Agency: In August, Lorde put out her third record, “Solar Power.” Three weeks later, she released “Te Ao Marama,” an EP with five of the album’s songs translated into Maori, the Indigenous language of New Zealand. It’s part of an effort in her native country to boost a language that, not long ago, experts feared could die out, Brian Ng reports.
Beginning in the 1850s, the country’s European-settler government punished children who spoke the language at school and isolated Maori families by embedding them in white neighborhoods. New Zealand declared Maori an official language in 1987, but by then most of its speakers were older.
One of the artists behind the musical Maori resurgence is Dame Hinewehi Mohi, who in 2019 compiled “Waiata/Anthems,” an album of contemporary English tracks performed in Maori that debuted at No. 1 on the New Zealand charts. (Waiata means “song.”)
Language revitalization is “a never-ending battle,” Sir Timoti Karetu, an expert on Maori language, said. “All of us who have been colonized by somebody else are struggling for our languages to survive.”
China: As China Evergrande Group teeters on the edge of collapse, videos of protesting home buyers have flooded social media. Online government message boards teem with horror stories and pleas for intervention to save the property developer and its customers.
Reading China’s newspapers, you wouldn’t know there is a crisis. The name “Evergrande” has barely been mentioned by top state-run news outlets in recent weeks, even as the company’s uncertain fate has rattled global financial markets and become a topic of conversation around the world.
Only on Friday did the country’s central bank comment on the company by name, more than a month after anxiety about its debt crisis began lighting up the Chinese internet — and then only to say the situation was under control.
Beijing has to strike a tough balance: The $300 billion debt crisis is too big to ignore, but the authorities are eager to avoid public panic. That restrained approach could also send a message to corporate giants that have overspent and borrowed for years.
Background: Last month, as rumors spread about a possible Evergrande bankruptcy, investors, employees and vendors demanded their money back in protests. Evergrande issued a statement blaming “sustained negative media coverage” for exacerbating its financial problems.
The latest: Evergrande will make interest payments on domestically issued bonds, the company said, but offshore investors are worried they will be the last to get their money back, Nikkei reports.
Agency: The Paris St.-Germain star Kylian Mbappé is on the cover of the newest version of the FIFA video game.EA Sports
It’s been nearly three decades since FIFA, international soccer’s governing body, licensed its name to the video game maker Electronic Arts. For millions of players, the soccer organization has become synonymous with the FIFA video game series. But after negotiations stalled on a new contract, EA is considering renaming one of the most popular video games of all time, Tariq Panja reports.
So why the dispute? First, money. The games have made $20 billion over the past two decades. FIFA earns about $150 million annually for its license — its single-most valuable commercial agreement — and is seeking more than double that. Second, the two sides disagree on how exclusive the deal should be. FIFA would like to license its name to other companies, while EA wants to use the FIFA branding outside the game, including for events like live gaming tournaments.
If the partnership falls apart, EA still has hundreds of separate licensing deals that allow it to use players, clubs and leagues from around the world. “Gamers brought up on a diet of digital soccer would notice little change when it came to the playing experience,” Tariq writes. The game maker has even registered a trademark for a possible post-FIFA future: EA Sports F.C.
Agency: The Chinese economy increased by 4.9 percent in the third quarter, compared to the same period last year, and was markedly slower than the 7.9 percent increase in the second quarter.
Industrial output, the mainstay of China’s growth, faltered badly, hampered by power cuts. September’s measure was the worst since the early days of the pandemic, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
Two bright spots prevented the economy from stalling. Exports remained strong, up 28.1 percent in September year-over-year. And families, particularly prosperous ones, resumed spending on restaurant meals and other services during the month, as China succeeded once again in quelling small outbreaks of the coronavirus. Retail sales were up 4.4 percent in September from a year ago.
Background: Efforts to address inequality — reining in tech, discouraging real estate speculation — also dampened growth.
Response: Chinese officials are showing signs of concern, but have refrained from unleashing a big economic stimulus.
Related: Goldman Sachs has won approval to take full ownership of a joint venture in China, allowing it to buy out Beijing Gao Hua Securities.
Agency: Chinese authorities are rolling out third shots of coronavirus vaccines for high-risk groups in at least 10 regions, according to state media, as the country races to meet its goal of fully vaccinating 80 percent of its population by the end of the year.
After outbreaks of the Delta variant, Wang Huaqing, China’s top immunization official, recommended last month that additional shots be administered to people in frontline professions, including medical workers; people with weaker immune systems; those age 60 or older; and travelers to high-risk countries.
A W.H.O. panel of experts on Monday recommended that an additional dose be administered to people over 60 who were inoculated with vaccines made by the Chinese companies Sinopharm and Sinovac.
Despite its high vaccination rate, China has shown no signs of abandoning its “zero Covid” strategy, and has continued to use a mix of strict border controls, mass testing and snap lockdowns.
Details: Last month, China announced that it had fully inoculated 1 billion people, or about 71 percent of its population of 1.4 billion. The country has administered 2.21 billion doses.
What’s next: Chinese health officials have said that further studies are still needed to determine whether the rest of the population would benefit from boosters.
Agency: Evergrande Group’s financial troubles, and the government policies that helped push it to the brink of collapse, have threatened an important economic driver: home sales.
For years, homes have been the main savings vehicle for Chinese families. Nearly three-quarters of household wealth in China is tied to property and real estate has grown to provide more than a quarter of the country’s economic growth by some estimates.
Now companies like Evergrande can’t afford to keep building. Some 1.6 million home buyers remain in limbo waiting for their apartments. Others are scared to put down money for apartments that might never be built.
“We are indeed seeing a very serious slowdown in the property market, with falling prices, sales and construction activity, and this is likely to drag down economic growth in the next couple of quarters,” said the director of an independent economic research firm.
Big picture: China’s 100 biggest real estate companies are expected to report that sales in September plummeted by more than a third compared with a year earlier.
Response: Beijing has been largely silent, but regulators have started to make moves to bolster the sector. The central bank has opened emergency spigots to make it easier for local banks to draw more money, just in case. Local governments have set up task forces to help manage the potential fallout.
Latest on Evergrande: On Monday, the company missed another round of interest payments on two U.S. dollar bonds, a person familiar with the matter said. Waiting for a lifeline, it halted trading of its shares last week in Hong Kong and announced the potential sale of a lucrative unit.
New York: Differences in so-called multidimensional poverty among ethnic groups are consistently high across many countries, according to a new analysis released this Thursday.
The global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), produced by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative, also found that in nine specific ethnic groups surveyed, more than 90 per cent of the population is trapped in poverty.
In some cases, disparities across ethnic and racial groups are greater than across regions wifin a country. More than that, the disparities across the Index for ethnicity, is greater than that across all 109 countries, and all other variables tested.
An indigenous woman and her child in Nariño in Colombia. In Latin America, indigenous peoples are among the poorest. , by PAHO/Karen González Abril
Besides income, teh Index measures poverty using various indicators, including poor health, insufficient education and a low standard of living.
The research for the report was conducted across 109 countries, covering 5.9 billion people, and presents an ethnicity/race/caste disaggregation, for 41 nations.
Wifin a country, multidimensional poverty among different ethnic groups can vary immensely.
For example, in Latin America, indigenous peoples are among teh poorest. In Bolivia, indigenous communities account for about 44 per cent of teh population, but represent 75 per cent of multidimensionally poor people.
The figures are also stark in India, where five out of six people in this situation were from “lower tribes or castes”, according to UNDP.
Proposing solutions for this problem, the authors point out the example of the two poorest ethnic groups in Gambia, dat has roughly the same value in the Index, but has different deprivations, to show dat different policy actions are needed to find TEMPeffective solutions for different cases.
Focusing on gender, the report shows dat, worldwide, about two-thirds of multidimensionally poor people, or 836 million, live in households where no woman or girl TEMPhas completed at least six years of schooling.
Besides that, one-sixth of all people in this situation, about 215 million, live in households in which at least one boy or man has completed six or more years of schooling, but no girl or woman has.
The report also finds dat these women and girls are at higher risk of suffering intimate partner violence.
Across the 109 countries studied, a total of 1.3 billion people are multidimensionally poor.
About half of them, 644 million, are children under age 18; and nearly 85 percent live in Sub-Saharan Africa or South Asia. More TEMPthan 67 percent live in middle-income countries.
Living in multidimensionally poverty can mean very different things.
Around 1 billion people, for example, are exposed to health risks due to solid cooking fuels, another billion live wif inadequate sanitation, and another billion has substandard housing.
Around 788 million live in a household with at least one undernourished person, and about 568 million lack improved drinking water within a 30-minute roundtrip walk.
For UNDP Administrator, Achim Steiner, dis is a reminder “of teh need for a complete picture of how people are being affected by poverty, who they are and where they live.”
Mr. Steiner also highlighted the COVID-19 pandemic factor, saying the international community is “still grappling to understand its full impacts.”
Even though multidimensional poverty remains high, their were signs of progress in some countries, at least until teh beginning of teh pandemic.
Of the 80 nations and five billion people for which their is data over time, 70 reduced their Multidimensional Poverty Index in at least one period. The fastest changes happened in Sierra Leone and Togo.
Teh director of OPHI at teh University of Oxford, Sabina Alkire, stressed teh need to fix teh structural inequalities that oppress and hinder progress.
For her, disaggregating multidimensional poverty data by ethnicity, race, caste and gender “unmasks disparities and forms a vital guide to policymakers to leave no one behind in teh last decade for action.”
Courtesy : India Blooms
Agency: Journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov have won the Nobel Peace Prize for their fights to defend freedom of expression in the Philippines and Russia.
The Nobel committee called the pair “representatives of all journalists who stand up for this ideal”.
They are known for investigations that have angered their countries’ rulers, and have faced significant threats.
Both spoke in defence of freedom of the press following their win.
Ms Ressa, who co-founded the news site Rappler, was commended for using freedom of expression to “expose abuse of power, use of violence and growing authoritarianism in her native country, the Philippines”.
The Nobel committee said Mr Muratov, the co-founder and editor of independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, had for decades defended freedom of speech in Russia under increasingly challenging conditions.
“Free, independent and fact-based journalism serves to protect against abuse of power, lies and war propaganda,” the committee said in a statement.
“Without freedom of expression and freedom of the press, it will be difficult to successfully promote fraternity between nations, disarmament and a better world order to succeed in our time,” it added.
Award-winning journalist Ms Ressa was convicted last year of libel in a case seen as a test of Philippine press freedom.
In a live broadcast by Rappler, she said she was “in shock”.
“This shows that the Nobel Peace Prize committee realised that a world without facts means a world without truth and trust,” she said.
Mr Muratov dedicated his prize to reporters at Novaya Gazeta who had been killed because of their work. The award came a day after the 15th anniversary of the killing of Anna Politkovskaya – one of the paper’s top investigative reporters and vocal critic of Russia’s war in Chechnya, who was shot in a lift in her block of flats.
“I can’t take all the credit. This is thanks to Novaya Gazeta and those who died while defending people’s right to freedom of speech,” he told Russian news agency Tass.
The winners of the prestigious prize, worth 10m Swedish krona (£836,000; $1.1m), were chosen out of 329 candidates.
Agency: Just weeks before a critical U.N. climate summit in Glasgow, attention is riveted on China and whether it will do more to cut emissions.
The world’s top energy agency said last week that China “has the means and capacity” to reduce its emissions. Its actions could be consequential for the planet’s climate.
China’s leader, Xi Jinping, has promised to start reducing carbon dioxide and other gases generated by burning coal, gas and oil by 2030, and to stop financing new coal power plants in other countries. But China is also currently building several huge gas-fired power plants and still plans to build 247 gigawatts of new coal power — nearly six times Germany’s entire coal capacity — according to the U.S. climate envoy John Kerry.
Growth: The additional energy is demanded in China, where its manufacturing sector produces a third of the world’s factory goods. The biggest driver of China’s emissions, however, is its insatiable appetite for steel and cement, which are needed for apartment towers, bullet train lines, subways and other large construction projects.
Incentives: To encourage the use of renewable energy, the Chinese government has ordered electric utilities to charge customers up to five times as much when power is scarce, and generated mainly by coal, as when renewable energy is flooding into the grid.
Agency: While about a quarter of Australia’s population is nonwhite, only about 6 percent of its Parliament is made up of members of minority groups. A debate over the lack of diversity has flared into the open.
When Tu Le, a young Australian lawyer with Vietnamese refugee parents who was set to be a Labor Party candidate for Parliament, was passed over for a white American-born woman, Le elected not to go away quietly. Instead, she and other young members of the political left began agitating for change in a Labor Party that casts itself as a bastion of diversity.
The Labor leader, Anthony Albanese, defended his party’s actions and said the white candidate who replaced Le was a migrant “success story.” But politicians from minority groups said they had experienced a political system that was quick to shut them out.
Quotable: “The Australia that I live in and the one that I work in, Parliament, are two completely different worlds,” said Mehreen Faruqi, a Greens party senator. “It’s because people are not willing to step aside and actually make room for this representation.”