Welcome to the July 22nd, 2020 edition of Future Trends. This series, curated by the Institute for Economics & Peace, takes a look at global news which may provide insight to the future. Here’s what you need to know this week:
Three biggest US banks set aside $28bn in downturn warning. The projected 11% unemployment rate for the end of the year, hits to property firms, oil and gas companies will continue the painful economic downturn.
Cheap money drives up corporate debt. COVID-19 has resulted in sharp increases in corporate debt, which was already at a record level last year. Volkswagen is the world’s most indebted corporation with liabilities of $192 billion. Daimler is in third place, with $151 billion and BMW in eighth place with $114 billion.
Iran has issued over 1,000 cryptocurrency mining permits since July 2019 and will reduce the electricity tariff by 47%, in order to support authorized cryptocurrency mining centres. Data shows that mining farms in Iran are paying as little as $0.01 to $0.05 for one kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity.
Singapore slumps into recession with GDP falling 41.2%, providing a window on how severe a contraction other Asian economies are likely to face.
UK bans Huawei from providing equipment for 5G network. The UK’s mobile providers are being banned from buying new Huawei 5G equipment after 31 December, and they must remove all the Chinese firm’s 5G kit from their networks by 2027. New restrictions will also apply to the use of Huawei broadband kit.
Floods in India and Nepal displace nearly four million people, at least 189 dead. In India’s northeastern state of Assam and neighbouring Nepal, millions have been displaced by heavy flooding from monsoon rains, with many missing as the death toll rises to at least 189.
Rio Tinto blew up two ancient caves in Western Australia. Indigenous Australians for whom the sites were of deep cultural and sacred importance were not consulted in the expansion of an iron-ore mine.
Glacier the size of the UK melting faster than expected. The Thwaites Glacier is one of the biggest glaciers in the world. It is concerning British and US geo researchers because of its rate of melting by geothermal heat, which could affect the global sea level rise in our lifetime.
Poland will soon to propose limits on foreign media. The government will seek to create rules limiting the concentration of foreign-owned media outlets. The purchase of regional newspapers, many of which are German-owned, were among the ideas proposed.
German states appeal to US Congress not to withdraw troops. The premiers of four German states have appealed to members of the US Congress to block plans to withdraw US troops from Germany, according to letters seen by Reuters.
US to back nations that say China violated their South China Sea claims. The United States will support countries that believe China has violated their maritime claims in the South China Sea, but suggested it would do so through diplomatic rather than military means.
The Trump administration bypasses CDC for COVID-19 data. The sudden disappearance of the CDC’s coronavirus dashboards has become the latest flashpoint in the extraordinary breakdown between Washington, D.C.-based federal health department and the nation’s premier public health agency.
Mexico records new high in homicide cases. There were 17,439 murders in the first six months of this year. There was a sharp increase in murders of women.
Nigerian state offers livestock in exchange for firearms. Zamfara state has offered an amnesty and two cows in exchange for each gun handed over. The region is tackling the rampant threat of kidnapping, stock theft, and other violent crimes.
Death toll rises in Azerbaijan-Armenia border clashes. Seven Azeri soldiers, a civilian and four Armenian servicemen were killed in border clashes between countries that fought a war in the 1990’s over the mountainous Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Yemenis on the brink of starvation. Fears of famine have increased as UN humanitarians warn that 360,000 severely malnourished children could die unless they continue to get treatment and aid is stepped up.
Ethiopia begins filling controversial dam on Blue Nile. The failure to come to an agreement with Sudan and Egypt over the hydroelectric dam endangers the lives of approximately 150 million Egyptians and Sudanese, due to a possible decline in water levels in other portions of the river.
Oxford COVID-19 vaccine triggers immune response. The vaccine developed by the University of Oxford appears safe and triggers an immune response. The trials involved 1,077 people.
Global fertility rates predicted to fall. Researchers have provided a projection of the development of the earth’s population – and the time of endless growth is over. The demographic upheavals are forecast to shake the global economic order. Here is the forecast for four countries: