Happy Friday! Here are 5 news highlights of the week. 🙂
- Hurricane Dorian heads towards Florida
Although it is currently a category one hurricane, the US National Hurricane Center has warned that it may become a category four hurricane by the time it reaches the US mainland. On the Saffir-Simpson scale, a category four storm is the second strongest, capable of causing “catastrophic damage”. The NHC also predicts that the storm will hit somewhere between Florida and Georgia. Forecasters have warned of life-threatening flash flooding and rip-current conditions as the storm moves across the region.
2. International Ban on Zoo Trade (for baby elephants)
After days of debate, a ban on trading wild African elephants was approved in a meeting in Geneva as they discussed the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cities). However, the United States and Zimbabwe opposed this decision. Zimbabwe and Botswana have a much greater number of elephants than other populations, so they are allowed to export elephants to “appropriate and acceptable” destinations.
3. Brazil implements a 60-day ban on land clearance
As a response to an increase in the number of wildfires in the Amazon rainforest, Brazil has banned the use of fire to clear land in the country. However, it does not seem like this law will make a huge difference considering the overwhelming majority of forest clearance in the Brazilian Amazon is already illegal. A leading Brazilian environmentalist further warned that the “worst of the fire is yet to come”.
4. US-China Trade War leads to recession
Thsi trade war is not only affecting the countries involved, but also the world’s economy. The biggest economies in Asia are slowing down and some of the smaller ones – such as that of Singapore or Hong Kong – at at high risk of damage to their economy. This year, China’s economy grew only by 6.2%. Tax cuts and infrastructure spending were some of the measures taken by Beijing in hope to imporve this growth rate. More specifically, countries like Japan, India, South Korea and Singapore have been experiencing lower demand for their main exports. The general public in these nations is concerned about a potential major unemployment in the future.
5. A Rise in Measles Cases in Four European Nations
Four European countries, namely Albania, the Czech Republic, Greece and the UK, have been seeing a major increase in the number of measles cases in the past few months. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), these countries were previously seen as free of the illness. Kate O’Brien of the WHO’s Immunization Department has said all four European nations that have lost their eradication status have “extremely high” vaccination coverage.
“This is the alarm bell that is ringing around the world: being able to achieve high national coverage is not enough, it has to be achieved in every community, and every family for every child,” she continued.
Close to 365,000 cases have been reported worldwide this year, the WHO said, almost three times as many as in the first half of 2018.