Showing posts with label Global. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Global. Show all posts

25 March 2020

Infographic Of The Day: Global Pandemic Preparedness By Country


Today's infographic pulls data from the 2019 Global Health Security Index, which ranks 195 countries on health security. It reveals that while there were top performers, healthcare systems around the world on average are fundamentally weak - and not prepared for new disease outbreaks.



The Real Pandemic Danger Is Social Collapse

By Branko Milanovic

As of March 2020, the entire world is affected by an evil with which it is incapable of dealing effectively and regarding whose duration no one can make any serious predictions. The economic repercussions of the novel coronavirus pandemic must not be understood as an ordinary problem that macroeconomics can solve or alleviate. Rather, the world could be witnessing a fundamental shift in the very nature of the global economy.

The immediate crisis is one of both supply and demand. Supply is falling because companies are closing down or reducing their workloads to protect workers from contracting COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. Lower interest rates can’t make up the shortfall from workers who are not going to work—just as, if a factory were bombed in a war, a lower interest rate would not conjure up lost supply the following day, week, or month. 

The immediate crisis is one of both supply and demand.

21 March 2020

Coronavirus Could Kill China's Central Role In Global Supply Chains

by Gordon G. Chang 
Source Link

Key point: Foreigners were strategically short-sighted in relying on an inherently unstable and belligerent regime in China for the supply of goods, yet any reliance can be problematic at times

This looks like the end of China’s central role in global supply chains. A microbe in China—and the response of a totalitarian government—is killing it.

Americans are angry. “I was on the phone with leaders from several hospitals in New York, and they told me that they had contracts with Chinese companies where they were waiting on things like plastic gloves, masks, all of this stuff where they were on the ships on their way to the U.S., and the Chinese government said ‘no, no, no, no, turn around, we need this stuff,’ ” said Maria Bartiromo on her Fox Business Network show “Mornings with Maria,” on the 19th of this month. “How is anybody going to trust China in terms of keeping up their end of the bargain again in business?”

The influential television anchor is voicing a concern heard throughout America these days. Peter Navarro, who appeared on her Fox News Channel show on the 23rd, provided more reasons for cutting links with Chinese suppliers. “China put export restrictions on those masks and then nationalized an American factory that produces them there,” said President Donald Trump’s director of trade and manufacturing policy, referring to N95 masks, used for protection against the COVID-19 coronavirus.

18 March 2020

False Flags During Times of Geopolitical Conflict – The Right Time to Strike

Emilio Iasiello
Source Link

The global nature of the Internet coupled with the inexpensive nature of conducting activities therein make cyberspace an immediate and attractive medium for states seeking to extend their power and influence. Therefore, it is unsurprising to see how state use of cyberspace has continued to evolve, extending beyond cyber-attacks to include a variety of “soft power” options that states have at their disposal that can support a variety of national objectives.

Cyber activities that have been specifically attributed to a state have included cyber espionage for intelligence/information collection (e.g., China), network reconnaissance to facilitate additional compromise of conduct or for a later attack (e.g., Iran), propaganda and disinformation/influence operations designed to manipulate a target audience’s opinion (e.g., Russia), and destructive attacks intent on punishing or trying to coerce a target (e.g., Ukraine power grid). Many more may have been conducted by state sympathizers and nonstate actors directed by or working on behalf of a state’s interests (e.g., Estonia cyber-attacks, Operation Ababil).

The question of attribution has always remained a murky effort, largely because of the difficulty in proving direct links between the activity and a specific state, but it appears that over the past few years the threshold for that rigor has significantly decreased. Technical analysis linking malware language, command-and-control indicators, domain names, and IP addresses have been used to support such allegations, even though it is well known by state actors that such artifacts are used to analyze these activities and have been used in publicly-accessible published findings and analysis on APT activity. In short, tactics, techniques, and procedures are identified and made widely known.

16 March 2020

What if we did everything right? This is what the world could look like in 2050


In many places around the world, the air is hot, heavy, and depending on the day, clogged with particulate pollution. Your eyes often water. Your cough never seems to disappear. You think about some countries in Asia, where out of consideration sick people used to wear white masks to protect others from airborne infection. Now you wear a daily mask to protect yourself from air pollution. You can no longer walk out your front door and breathe fresh air: there is none. Instead, before opening doors or windows in the morning, you check your phone to see what the air quality will be. Everything might look fine— sunny and clear— but you know better. When storms and heat waves overlap and cluster, the air pollution and intensified surface ozone levels make it dangerous to go outside without a specially designed face mask (which only some can afford).

Meet our Young Global Leaders for 2020


What does the winner of the FIFA Women's World Cup have in common with the prime minister of Finland? They are both young leaders who gained international repute over the last 12 months. And now Megan Rapinoe and Sanna Marin have been recognized as Young Global Leaders by the World Economic Forum - joining a community of people dedicated to changing the world for the better.

Each year, the Forum of Young Global Leaders identifies the world’s most promising leaders under the age of 40 - people driving innovation for positive change across civil society, arts, culture, government and business. By connecting them to a community of remarkable peers and investing further in their leadership abilities, the aim is to create a ripple effect over five years that benefits their organizations and the world.

Here are some of the 115 YGLs that make up the class of 2020:

Singapore Was Ready for Covid-19—Other Countries, Take Note


This pandemic—the new disease Covid-19, the virus SARS-CoV-2—is not Singapore’s first epidemiological nightmare. In 2002 and 2003, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, the original SARS, tore out of China and through Asia, killing 33 people in Singapore and sparking wholesale revisions to the city-state’s public health system. “They realized they wanted to invest for the future, to reduce that economic cost if the same thing were to happen again,” says Martin Hibberd, an infectious disease researcher now at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine who worked in Singapore on SARS.

11 March 2020

Shifting Global Trade Patterns this Decade

Rodger Baker

This week I am in Boston serving as a judge for the Fletcher Political Risk Group Student Case Competition, a program for students to focus on the real-world impact of political risk on corporations. This year’s focus is Vietnam, a country that has been caught up in the U.S.-China trade battle, and is now feeling the impact of the Coronavirus on supply chains.

Trade friction between Washington and Beijing contributed to a rise in inbound investment in Vietnam in manufacturing.

COVID-19 is threatening Vietnam’s clothing industry, disrupting the critical flow of raw materials and textiles from other Asian nations. In both cases, Vietnam itself plays only a minor role in the forces shaping opportunity and risk - and that is the result of globalization.

Globalization in the broad sense represented a major shift in the traditional patterns of economic activity. While trade and commerce, whether local, regional or international, has always existed in some form, it was in the post World War 2 era, with the creation of General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1947, that the modern ideas and impact of globalization take shape. GATT created a way of managing trade and tariffs in a multilateral manner, creating a framework for global governance and reducing the volatility of constantly shifting unilateral actions. 

How Tech Could Help the World Prepare for the Next Epidemic

RONIT LANGER
Summary: The global coronavirus response is providing a critical test bed for new technologies to detect, diagnose, and treat infectious diseases. But broader investments in public health are needed to capitalize on these advances.
Related Media and Tools

It may be tempting to imagine a room of all-seeing officials managing the global response to the novel coronavirus epidemic, like desk officers directing a field operative in an international spy movie. While this is certainly not the case, rapid technological advances could soon bring this vision closer to reality.

Improved systems and data sharing have already enabled a faster, more effective response to COVID-19, the disease caused by this coronavirus strain, than to any previous outbreak. The virus’s DNA sequence was released in record time, at least eleven labs have begun to ship out diagnostic tests, and the biotech firm Moderna hopes to have a vaccine ready for clinical trials as early as April. In the years ahead, technologies for early detection, rapid diagnosis, and remote treatment will make it easier and safer to contain the spread of future outbreaks.

EARLY DETECTION

6 March 2020

History Proves Beyond Any Doubt Global Warming Can Kill

by Alan N Williams Chris Turney Haidee Cadd James Shulmeister Michael Bird Zoë Thomas

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that without a substantial decrease in our use of fossil fuels, we are on track for a global average increase of 2℃ in the next few decades, with extremes of between 3 to 6℃ at higher latitudes.

But 2℃ doesn’t really sound like much. Wouldn’t it just mean a few more days of summer barbeques?

While 2℃ might seem negligible, the peak of the last ice age was characterised by a 2-4 ℃ drop in global temperatures. This shows just how great an effect this seemingly small change in temperature can have on Earth.

The last ice age occurred primarily as a result of changes in Earth’s orbit, and relationship to the Sun. Coolest conditions peaked 21,000 years ago. Reductions in atmospheric carbon dioxide and sea surface temperatures reinforced the cooling trend.

Globally, the most significant impact of the ice age was the formation of massive ice sheets at the poles. Ice sheets up to 4km thick blanketed much of northern Europe, Canada, northern America and northern Russia.

The Age of Mass Protests: Understanding an Escalating Global Trend


We are living in an age of global mass protests that are historically unprecedented in frequency, scope, and size. Our analysis finds that the mass political protests that have captured media attention over the past year, such as those in Hong Kong and Santiago, are in fact part of a decade-long trend line affecting every major populated region of the world, the frequency of which have increased by an annual average of 11.5 percent between 2009 and 2019. The size and frequency of recent protests eclipse historical examples of eras of mass protest, such as the late-1960s, late-1980s, and early-1990s. Viewed in this broader context, the events of the Arab Spring were not an isolated phenomenon but rather an especially acute manifestation of a broadly increasing global trend. Analysis of the root causes of these global protests suggests they will continue and could increase in 2020 and beyond. While each protest has a unique context, common grievances overwhelmingly center on perceptions of ineffective governance and corruption.

Executive Summary 

Mass protests increased annually by an average of 11.5 percent from 2009 to 2019 across all regions of the world, with the largest concentration of activity in the Middle East and North Africa and the fastest rate of growth in sub-Saharan Africa.

Analysis of the underlying drivers of this growth suggests the trend will continue, meaning the number and intensity of global protests is likely to increase.

Global Migration Is Not Abating. Neither Is the Backlash Against It

Around the world, the popular backlash against global migration has fueled the rise of far-right populist parties and driven some centrist governments to adopt a tougher line on immigration. But with short-term strategies dominating the debate, many of the persistent drivers of migration go unaddressed, even as efforts to craft a global consensus on migration are hobbled by demands for quick solutions.

Around the world, migration continues to figure prominently in political debates. In Europe, far-right populist parties have used the Migrant Crisis of 2015 and latent fears of immigrants to fuel their rise and introduce increasingly restrictive border policies in countries, like Italy, where they have entered government. The popular backlash against immigrants has also pushed centrist governments to adopt a tougher line on immigration at home, while working with countries of origin and transit to restrict migration, whether through improving border controls or strengthening economic incentives for potential emigres to stay in their home countries.

5 March 2020

That 1970s Feeling

KENNETH ROGOFF

CAMBRIDGE – It is too soon to predict the long-run arc of the coronavirus outbreak. But it is not too soon to recognize that the next global recession could be around the corner – and that it may look a lot different from those that began in 2001 and 2008.

It might seem strange that a global economy with so much knowledge and wealth at its disposal would be beset by so many crises. Yet the current dismal state of affairs is exactly what we should expect after 40 years of "greed-is-good" market fundamentalism. 31Add to 

For starters, the next recession is likely to emanate from China, and indeed may already be underway. China is a highly leveraged economy, it cannot afford a sustained pause today anymore than fast-growing 1980s Japan could. People, businesses, and municipalities need funds to pay back their out-size debts. Sharply adverse demographics, narrowing scope for technological catch-up, and a huge glut of housing from recurrent stimulus programs – not to mention an increasingly centralized decision-making process – already presage significantly slower growth for China in the next decade.

Moreover, unlike the two previous global recessions this century, the new coronavirus, COVID-19, implies a supply shock as well as a demand shock. Indeed, one has to go back to the oil-supply shocks of the mid-1970s to find one as large. Yes, fear of contagion will hit demand for airlines and global tourism, and precautionary savings will rise. But when tens of millions of people can’t go to work (either because of a lockdown or out of fear), global value chains break down, borders are blocked, and world trade shrinks because countries distrust of one another’s health statistics, the supply side suffers at least as much.

The Age of Mass Protests: Understanding an Escalating Global Trend


We are living in an age of global mass protests that are historically unprecedented in frequency, scope, and size. Our analysis finds that the mass political protests that have captured media attention over the past year, such as those in Hong Kong and Santiago, are in fact part of a decade-long trend line affecting every major populated region of the world, the frequency of which have increased by an annual average of 11.5 percent between 2009 and 2019. The size and frequency of recent protests eclipse historical examples of eras of mass protest, such as the late-1960s, late-1980s, and early-1990s. Viewed in this broader context, the events of the Arab Spring were not an isolated phenomenon but rather an especially acute manifestation of a broadly increasing global trend. Analysis of the root causes of these global protests suggests they will continue and could increase in 2020 and beyond. While each protest has a unique context, common grievances overwhelmingly center on perceptions of ineffective governance and corruption.

Executive Summary 

Mass protests increased annually by an average of 11.5 percent from 2009 to 2019 across all regions of the world, with the largest concentration of activity in the Middle East and North Africa and the fastest rate of growth in sub-Saharan Africa.

Analysis of the underlying drivers of this growth suggests the trend will continue, meaning the number and intensity of global protests is likely to increase.

Protests have resulted in a broad range of outcomes, ranging from regime change and political accommodation to protracted political violence with many casualties.

Factors that could increase the rate of protest include slowing global economic growth, worsening effects of climate change, and foreign meddling in internal politics via disinformation and other tactics.

4 March 2020

Thomas Piketty Goes Global

By Idrees Kahloon

Now that the celebrity economist’s boldest ideas have been adopted by mainstream politicians, he has an even more provocative vision for transcending capitalism and overcoming our “inequality regime.”

Inequality, in Piketty’s view, drives human history, and calls for radical remedies.Illustration by Ben Wiseman

Speaking in 1918, with Europe ravaged by the horrors of modern warfare and Russia in the hands of the Bolsheviks, Irving Fisher warned his colleagues at the annual meeting of the American Economic Association of “a great peril.” That peril, which risked “perverting the democracy for which we have just been fighting,” was extreme inequality. “We may be sure that there will be a bitter struggle over the distribution of wealth,” Fisher, perhaps the most celebrated economist of his day, maintained. More than a century later—at another annual meeting of the American Economic Association—the spectre once more loomed over the discipline. “American capitalism and democracy are not working for people without a college degree,” Anne Case, an economist at Princeton, declared in January, as she flipped through slides in a large, windowless conference room. On a screen, charts showed breathtaking increases in suicide, drug overdoses, and alcoholism among less-educated whites over the past two decades. These “deaths of despair,” as she and her husband-collaborator, Angus Deaton, call them, originated in the deep unfairness of American society. When Fisher issued his warning, the richest ten per cent of Americans were taking home forty-one per cent of all domestic income. Today, they take forty-eight per cent.

Global Migration Is Not Abating. Neither Is the Backlash Against It


Around the world, the popular backlash against global migration has fueled the rise of far-right populist parties and driven some centrist governments to adopt a tougher line on immigration. But with short-term strategies dominating the debate, many of the persistent drivers of migration go unaddressed, even as efforts to craft a global consensus on migration are hobbled by demands for quick solutions.

Around the world, migration continues to figure prominently in political debates. In Europe, far-right populist parties have used the Migrant Crisis of 2015 and latent fears of immigrants to fuel their rise and introduce increasingly restrictive border policies in countries, like Italy, where they have entered government. The popular backlash against immigrants has also pushed centrist governments to adopt a tougher line on immigration at home, while working with countries of origin and transit to restrict migration, whether through improving border controls or strengthening economic incentives for potential emigres to stay in their home countries.

In some places, the strategy appears to be working—for now. In Europe, asylum applications have dropped back to pre-2015 levels, when a wave of refugees and immigrants arrived on the continent from Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East and Africa. In the United States, President Donald Trump’s pressure on Mexico to secure its southern border also appears to have stemmed the flow of refugees and migrants attempting to make it into the country. At the same time, the Trump administration has threatened to end aid programs that might actually help keep people in the Central American countries they are fleeing.

Visceralities of the Border: Contemporary Border Regimes in a Globalised World

DANIEL HARRISON

On the 9th November 1989 the Berlin Wall collapsed, triggering a chain of events that was said to have ushered in a new globalised era. Under no illusions as to whose ideology had prevailed, thinkers such as Francis Fukuyama pronounced an End of History (1992), with ideological debate now a matter of which laissez faire economist had been proven most correct. History had been won, and central to this new era of globalised trade was the notion of a borderless existence. When the Berlin Wall came down the number of border walls stood globally at 15 (Donnan and Wilson, 1999). The only question remaining was how long it would take for the others to fall. Almost three decades on and the realities could not be starker. The current number of border walls stands at 72 (Donnan and Wilson, 1999), with the spectre of further border development at the forefront of state policy throughout the Global North. In response to the claim that this process of bordering represents an aberration from an otherwise open and borderless capitalist landscape, this essay intends to invert such premises, arguing that the border is built into the very structures of global capitalism. Indeed, the border is constitutive of capitalism itself. Thus, building on from this premise, the article will situate the border at the heart of social life, asking in what ways a more sociological IR theory can make sense of our globalised world today.

1 March 2020

Health Security: The Global Context


Protection from infectious diseases has become a key issue not only in Swiss, but also in international health policy in recent years. Under the terms of the WHO’s International Health Regulations (IHR), which are at the center of these efforts, states must identify and contain outbreaks at the earliest possible stage. However, the global implementation of the regulations must be further improved. By Ursula Jasper SARS, MERS, H1N1, Ebola, Zika – the list of infectious diseases that have alarmed the public and challenged researchers around the globe in recent years is a long one. Today more than ever, communicable diseases are regarded as serious potential threats to national and global society. For instance, the WHO in 2007 described the danger of a new type of influenza virus as “the most feared security threat” (World Health Report 2007, p. 45). 

Health experts warn that increasing global mobility as well as interdependencies and interconnections due to flows of trade and goods, migration, and tourism create the conditions for a spread of global, i.e. pandemic diseases within a short time. This means that purely national efforts to combat diseases are ineffective, and that transnational, joint approaches are necessary. Therefore, after years of negotiations, the WHO passed a new set of International Health Regulations (IHR) in 2005. They stipulate that all WHO member states must build up national early detection and warning systems to be able to discover and respond in a timely manner to potential cross-border pandemics – known as Public Health Emergencies of International Concern – on their territories.

29 February 2020

The Canadian Geopolitical Dynamic

By George Friedman

Canada is being wracked by what appears to be a moderately important internal crisis over First Nations’ objections to the construction of a natural gas pipeline in British Columbia. This crisis gives me a chance to write about the geopolitics of North America, with particular focus on Canada. Normally, we would not need to address such problems because Canada is generally a country in which conflict is contained in a predictable framework. At the moment, the conflict remains within that framework, but it is not impossible that it will break out. That would affect the United States, and things that effect the United States frequently wind up in a different framework in a place far away. Since I doubt the U.S. has any plans to occupy Canada (actually, I can’t be sure), and most of the security issues involving the U.S. and Canada revolve around scheduling joint training, I regard Canada’s problems as internally manageable. Still, there is value in using this as an opportunity to consider the Canadian dynamic.

Center of Gravity

According to our model, the center of gravity of the global system shifted after the fall of the Soviet Union to North America. Note that I said North America rather than the United States because, as in Europe over the course of centuries, the leading nation on the continent can vary. The United States is enormously powerful, but it shares the continent with two other significant powers: Mexico and Canada. All three countries share a single characteristic: They are continental powers that have access to both the Atlantic and Pacific. It is this geographical reality that makes the dominant North American nation the center of gravity. Asia does not have ready access to the Atlantic, nor does Europe have ready access to the Pacific. North America has access to both.

23 February 2020

Global defence spending: the United States widens the gap


In 2019, the United States remained by far the world’s largest defence spender, widening the gap between it and the second largest spender, China. US investments in weapons procurement and R&D alone were larger than China’s total defence budget. The United States’ defence investments in weapons procurement and R&D were also worth around four times as much as European states’ combined.


IISS data shows that in 2019 the United States, China, Saudi Arabia, Russia and India retained their positions as the world’s top defence spenders. Indeed, the only movement in the top 15 saw Italy and Australia swap places, with Italy taking the 12th position and Australia the 13th (Figure 1).

The lack of change in the top 15 reflects an interesting underlying trend, in that the US has if anything just restated its spending dominance. In 2019, global defence spending rose by 4.0% in real terms over 2018 figures, but spending in the US grew by 6.6%. China’s spending also rose by 6.6% over 2018 data, but the trajectory of the two states’ defence spending is diverging. The budget increase in the US was the largest in ten years, and spending has increased year-on-year since US President Donald Trump took office. While spending is still rising in China, the pace of growth is decelerating, in line with Beijing’s relative economic slowdown. This divergence in trajectories means that the spending gap between the two countries, which had narrowed since 2010, has since 2018 increased once more (Figure 2). It remains to be seen, however, if this trend will continue given Washington’s plans for a more limited defence-spending increase in FY2021.