Newsworthy – Feb 8th, 2019

Guyana to become petrostate, increasing rates of bankruptcies among US farmers, growing reach and power of Islamic State in West Africa, and a new study suggests human-induced global cooling in the 16th century,

Here are the top newsworthy items from this past week as shared on our Facebook page.

  • A massive oil trove off Guyana, on the South American coast, could make the impoverished former British colony one of the world’s wealthiest nations — in the league of petrostates like Qatar. Guyana seems wholly unprepared for the avalanche of cash coming its way. It’s in political turmoil, with no plan in place for how to marshal and distribute the money among a population of just 780,000 people.

From Axios

  • Uber is intensifying its pursuit of riders in the Middle East. The ride-hailing company, which has retreated from other international markets in recent years, is drawn by the region’s booming population of tech-savvy youth. Uber is trying to reach a billion users as it prepares for an initial public offering this year at a potential valuation of up to $120 billion.

From The Wall Street Journal

  • A wave of bankruptcies is sweeping the U.S. Farm Belt as trade disputes add pain to the low commodity prices that have been grinding down American farmers for years. In much of the Midwest, U.S. farmers are filing for chapter 12 bankruptcy protection at levels not seen for at least a decade.

From The Wall Street Journal

  • The White House will officially launch the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative, a government wide project led by Ivanka Trump. The initiative will involve the State Department, the National Security Council and other agencies. It aims to coordinate current programs and develop new ones to assist women in areas such as job training, financial support, and legal or regulatory reforms.

From AP

  • The slow, steady erosion of democracy around the world continued for the 13th consecutive year, according to the latest annual “Freedom in the World” report by Freedom House, a watchdog group that advocates for democracy and human rights. Political rights and civil liberties became weaker in 68 countries since last year’s report, and improved in only 50 countries. The report says the U.S. freedom score has declined by 8 points (from 94 to 86) over the past eight years. It’s still firmly in the “free category,” but it’s falling behind counterparts like the U.K., Canada, France, Australia, Germany and Japan.

From Axios

  • In recent months, as Islamic State’s self-described caliphate in Iraq and Syria radically shrank, a group calling itself the Islamic State West Africa Province—established in 2016 after a violent split within Nigeria’s Boko Haram insurgency—has taken control of hundreds of square miles. Its local allies are battling armies and carving out fundamentalist enclaves in countries including Afghanistan, Mali, the Philippines and Somalia.

From The Wall Street Journal

  • The Pentagon has set an end-of-April target for pulling all U.S. forces out of Syria, though current and former U.S. officials said the military hasn’t come up with a plan to protect its Kurdish partners from attack when they leave.

From The Wall Street Journal

  • An illness similar to mad-cow disease that is fatal to deer is spreading across the U.S., worrying hunters, wildlife-management officials and scientists. Chronic wasting disease is incurable and can be transmitted among deer species, including the whitetail deer, the most popular large-game target for American hunters. Researchers are exploring possible vaccines.

From The Wall Street Journal

  • A half-millennium ago, humans made the Earth cooler, which contributed to famine, disease, and popular uprisings in Europe, experts say. In much-discussed new research, U.K. scientists say the 16th century exploration of the Americas by Europeans led to a cascade of disaster.

From Axios

  • Nine of the 10 warmest years since reliable data began in 1880 have occurred since 2005. Greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels — as well as deforestation and intensive agriculture — have skyrocketed to levels not seen in more than 800,000 years.

From Axios

  • A higher-than-expected 10.8% of U.S. adults have a food allergy, a study found, and about half developed a new allergy as an adult. Increasing food-allergy rates in the Western world are a vexing problem for experts who theorize that they could be related to the increasing use of antibiotics, rising rates of C-sections which affect the microbiome of babies and increasingly sterile environments. All change the good bacteria in the intestinal tract, which alters the immune system,

From The Wall Street Journal

  • Millennials are facing a much higher risk of obesity-related cancers than baby boomers did at their age, according to a study published this morning in The Lancet Public Health.

From Axios



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