The world gasped in amazement at China's impressive 6% to 11% annual GDP growth over the past decade as the People's Republic became a truly global powerhouse. Last year, however, the coronavirus pandemic wrecked that incredible trajectory, leading to China's slowest expansion since 1976 at just 2.3%. Instead, the region's top-performing economy was Taiwan, the contentious territory that China sees as its own, which saw economic output expand by 3.11%. The island, which was widely praised for its handling of the health crisis, also benefited from demand for its technology during global lockdowns and the subsequent trade rebound. "Taiwan is one of the very few economies that still posted positive GDP growth in 2020," Angela Hsieh, regional economist at Barclays Asia Pacific, told DW. Hsieh pointed to "exceptionally strong exports" and singled out the island's semiconductor sector which grew 22.1% versus 5.6% for South Korea. Watch video 03:23 Share … [Read more...] about How Taiwan beat China to be Asia’s top-performing economy
China owned port in sri lanka could alter trade routes
First, it's important to note that at time of writing, scientists know relatively little about the so-called "California coronavirus." There are fears that it may be spreading faster than other strains of coronavirus, that it may lead to more severe cases of infection, requiring more intensive care, and that it may even be more deadly. But all we have right now — as public information — is from a pre-print, published on an online platform called medRxiv . A pre-print is a report or study that, while usually scientific and professional, details only preliminary findings that have yet to be peer-reviewed. That is, the findings have yet to be checked and verified by other groups of scientists. As such, doctors, for instance, are advised not to use any of the data, as it stands, to make clinical decisions when treating patients. So, read this as an overview of to-be-confirmed information. What we know so far We know that the California coronavirus was first detected in … [Read more...] about What we know about the ‘California coronavirus’
Uncertainty around the future of the Northern Ireland protocol has seen the construction of purpose-built inspection facilities at ports halted. There will still be checks on agricultural and food products, but these will be carried out in existing buildings that have been repurposed for the post- Brexit task, the country's agriculture minister has said. Gordon Lyons of the DUP said that recruitment of inspection staff for the new port facilities at places like Belfast and Larne had been stopped, and charges levied on traders bringing goods from Great Britain into Northern Ireland were also shelved. Mr Lyons said his decision was based on "practical difficulties" caused by the protocol, which came as part of the UK's trade deal with the EU. The agreement struck saw trade checks enacted on products travelling between Northern Ireland and Great Britain, however these regulatory and customs checks were moved to the Irish Sea to avoid a border on the island of … [Read more...] about Brexit: Northern Ireland halts construction of import inspection facilities
A Paris court of appeals has found pop artist Jeff Koons guilty of copyright infringement. Koons' 1988 Fait d'hiver sculpture copies a photo for a French clothing manufacturer's ad campaign, and Koons is to pay damages to the advertising designer for the unauthorized imitation, according to the court. The accusation is not new, and shouldn't come as a surprise even to Koons. It is not the superstar's first conviction for copyright infringement . He regularly has to defend himself against accusations of plagiarism — and just as regularly, he loses the lawsuits. It is however safe to assume that Koons can afford the best lawyers, being one of the world's best-known contemporary artists as well as the most expensive. Jeff Koons Koons' Rabbit sculpture was sold for a record $91.1 million (at the time, that was about €81 million) at an auction in New York in 2019, allowing him to reclaim the title of the world's most expensive living artist at auction from Britain's David … [Read more...] about Jeff Koons and ‘Fait d’hiver’: When is plagiarism art?
"Today's interim report from the UNFCCC is a red alert for our planet," said UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres. The report released Friday looks at the national climate efforts of 75 states that have already submitted their updated "nationally determined contributions," or NDCs . The countries included in the report are responsible for about 30% of the world's global greenhouse gas emissions. While most have increased their individual climate efforts, only two of the worst emitters, including the UK and the EU, have stepped up their goals considerably. And their current plans to tackle the climate crisis "are very far from putting us on a pathway that will meet our Paris Agreement goals," said Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change. The individual contributions submitted to date would only cut about 1 % of global greenhouse gas emissions — a far cry from the 45% cut needed by 2030 to meet the 1.5 degree goal , according to the Intergovernmental … [Read more...] about UN: ‘Red Alert’ for National Climate Goals