Welcome to the July 7th, 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:
World Bank upgrades country classifications by income level for 2020-2021. The bank promoted the rank of three African countries (Tanzania, Mauritius and Benin) while demoting two (Sudan and Algeria). This will have a significant impact on both international confidence and socio-economic performance.
ISIL supplying Italian mafia with drugs. Italian authorities confiscated 1BN worth of amphetamine in the port of Salerno, in Naples. The cargo of drugs was sent by ISIL, branding them new drug lords in accord with the Italian mafia.
Coronavirus slump threatens Mexican President’s crusade on poverty. Unless the President can work out how to stimulate the economy, his popularity will fall further. He was elected with the largest mandate ever with a pledge to transform the country from the bottom up, putting the poor first but is now facing criticism even from supporters.
Saudi Arabia’s oil cut. As the coronavirus ravages the global economy and saps energy demand, the Saudis are leading a push among major oil producers to cut supplies.
China accused of birth control genocide. China has been accused of waging a “demographic campaign of genocide” against its Uighur minority, after a German researcher claimed the government had used mass sterilisation to suppress birth rates by as much as 80% in some districts.
French referendum to introduce a new crime: “ecocide”. Emmanuel Macron has pledged to invest €15bn for measures to combat the climate crisis over the next two years. France will be a milestone in combating the climate crises, as it will be inevitably a worldly concern in future years.
This week, India banned 59 Chinese apps, including the popular video sharing platform TikTok, in an attempt to “safeguard” its mobile and internet users.
Australia seeks long-range missiles in Indo-Pacific defence shift. Australia says it will significantly increase military spending and focus on the Indo-Pacific region amid rising tensions between the US and China. PM Scott Morrison pledged A$270bn (£150bn; $186bn) to Australia’s arms budget over 10 years – a 40% boost.
Russians grant Putin right to extend his rule until 2036 in landslide vote. Russians have paved the way for Vladimir Putin to stay in power until 2036, by voting overwhelmingly for a package of constitutional changes, which will also boost pensions, partial results of a nationwide vote showed.
US buys nearly all of Gilead’s COVID-19 drug Remdesivir. The US move to buy up so much stock from Gilead itself undermines international co-operation on COVID, given that other countries have taken part in trials of Remdesivir, originally an anti-viral against Ebola.
Israel signals delay in West Bank annexation moves. Israeli annexation of the occupied West Bank is delayed, a government minister said. The date has slipped in the absence of a green light from Washington.
Extrajudicial detentions and killings have rocketed during the five-year-long Yemeni conflict. Between May 2016 and April 2020, Mwatana, a leading Yemeni human rights group, documented 1,605 cases of arbitrary detention, 770 cases of enforced disappearance and 344 cases of torture.
Stock exchange building attacked in Pakistan. A group of four men attacked the stock exchange market in the southern city of Karachi, killing police forces. The Pakistani Prime Minister said this was a programmed attack on behalf of India.
US linked Boogaloo network banned from Facebook. It said the network was loosely linked to the broader far-right Boogaloo Bois movement, but was distinct because it actively sought to commit violence.
Alarm bells ring over aid spending amid lack of clarity on DfID merger. The UK governments plans to merge the Department for International Development (DfID) with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have been criticised for a chaotic lack of clarity, as NGOs are told to cut aid programmes.
As COVID-19 cases in Syria are multiplying, its economy is located in free fall. The UN’s emergency relief coordinator is pressing the Security Council to extend its authorisation for cross-border aid deliveries from Turkey, which is set to expire on 10 July – is a lifeline for millions of civilians in Syria’s northwest.
Argentina attempts to restructure its debt. Argentina is racing to revamp $65 billion in foreign bonds after tumbling into its ninth sovereign default in May. A deal is key to avoiding being out of international credit markets.