic there is still so much to learn about the virus and its impact. (By Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-In-Chief The Economist)

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EMD In My Country events 2020 despite Covid-19 pandemic

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 3 luglio 2020

Although the European Maritime Day (EMD) 2020 Conference (foreseen to be held in Cork, Ireland) had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis and the related social distancing measures, our EMD In My Country partners managed to organise many open air or virtual events. This year, 200 EMD In My Country events have been initially registered, covering all the EU sea basins. The Covid-19 pandemic resulted in the cancellation of several workshops, seminars and conferences, but many organisers managed to keep their events alive, be it often in a virtual format. Other EMD in my Country activities were taking place in open air, like eco-tours, excursions in coastal areas, beach-cleaning activities etc. At all times, the safety of the participants was of course the main priority.Wild seabass: new report on the market trends of one of Europe’s top fish
For many small vessels in the EU, seabass represents more than 10% of landing value, peaking at 50% in the Netherlands and 40% in France, according to a new report released today by the European Commission and the European Market Observatory for Fisheries and Aquaculture (EUMOFA). These fleets, mainly passive gears and hooks and liners, are profitable and can value their catch at the highest price. Seabass caught with hooks and line can reach the price of up to 35€/kg on the French market – the largest market for wild seabass in Europe.The report highlights the main market trends for wild seabass in Europe, including the fleets’ economic dependency on seabass, the impact of recreational fisheries, as well as the significant market segmentation depending on production methods (wild-caught or farmed), size of the catch and type of gear used.

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The pandemic has shown that Amazon is essential—but vulnerable

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 22 giugno 2020

We have three covers this week. In our Americas edition we report on the founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos. He is perhaps the 21st century’s most important tycoon: a muscle-ripped divorcé who finances space missions and newspapers for fun, and who receives adulation from Warren Buffett and abuse from Donald Trump. Amazon is no longer just a bookseller but a digital conglomerate worth $1.3trn that consumers love, politicians love to hate, and investors and rivals have learned never to bet against. The pandemic has fuelled a digital surge that shows how important Amazon is to ordinary life in America and Europe, because of its crucial role in e-commerce, logistics and cloud computing. Superficially it could not be a better time for Amazon, but the world’s fourth-most-valuable firm faces problems: a fraying social contract, financial bloating and re-energised competition.In our UK edition we analyse why Britain has come to have the highest overall death rate of any country in the rich world. Britain was always going to struggle with covid-19. London is an international hub, Britons are fatter than their fellow Europeans and the United Kingdom has a high share of ethnic-minority people, who are especially vulnerable to the disease. Yet the government played a bad hand badly. It has been slow to increase testing, launch a contact-tracing app, stop visits to care homes, ban big public events, provide health workers with personal protective equipment, and require people to wear face coverings on public transport. The painful conclusion is that Britain has the wrong government for a pandemic.
In our other editions we look at the state of the world, 75 years after the creation of the United Nations. The UN is struggling, as are many of the structures, like the World Trade Organisation and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, designed to help create order out of chaos. The system is beset by internal problems, by the global struggle to cope with the rise of China and most of all by the neglect—antipathy even—of the country that was its chief architect and sponsor, the United States. The threat to the global order weighs on everyone, including America. But if the United States pulls back, then everyone must step forward. If they do not, the world risks a great unravelling, much like the nightmare in the 1920s and 1930s that first impelled the Allies to construct a global order. (by Zanny Minton Beddoes, Editor-In-Chief font: Yhe Economist)

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