Indian Variant of the Coronavirus is a “global concern” according to the WHO
The WHO has declared the indian variant of the coronavirus a global concern, after stating that it spreads more easily. The health care system has practically collapsed in India as hospitals are at full capacity. The indian government efforts seem to fall short; Oxygen shortages in hospitals make the survival rate decrease. International help is on the way in the form of oxygen tanks.
Israel and Palestine conflicts escalate
Conflicts escalated as Israel launched airstrikes and Palestinian forces fired hundreds of missiles. Conflict has always been present but have taken a turn for the worse this past week. Since then, 1,000 rockets have been fired. The current exchange of missile firing has been the most intense since the 2014 war in Gaza. De-escalation does not look to be an option for now.
Bank of England governor warned for the risk of buying cryptocurrencies and spoke of the possibility of a British digital currency
Bank of England (BoE) Governor, Andrew Bailey, warned investors against buying cryptocurrencies on Thursday, warning enthusiasts to buy only if they were prepared to
lose all their money. Bailey fears that these assets have no intrinsic value and in association with large price swings, as has been the case, could cause major problems.
According to the governor, although there has been great innovation in payments and digital innovation has been going to stay, existing digital currencies do not have a structure that allows them to last as a means of long-term payment. The BoE together with the UK Treasury will assess the potential of creating its own digital currency. If approved, it will not replace existing monetary aggregates, but will be part of them.
Tesla will no longer accept Bitcoin, for now, due to climate concerns
Tesla has suspended the purchase of vehicles through Bitcoin due to climate change concerns, its CEO Elon Musk said in a tweet. After the tweet Bitcoin fell more than 10%,
along with this fall Tesla shares also fell, since the company holds $1.5 billion of this digital currency. Tesla’s announcement in March that it would accept the cryptocurrency was met with protests from some environmentalists and investors. Elon Musk also said he will not sell any of his Bitcoins and intends to use it for transactions as soon as mining uses more sustainable energy. Market analysts see this attitude of Tesla as a wink of the eye to investors with greater climate and sustainability concerns, since its profits are boosted by Bitcoin and green credits.
Goldman Sachs’ Currie says “Copper is the new Oil”
The Head of Commodity Research at Goldman Sachs, Jeffrey Currie, stated on Bloomberg that copper is strategically the most important commodity, making the observation that if society wants to electrify the world, copper conducts electricity better than any other element. Currie also said that copper prices no longer necessarily reflect China’s demand for the metal, because it is the most cyclical commodity, making it a “perfect setup”.
Colonial Pipeline pays $5 Million in ransom to restore the US’s largest fuel pipeline
On the 7th of May, Colonial Pipeline was hacked by an Eastern European group, locking up gasoline and jet fuel supplies to major cities in the East Coast. The payment of the ransom was made in cryptocurrency, making it very difficult to trace. Once the payment was received by the hackers, Colonial Pipeline was provided with a decrypting tool to restore its computer network. The company stated that it resumed fuel shipments 5 days after the attack.
China’s Zhurong rover lands on Mars
On the 14th of May, 23:18 UTC, China became the third country to successfully land on Mars (after the U.S. and the Soviet Union), when its rover, Zhurong, landed on the Southern part of a large plain called “Utopia Planitia”. After being cast out by the U.S. law from initiatives related to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in 2011, China had to develop a way to reach Mars alone and prove the world that it can be an alternative to the U.S. for space leadership.
Colombia filled with protesters after new tax plan
While Colombia is facing mass unemployment and its third coronavirus surge with almost 500 deaths per day on the first week of May, protesters went into the streets to take a stand against a new proposed tax-collection. The tax meant to increase taxation on the wealthy and close loopholes used to evade taxes, but it also introduced taxes on staples and utilities, expanding the pool of taxpayers and affecting everyone, even the 43% of the population in poverty.