5 Things to Know (7th January – 11th January)

Welcome back to school everyone! Here are five highlights of the week:

Saudi teenager escapes her home country to seek asylum

A Saudi teenager of 18, Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, detained in Thailand after escaping her country because her family abused her physically and psychologically. According to Thai officials, she renounced Islam and will not be sent back to her country if she is not willing to go. She barricaded herself inside the transit zone hotel room at Suvarnabhumi Airport so that she is not forced to fly to Kuwait. Moreover, she was also denied entry to Thailand while en route to Australia, which was where she was planning to seek asylum previously. She vowed to not leave the hotel room until she gets in contact with representatives from the UN Refugee Agency. She said that her family has even locked her in her room for six months after she cut her hair; therefore, she is certain that she would be imprisoned or even killed,  if sent back. Though Thailand is not a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention and provides no legal support to the people seeking asylum, there are still over 100,000 refugees in Thailand.

Amazon considered as the “world’s most valuable company”

The company Amazon, which was formed 25 years ago, has been listed as the most valuable company of the world, beating Microsoft. According to Bloomberg’s billionaire index, Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, is the richest man in the world with riches of $135 billion. Amazon started as a niche second-hand book seller and developed into an online retailer of products like fresh food as well as clothing.The online giant is worth $797 billion which is more than the value of Microsoft, being $789 billion. How Amazon got to the top is because the company has been putting growth ahead of profit by investing in data systems, distribution networks, and even investments in warehouses. Moreover, since Apple’s riches on the stock market fell after a warning about slowdown in China, it is currently valued at $702 billion, making it easy for Amazon to take over

US unlikely to meet the 2025 target of carbon emissions reduction

In 2018, US carbon dioxide emissions rose by 3.4 % after three years of decline. This spike is said to be the largest in the past eight years, which suggests that US is unlikely to meet its target of reducing emissions by 2025. Under Donald Trump’s presidency, US is expected to leave the Paris accord in 2020; his administration has also ended various existing environmental protections. Earlier, President Obama planned on reducing emissions by 26% in 2025 from 2005. However, it looks like US will require a drop of 2.6% on average over the next seven years, to reach this goal. The US economy also grew as a whole in 2018 as a consequence of more utilization of energy in factories, steel mills and chemical plants. The main factor, however, is due to fueled demand in the transportation sector.  

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Consumer spending in India expected to grow by 2030

Research shows that India is poised to be the third largest consumer market behind US and China in future. By 2030, consumer spending in India is said to grow from USD 1.5 trillion to about USD 6 million, according to a World Economic Forum report. In order for this to happen successfully, private and public sector leaders must take shared accountability. To tackle the significant growth in consumption, societal challenges such as skills development, employment for future workforce, socio–economic inclusion of rural India, and creation of a healthy and sustainable future for Indian citizens, must be addressed. Growth of middle class in India will lift about 25 million families out of poverty, which seems like a great number. This evidence is based upon a report that was based on consumer surveys that were conducted across 5100 households in roughly 30 cities and towns of India, along with interviews of private and public-sector representatives.

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Trump’s proposal of building border wall to solve immigration issues

President Trump made his first formal address to the nation from the Oval Office regarding the humanitarian crisis that has been occurring along the US-Mexico border, and has been telling the world about how his signature border wall would be the best solution. Mr Trump demanded $5.7 billion to build a steel barrier but Democrats have refused to fund. There are two audience group’s for Mr. Trump’s address to the nation: the American public who seemed uninterested in his border wall proposal and blamed him responsible for the government shutdown; and the Republicans who Mr. Trump needs to impress to get anything out of this proposal. Yesterday, Mr. Trump was expected to visit a border patrol station in McAllen, in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. This is to figure out what is the busiest part of the border for illegal crossings.


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