Experts are concerned that political and economic confrontations will increase this year, including among major powers, the World Economic Forum's Global Risks Report said. The "deteriorating geopolitical landscape" and risks of cyberattacks are contributing to the worry, but improvement in the global economy could ease the risk in some ways, the report said.
Pulling out of the North American Free Trade Agreement would cost the US 300,000 jobs and slow economic growth from a projected 2% in 2019 to 1.5%, according to a report by Oxford Economics. Growth in business investment would also slow down.
After President Richard Nixon introduced Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev to Pepsi-Cola in 1959, Pepsi soon established a cola monopoly in the Soviet Union, but because Soviet money wasn't worth anything internationally, Pepsi and the USSR bartered. First Pepsi accepted Stolichnaya vodka to distribute in the US, but after a US boycott, the Soviet Union paid Pepsi in ships, including warships.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees are voicing concerns over a deal struck between Myanmar and Bangladesh to repatriate more than 650,000 Rohingya refugees over the next two years. "The worst would be to move these people from camps in Bangladesh to camps in Myanmar," Guterres said.
As a violent conflict continues in Yemen, more than 8 million Yemenis face famine and 22.2 million are dependent on humanitarian aid, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. UNICEF warns that one-quarter of infants born in the country die in their first month, while the World Food Programme calls the situation the "world's biggest hunger crisis."
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres this week encouraged member countries to take steps to empower women and prevent exploitation and abuse. He noted that equality for women would make peace more sustainable and strengthen economies.
United Nations special rapporteurs are asking Kenya to halt and investigate the alleged eviction of people living on land slated for a water-conservation project. They are also urging the EU to stop funding the project.
Foreign military intervention is not an effective way to resolve the conflict in Syria and it would be better for Syrians if they were able to determine their own solutions, says United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
Thirty-one new donors have pledged at least $1 million toward the Obama presidential center under construction in Chicago, the Obama Foundation reports. Lucas Family Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation are among those supporting the project.
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