A billion people live in the slums of the world’s megacities—all overlooked in coronavirus planning


A market area in Dhaka, the Bangladeshi capital, crowded with people despite the coronavirus pandemic, May 12, 2020.

Sprawling urban areas in Brazil, Nigeria and Bangladesh are all seeing COVID-19 infections rise rapidly.

A billion people live in the slums of the world’s megacities—and they’re being missed by coronavirus plans

Having ravaged some of the world’s wealthiest cities, the coronavirus pandemic is now spreading into the megacities of developing countries. Sprawling urban areas in Brazil, Nigeria, and Bangladesh are all seeing COVID-19 infections rise rapidly.

We study the fragility and resilience of such cities and their urban peripheries, with the aim of encouraging data-driven policy decisions. Given its deadly trajectory in marginalized communities of hard-hit New York and London, coronavirus may well devastate much poorer cities.

Continue reading… “A billion people live in the slums of the world’s megacities—all overlooked in coronavirus planning”


3 ways COVID-19 could actually spark a better future for Africa


Coronavirus is severely testing Africa’s social, economic and political resilience.

COVID-19 is forcing African states to invest in their health systems.

A lack of essential healthcare supplies has triggered a debate about the necessary industrialization of Africa.

In 1990, when Cameroon’s football team did the unthinkable and beat Argentina in the World Cup, the proportion of the world’s population living below the poverty line was 35.9%. Fast-forward 35 years to 2015, following a global adoption of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), this figure now stands at 10%.

Continue reading… “3 ways COVID-19 could actually spark a better future for Africa”


Covid-19 could trigger ‘media extinction event’ in developing countries


Critical reporting under threat as revenue losses leave independent news outlets hostage to government subsidies or whims of billionaires

Press freedom groups warn that the integrity of independent journalism could be at risk.

Fake news laws and political interference along with growing financial pressures has left many independent media groups in developing countries fighting to survive during the pandemic.

News outlets around the world have faced measures to muzzle critical reporting in an environment that has already seen dozens of journalists harassed, arrested and censored by governments, according to editors and press freedom groups.

Continue reading… “Covid-19 could trigger ‘media extinction event’ in developing countries”


These 4 industries are going to die


We are not going back to our old economy. It’s over.

Right now, something incredibly positive is occurring in our society. It’s never happened before in world history (feel free to correct me if you can find an example).

Every scientist, health leader, politician, teacher, business leader, family member — everyone — is converging to solve one problem.

That’s incredibly powerful and gives me immense hope for our future.

In addition, I believe 3 factors will emerge going forward: convergence, disruption, and opportunity.

I’m seeing 2 convergences related to the American consumer that will have a massive effect on your business:

Continue reading… “These 4 industries are going to die”


Get me out of here! Americans flee crowded cities amid COVID-19, consider permanent moves


Ben Greenzweig is itching to move his wife and three kids South, a plan that may get accelerated due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The CEO and co-founder of conference company Momentum Event Group, says he’s looking to move to either North Carolina or South Carolina from the New York City suburbs in Westchester County, for cheaper costs and bigger living space amid fears that a deep and prolonged economic slump in the state could eventually force residents to pay higher taxes.

“It would be an unbelievable escape,” Greenzweig, 42, says. He typically works from home which gives him flexibility.

“Our children’s involvement in school is the single largest tether keeping us here. If there’s a hint that school won’t resume in the fall for my kids, then the biggest reasons for us staying here, which are friendships and school activities, evaporates.”

Continue reading… “Get me out of here! Americans flee crowded cities amid COVID-19, consider permanent moves”


Hong Kong airport brings in cleaning robots and disinfection booth

(CNN) — Cleaning robots, temperature checks and antimicrobial coatings could soon become synonymous with airport trips.

Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) has provided a glimpse into what international airport procedures might look like once we’re traveling again, and a lot of disinfection technologies are involved.

The busy Asia airport claims it’s the first in the world to trial a live operation of CLeanTech, a full-body disinfection booth.

The short, but thorough, process sees those passing through undertake a temperature check before entering a small booth for the 40-second disinfection and sanitizing procedures.

According to the airport authority, the inside of the facility contains an antimicrobial coating that can remotely kill any viruses and/or bacteria found on clothing, as well as the body, by using photocatalyst advances along with “nano needles.”

Continue reading… “Hong Kong airport brings in cleaning robots and disinfection booth”


These 3 charts reveal the state of the economy


Australian think-tank the Grattan Institute has released three new trackers, or charts, that offer an up-to-date glance at what the economy looks like right now.

The Morrison government has thrown the kitchen sink at the domestic economy, with $320 billion in stimulus measures designed to cushion the damage.

The Grattan Institute’s charts are regularly updated with the latest statistics to form a quick view of how many jobs have been lost and where, the number of businesses that have been affected, and how consumers are feeling.

The impact of Covid-19 to the Australian economy has been described as the worst since the Great Depression by both the RBA Governor Philip Lowe and the Grattan Institute in a separate report.

Continue reading… “These 3 charts reveal the state of the economy”


Here’s how global supply chains will change after COVID-19


The coronavirus pandemic is fundamentally reshaping global trade.

• The coronavirus crisis has revealed the fragility of the modern supply chain.

• Recent data shows the devastating economic impact as week-on-week trade in China, the US and Europe halved because of the crisis.

• Diverse sourcing and digitization will be the key to building stronger, smarter supply chains and ensuring a lasting recovery.

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit global trade and investment at an unprecedented speed and scale. Multinational companies faced an initial supply shock, then a demand shock as more and more countries ordered people to stay at home. Governments, businesses and individual consumers suddenly struggled to procure basic products and materials, and were forced to confront the fragility of the modern supply chain. The urgent need to design smarter, stronger and more diverse supply chains has been one of the main lessons of this crisis.

Continue reading… “Here’s how global supply chains will change after COVID-19”


Here comes the retirement crisis, coronavirus-style


Will COVID-19 deepen the retirement crisis? Yes and no — here’s how

 The coronavirus crisis may worsen an already impending retirement crisis.

Remember when Americans struggled to save for retirement because they were juggling high housing costs, student loan payments, credit card debt and scanty access to workplace savings? Add in a global pandemic, record unemployment and an economic lockdown. How’s that for a retirement crisis?

The coronavirus poses a threat to many Americans’ health and current financial well-being, but it also has the potential to derail an individual’s future retirement security.

Many Americans were already underprepared for retirement, not having saved enough for their futures by the time they were ready to leave the workforce. The global pandemic may make it even harder to afford to retire. In the past four weeks alone, 22 million U.S. workers have filed for unemployment benefits, and people without jobs are not able to contribute to their workplace investment accounts, nor do they have any extra money to put away. People may also have to take distributions or loans from their retirement plans, which lowers their potential returns in the long-run.

Continue reading… “Here comes the retirement crisis, coronavirus-style”


Here’s what you do with two-thirds of the world’s jets when they can’t fly


Just finding space to park can be a problem, and idle planes require a surprising amount of work, from maintaining hydraulics to stopping birds from nesting.

The skies are eerily empty these days, presenting a new challenge for the world’s embattled airlines as they work to safeguard thousands of grounded planes parked wingtip to wingtip on runways and in storage facilities.

More than 16,000 passenger jets are grounded worldwide, according to industry researcher Cirium, as the coronavirus obliterates travel and puts unprecedented strain on airline finances. Finding the right space and conditions for 62% of the world’s planes and keeping them airworthy have suddenly become priorities for 2020.

Aircraft can’t simply be dusted back into action. They need plenty of work and attention while in storage, from maintenance of hydraulics and flight-control systems to protection against insects and wildlife — nesting birds can be a problem. Then there’s humidity, which can corrode parts and damage interiors. Even when parked on runways, planes are often loaded with fuel to keep them from rocking in the wind and to ensure tanks stay lubricated.

Continue reading… “Here’s what you do with two-thirds of the world’s jets when they can’t fly”


Furloughed workers don’t want to return to their jobs as they’re earning more money with unemployment


An unintended and unexpected consequence of the multitrillion dollar stimulus package is that workers are asking to be laid off or reluctant to go back to work after being furloughed.

In an effort to help people financially cope with their job losses in the midst of a pandemic, the federal government—through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act)—is providing an extra $600 per week in unemployment benefits. This amount is in addition to what the states already pay, which is in the range of $200 to $300 per week.

A person could conceivably earn $1,000 per week on unemployment, depending upon the state he or she resides in. In addition to the enhanced benefits, most Americans, earning less than $75,000 in 2019, received a one-time check for $1,200 and $500 for each child under 17 years of age.

Here’s the situation facing companies that have already been financially hurt by the consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak. Consider a worker in an Amazon warehouse. The worker has to be on their feet all day, lift heavy boxes onto and off of high shelves and race around the facility to fulfill orders. Earning a minimum wage of $15 per hour, the person may make pre-tax $525 per week. Think of how many millions of other people work at dangerous, physically demanding or unpleasant jobs earning a similar amount.

Continue reading… “Furloughed workers don’t want to return to their jobs as they’re earning more money with unemployment”


Over 80% of India’s small businesses expect to scale down, shut shop, or sell off in six months


The coronavirus outbreak has left India’s startups and small businesses jittery about their future.

As much as 61% startups and small & medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country are staring at the possibility of scaling down their business in the next six months. Only 13% are expecting their business to grow, according to a survey conducted between April 18 and 23 by LocalCircles, a community-led social media engagement platform.

Continue reading… “Over 80% of India’s small businesses expect to scale down, shut shop, or sell off in six months”