5 Things to Know (8th October – 12th October)

Before enjoying this long weekend, it would be a good idea for you all to know what has been happening around the world throughout this week. Here are a few highlights:

Britain would be warmly welcomed to TPP

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe welcomes Britain into the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal with “open arms” after the whole Brexit situation is over by next year. The prime minister strongly believes that it would retain its “global strength” even after Brexit. The TPP is a trade agreement between 11 countries that include Japan, Canada, Australia, and Malaysia. It is evident that US President Donald Trump withdrew his country from the agreement last year after entering the White House. The UK is expected to leave the EU on March 29th, 2019. However, it would only be able to join the bloc if it was able to set its own tariffs and left the EU customs union completely. He also claimed that Japanese firms require a transition period as over 800 Japanese businesses employ over 100,000 people from the UK. Moreover, because of Brexit, Japanese financial firms are intending to move their main EU bases away from London to Amsterdam.

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US-China Trade war is making the world more dangerous

According to the International Monetary Fund, the global economy is being severely impacted due to the trade war between US and China. This has led them to lowering the forecast for global growth this year and next too. Maurice Obstfeld, the Chief Economist of IMF, claimed that trade policy reflects politics and politics remain unsettled in several countries. Recently, China has announced new trade tariffs on $60 billion of US goods which include products like  liquefied natural gas. In 2018 and 2019, the IMF thinks that the global economic growth will reach 3.7% in comparison to the previous prediction that was made which was 3.9%. Impacts such as hyperinflation in Venezuela, slower expansion in the eurozone, turbulence in emerging market economies, and shrink in the economy of Argentina can be seen due to this. The world leaders must work together to raise living standards, reduce inequality, and improve education.

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Google to shut down Google+

User data was left exposed which has led Google in shutting down much of its social network, Google +. Bug in its software meant that the information that was supposedly “private” has been revealed to third parties. According to Google, over 500,000 users have been affected because of this. A report from Wall Street Journal shows that the company was aware of this issue in March but did not disclose it, to avoid any ruining of it reputation. Google + was launched in 2011, and is widely known for failing to compete with Facebook. However, Google did claim that it would offer Google + powered networks, that are private, for businesses who are currently using the software. The consumer version of Google+ has extremely low usage and engagement as 90% of the user sessions are even less than five seconds.

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Hurricane Michael to hit Florida

A category 4 Hurricane Michael, may become the strongest hurricane to hit the Florida Panhandle ever in history, as it was predicted on Wednesday. The storm has sustained winds of 150 mph and the coastal residents are being told to evacuate and seek shelter somewhere else. Roughly 370,000 people in Florida were ordered to move to higher grounds, but not many left. Schools and state offices are expected to remain shut this week and about 3500 Florida National Guard troops have also been activated. Hurricane Michael has left ‘unimaginable destruction’ as so many families have lost everything. The worst hit areas were of the northwest coast of Florida where houses were ripped from their foundations, trees felled and power lines strewn across streets. At least six people have died, mainly in Florida. The US Coast Guard carried out 10 missions overnight, successfully saving over 27 people. According to the National Hurricane Center, Michael is now bringing heavy rain to North Carolina, which is threatening because the place is still recovering from the effects of Hurricane Florence.

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World’s Longest Non-Stop Commercial Flight Lands New York

Beginning a journey in Singapore and covering over 15,000 km in 17 hours and 52 minutes, the world’a longest non-stop commercial flight has landed New York. This service has been relaunched after five years as it was earlier cut because it was considered “too expensive”. The flight comprised of 150 passengers and 17 crew members. This service is definitely not cheap as the return flight in premium economy starts from £1,230 per person while a business class return fare starts from £3,805. Before this service, passengers from Singapore had to fly to New York via Frankfurt. According to Singapore Airlines, there is high demand for such non-stop services because it helps in cutting travelling times as well as ensuring convenience. The airline also claimed that there were limited number of premium economy seats left and also the fact that the business class ticket was inclusive of two meals and the choice of when they are served, as well as refreshments and a bed to sleep in.

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