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Davos 2020: Greta, Trump Open Debate of Economy and Sustainability

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Davos 2020: Greta, Trump Open Debate of Economy and Sustainability

Davos 2020 brings silent rivals, Greta and Trump, together!

Globe’s biggest elite businessmen gathering, the World Economic Forum is back in Davos, Switzerland. The 50th annual meet up in the Swiss Alps convened the honchos of politics and business on January 21, to enlighten the panel on the theme “Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World”.

The opening day of Davos 2020 passed under the dominance of cold rivals — the US President Donald Trump and the climate activist Greta Thunberg. The teenage activist gave a grim message stating that everybody is talking about climate change, but no one is taking any action.

However, President Trump attacked her climate crisis warnings, stating that the world should stop listening to “prophets of doom”. Like never before, the two didn’t meet face-to-face at the WEF too, leaving the global business leaders in a dilemma about who they were referring to.

The annual gathering was largely seen as a billionaires’ stadium, where the rich debated. However, Greta Thunberg’s appearance on the first day of Davos 2020 signalled relevance of global warming in business circles, but only few leaders from the chiefly responsible industries were present at the panel.

Although corporate executives boast of their increasing concerns about the environment, Thunberg stated that none of it is enough. “The climate and environment is a hot topic right now, thanks to young people pushing,” the 17-year-old said at the Swiss ski resort on Tuesday. “Pretty much nothing has been done, since the global emissions of CO2 have not reduced.”

Politicians from the left, the right and the centre, all have failed in striving sustainability, she said. “No political ideology or economic structure has managed to tackle the climate and environmental emergency and create a cohesive and sustainable world.”

The Swedish environmental activist also mocked the US President’s claim that his concern for environment could be seen as he supported the initiative of planting 1tn trees. “Planting trees is good, of course, but it’s nowhere near enough, and it cannot replace real mitigation and re-wilding nature. We don’t need to lower emissions. Emissions need to stop,” she argued.

Greta Thunberg’s alarming words at Davos 2020 shouted of the climate crisis and demanded immediate resolutions. “We don’t want it done in 2050, 2030, or even 2021, we want it done now,” she stated.

However, Donald Trump said that it is “a time for optimism” and “not a time for pessimism”. As Greta watched from the audience, Trump continued, “We must reject the perennial prophets of doom and their predictions of the apocalypse. They are the heirs of yesterday’s foolish fortune tellers.”

The Greta-Trump visible and unspoken clash first came to light, when the teenage activist was filmed staring furiously at Trump in September 2019 at the United Nations.

Besides, shortly after Greta was named person of the year by Time magazine in December, Trump tweeted, “Greta must work on her anger management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill!”

In response, the Swedish activist changed her Twitter biography to, “A teenager working on her anger management problem.”

While Davos 2020 saw steaming debates over climate issue on the very first day, a lot is due to come on the three-day annual gathering. After Greta, hundreds of other climate activists are due to arrive on foot at the ski resort. The activists, who “are tired of empty promises”, will reportedly stage a demonstration calling for the end of the World Economic Forum.

It’s another year of the businessmen and politicians get together, where the debates and networking is the key agenda of the leaders. The President of world’s one of the most influential countries, Trump was seen boasting of America’s growth record.

On its 50th anniversary, Davos certainly is expected to see a transformation, where the youth fighting for climate will be launching endless questions at the leaders.

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Diamond Princess: Americans Evacuated While Others Still Wait in Cabins

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Diamond Princess

A growing global health issue, novel coronavirus has become a vexatious threat for thousands of people on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which is docked in Japan from past two weeks. A couple of passengers got relief on Sunday night, when a powerful nation came to their rescue. But the frustration doubled up for many, who still remain under a mandatory quarantine, and are stuck in their cabins on the cruise ship.

Two charter aircrafts from the US arrived in Japan, evacuated their citizens from the cruise and left on Sunday. All the passengers were put through rigorous tests before they were allowed to board the flights. Besides, those infected with the virus were transferred to a Japanese hospital for treatment. The planes were expected to arrive in the US later Monday morning.

The Diamond Princess was docked-off at the Yokohama port on February 3, with nearly 3,600 people on-board. However, it was put into quarantine after disembarking, as an 80-year-old man was diagnosed with the SARS-CoV-19 coronavirus. A citizen of Hong Kong, he went on the ship in January. The outbreak has since hit 356 people, with 70 cases announced on Sunday.

The cruise now possesses the largest concentration of coronavirus cases outside the mainland China. Earlier this month, experts casted doubt over Japanese government’s decision of keeping the passengers of the Diamond Princess in quarantine. They also warned that it was not the best way to deal with the situation. On February 7, there were 61 cases on the ship, which rose to 356 in merely 10 days.

“I don’t understand why they have to be kept on a ship,” stated Peter Hotez, of the Baylor College of Medicine. “We’re employing what I call 14th-century approaches and ethics to individuals with transmissible disease.”

The controversial quarantine period of the passengers on-board was expected to end on February 19, prior to which the US sent an email to its citizens recommending them to “disembark and return to the United States for further monitoring”. There were 428 Americans aboard the Diamond Princess, 44 of which were reportedly tested positive of the epidemic.

Passengers had to choose, if they wanted to return to the US on the airplanes. However, they were required to undergo another 14 days of quarantine. “We understand this is frustrating and an adjustment, but these measures are consistent with the careful policies we have instituted to limit the potential spread of the disease,” email from the US embassy read.

Moreover, the American passengers, who chose to not take the flight were obligated to remain in quarantine for addition 14 days in Japan to ensure being symptom-free before returning to the US.

While the US has already evacuated its citizens from the Diamond Princess, countries like Australia, Canada and Hong Kong are also expected to follow the suit.

Although appreciated, the decisions by these nations have come too late to save people from the spreading virus. What began with a single infected person on the cruise, has now affected hundreds of others in a matter of few days. Had the screening and evacuations taken place on February 3 itself, the statistics would have been different on the Diamond Princess.

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Trump’s India Visit: Leaders of the Two Nations Unite on Division Wall

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Trump’s India Visit: Leaders of the Two Nations Unite on Division Wall

President Trump’s India visit will soon be taking place, and Prime Minister Modi is ready to welcome him in a total Trump-way!

Seclusion and suppression— the idea of two political leaders reached a common ground of thoughts, maybe in a mere coincidence. The like-minded, US President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will soon be meeting in person for the first time on the Indian soil.

Last week, the White House confirmed that the President will be accompanied by the US First Lady Melania Trump. The two-day trip on February 24 is likely to “strengthen the United States-India strategic partnership” that has been bruised by trade disputes.

The US President is scheduled to visit New Delhi, the Indian capital, and Ahmedabad, the city in PM Modi’s home state Gujarat. “This visit is a very special one and it will go a long way in further cementing India-US friendship,” Modi wrote in a tweet, on Wednesday.

However, in his efforts of “cementing” India’s ties with the US, the Indian PM took a decision of concealing certain localities of his home town, which are apparently disturbing his sight, but not his powerful position. Inspired by Trump, PM Modi, who claims to be a man for public, decided to leave an estimate of 800 families behind a wall.

Over 150 masons in India are working “round-the-clock” to build a 400-meter-long and seven-feet-high wall in Ahmedabad, so that the US President does not catch a glimpse of the large slum district.

The move was defended by a senior government official, who said that the wall was instead being built for security reasons. However, a contractor constructing it confirmed that it was a part of a “beautification and cleanliness” drive, and that the Indian government “did not want the slum to be seen” during President Trump’s India trip.

Indian PM’s decision proved to be a quick call for criticism from hundreds of people, who pointed out Modi’s hypocrisy of laying the “Gujarat model” of development and concealing the underdeveloped areas. In 2017, Modi introduced a model dedicated to the development and enhancement of Gujarat’s infrastructure. After two years, the plans appear unachieved.

“Modi is building the ‘Wall’ so he can hide slums when Trump visits his ‘Gujarat Model’,” wrote Ashok Swain, a professor of Peace and Conflict Research in Sweden.

Donald Trump, on the other hand, has also been a stern president for most time since taking office, where his demand for a Mexico border wall was a constant agenda. Consequently, Modi’s wall against slum is being considered a replica of Trump’s wall against migrants.

“Mexican didn’t pay but Modi pays for Trump’s Wall,” tweeted Swain.

Trump’s India visit will mark the first day at Ahemdabad’s Sardar Patel Stadium for an extravaganza dubbed “Kem Chho Trump” (“How are you, Trump”). Organized on the similar lines of the “Howdy Modi” event, it will be attended by a crowd of more than 100,000 people who will welcome the US President.

It would be interesting to see what the two leaders, who divide by walls, will achieve after ten days, when they unite.

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War in Yemen: Spree of Hostilities Surround as Militias Down War Jet

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War in Yemen: Spree of Hostilities Surround as Militias Down War Jet

From bloodshed to famine, the war in Yemen once again marked destruction after a Saudi fighter jet crashed in the war-torn nation, the Saudi-led military coalition backing the government said.

A coalition spokesman affirming the news said that a Saudi Tornado fighter jet had “fallen” whilst orchestrating a support mission near Yemeni army units. No official word on the number of causalities was made public.

The responsibility for the attack was taken by Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who via Houthis’ al-Masirah television channel claimed that the plane was shot down using an advanced surface-to-air missile.

However, the very next day after the Houthi’s shot down the plane, multiple reports emerged on Saudi-led coalition’s airstrike in the Houthi dominated area. The bombing has reportedly left 31 civilians dead, the United Nations said.

The war in Yemen has been a center point of destruction since the unrest began five years ago. The political conflict that has drawn multiple foreign parties to restore peace, has resulted in more deaths and carnage instead.

While the Saudi-led coalition – backed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – appears to be fighting Houthi militias to restore the government of President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, has actually made Yemen a proxy war playground.

The fighting has already surpassed 10,000 deaths, with civilians suffering because of the lack of food, sanitation, medicine and other basic amenities. There have also been multiple reports on Yemeni’s surviving on boiled leaves, and some even starving to death because of food scarcity. Ironically, to top it the airstrikes have also become a regularity, inflicting wounds and inviting catastrophe at large.

The foreplay in Yemen has left the nation in evil hands, having no control over their ill-deeds. Meanwhile, the alliance in Saudi-UAE and the opposition in Houthi’s have shown no backing down. And the support of western nations including, the US and UK for the supply of weaponry, has made matters worse than ever before.

“So many people are being killed in Yemen – it’s a tragedy and it’s unjustified. Under international humanitarian law parties which resort to force are obligated to protect civilians. Five years into this conflict and belligerents are still failing to uphold this responsibility. It’s shocking,” Lise Grande, the UN’s resident humanitarian coordinator in Yemen said.

Only on Wednesday, the Saudi-led coalition assumed responsibility to put on trial the personnel suspected of carrying out unlawful airstrikes on Yemeni civilians. Forgetting which, three days later, they killed another 31 in a war that has set ablaze the worst humanitarian crisis ever witnessed.

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Australian Fires Put 113 Animal Species on the Verge of Extinction

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Australian Fires Put 113 Animal Species on the Verge of Extinction

In a tussle for survival, the fittest can overcome all the odds. But with Australian fires, the resistance has reached a breaking point even for the most suited. Facing the menacing impact following wildfires, more than 100 species of animals in Australia stand on the verge of extinction, a new study has revealed.

As per a panel of experts appointed by the Australian government, as many as 113 native animal species are in need of help to bypass the problems caused by the Australian fires. Some of these are also classified as facing imminent extinction. Besides, almost all of the 113 species have already lost at least 30 per cent of their habitat, while some have lost even big numbers.

As reported, the list of species under threat includes 13 birds, 19 mammals, 20 reptiles, 17 frogs, five invertebrates, 22 spiny crayfish, and 17 freshwater fish species. The panel informed that it still has not been able to establish the full extent of damage because many areas still remain out of reach.

Researches earlier said that Australian fires had taken the lives of more than 1 billion animals living across forests and grasslands in its swathe. However, a provisional list released on Tuesday, reduced the count whilst handpicking those in urgent need for help.

The Greater Risk

Of the 113 species identified by the government panel, Kangaroo Island dunnart, the northern corroboree frog, the Blue Mountains water skink, and the Kangaroo Island glossy black cockatoo are at greater risk. Meanwhile, Kangaroo Island situated off the coast of South Australia, suffered an even bigger blow after the fire eliminated tens of thousands of Koalas.

A Commonwealth Department of Environment and Energy report released last month found that 272 plant species are also prone to vanquishing as a result of fire crisis. Other than animals being wiped out by the fire, the crisis is also having a bad impact on a lot of unconsidered factors.

“All the animals that have survived not only have no place to go back to, they don’t have food sources left. In a fire the insects get wiped out too, the smaller animals who eat ants and other insects won’t have food. Possums and gliders, if there are any left – most of them have been killed – they eat leaves and fruit, which have all been destroyed,” University of Sydney ecologist Doctor Valentina Mella said.

Raising Money for Bushfires

There have been various campaigns to raise funds for the Australian fires. And a match between Ponting XI and Gilchrist XI featuring legends of cricket was recently played for the same cause.

The Great Britain women’s hockey squad also took the big step to raise the funds for bushfires. The 26 players in the squad reportedly signed a brand new stick and said that the winning school or club will receive the prize from their behalf. The team also informed that prize will be shipped worldwide so that “everyone can make a difference”.

Social media has also come to the aid, with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram being the difference makers. As reported last month, Facebook alone had helped raise $73 million for the fire relief work.

You can also do your bit and make a big difference!

The best thing about social media is that it is accessible to one and all just the same and reaches every part of the world, ensuring that help comes from every nook and corner of the world. By visiting the given link(s), you can also contribute to a great humanitarian cause.

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Jebel Ali Crowns UAE with Fourth Largest Gas Reserve in Middle East

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Jebel Ali Crowns UAE with Fourth Largest Gas Reserve in Middle East

A pleasant discovery in the hour of the need, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Monday announced discovery of a natural gas field containing 80 trillion cubic feet of gas between Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

The news of Jebel Ali gas field was made public by the tweets of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi’s crown prince, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE’s prime minister and Dubai’s ruler. The find implies that UAE is now home to Middle East’s fourth largest gas field.

The new Jebel Ali field located between the two emirates has been named as the world’s largest natural gas discovery since 2005. And the officials have said that it is the next big step to go energy independent for the sheikhdom. UAE is reportedly on a route to become self-sufficient by 2030 and Jebel Ali field would help monarchy to break away from its reliance on Qatar.

Last week on Sunday, the UAE state-owned Adnoc and the Dubai Supply Authority signed an agreement to explore the resources together. “This is an enormous discovery for the U.A.E.,” said Liam Yates, an analyst at consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd. The deposit alone can cater to the nation’s gas needs for nearly three decades, depending on the amount that can be derived from the reservoir, he added.

The UAE, an OPEC member and a major exporter of oil, is currently engaged in looking for gas and other sources of energy to widen its horizon in the energy sector. And is consequently inviting tourists, hosting events as big as Expo 2020 world fair and building nuclear, solar and coal-fired power plants, to showcase world the extent of its diversification.

However, despite its efforts, a slowdown in Dubai’s economy concerning low oil prices, and external factors such as the US-China trade war, is forecasted to continue for the next two years. Moreover, as per Dubai’s 2020 budget released in December, the emirate plans to significantly increase its state spending throughout 2020. With this, it plans to curb the financial slowdown and support the Expo 2020 world fair, due to be held in October. Ironically, the push comes despite Dubai’s infrastructure spending following a downward trajectory.

Yet for now, the big plus remains with Jebel Ali discovery, which is the biggest finding since the Galkynysh field found 15 years ago in Turkmenistan. And courtesy of the gas reserve, UAE can track the requirement and pump gas to mitigate the effect of low oil prices.

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