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The IMF cut its 2023 global economic forecast. Growth is projected to slow to 2.7% as the war in Ukraine, inflation, and covid recovery weigh on the global economy.
The G7 held emergency talks following Russia’s airstrikes on Monday. Leaders also promised to hold president Vladimir Putin accountable for the attacks on civilians.
UK unemployment levels dropped to a 48-year low. But the rate has fallen due to people leaving their jobs, leading to a shrinking workforce and fears of labor shortages.
Japan reopened its borders. Covid travel restrictions were lifted as the country seeks to boost economic recovery, capitalizing on a weak yen to draw in tourists.
Nissan sold its business in Russia. The Japanese carmaker spun it off to Russia’s state-owned NAMI for one euro, taking a $687 million loss.
Lego’s owner is buying US edtech firm BrainPOP. Denmark’s Kirkbi is making its first expansion into digital learning in the $875 million deal.
Fat Bear Week was rocked by a voting fraud scandal. Luckily, contest organizers spotted and threw out the spam votes, delivering a win for Unnamed Bear 747 over Bear 435, Holly.
What to watch for
With one win and one loss in the bag, the Amazon Labor Union (ALU) is ready for its third shot at organizing employees at the world’s largest online retailer.
Nearly 400 workers are set to cast ballots at Amazon’s Albany warehouse, dubbed “ALB1,” between Oct. 12 and Oct. 17. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) will tally the votes on Oct. 18.
The ALU is optimistic about prospects for the upstate New York facility because one of the leaders of the nationwide effort, Heather Goodall, is an employee there—a strategy that worked successfully in the Staten Island warehouse that became the first to unionize earlier this year.
After Albany, the unionization battle is moving west. Last month, a group of workers at Amazon warehouse ONT8 in Moreno Valley, California, began a union drive which could make the facility the first to unionize in the state, a key location for Amazon’s business.
The future of K-pop band BTS hinges on conscription
The K-pop septet and global sensation BTS is performing in Busan, South Korea, this Saturday (Oct. 15) in what some speculate could be their final show, at least for some time.
The group announced it was going on hiatus in June of this year, but another circumstance is blurring its future: South Korea’s mandatory military service. One member of the group, Kim Seok-jin, has already delayed his service until the age of 30, but with a December birthday fast approaching, he will likely have to enlist soon.
However, exemption is a possibility, and there may be an economic argument for it:
$3.6 billion: BTS’s worth to the South Korean economy each year
800,000: Tourists who visited South Korea in 2018 because of BTS, or over 7% of all visitors
$1.1 billion: Estimated value of South Korean exports related to BTS in 2018
Egypt’s entrepreneurs are turning to agri-tech
As climate change impacts the balance sheets of many Egyptian farmers, a growing number of local tech startups are launching smartphone-based services to help them manage unpredictable weather and squeeze more profit from their diminishing crops.
Agriculture-related apps accounted for less than 2% of the $446 million in venture capital funding Egypt saw in 2021. But the looming threats of climate change and food insecurity—plus the hype surrounding the COP27 climate summit, which will be hosted in Egypt in November—are causing more investors to take a closer look.
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