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Economy

Shopping in a Whole Foods Market supermarket in New York on Wednesday, June 5, 2024.

Sipa USA

It's time for a mid-year economic checkup! According to the World Bank, the global economy has improved since the start of the year. Growth increased by 2.6%, and average inflation is at a three-year low – bringing us closer to the “soft landing” economists have aimed for since the end of the COVID-19 shutdown. And experts say we have the strength of the US economy to thank.

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A carcass lies on a grassland in Oendor-Bayan county in central Mongolia, 03/29/2000

REUTERS

Mongolia’s government is scrambling as catastrophic weather is killing animals so quickly that a quarter of the national herd may starve. Thousands of families face destitution after losing nearly all their livestock, which drives 80% of the country’s agricultural output and 11% of GDP.

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Humane, a San Francisco-based AI startup founded by ex-Apple executives, has unveiled its first product, the Ai Pin.

ABACA via Reuters Connect

Humane, the company behind the panned AI-powered wearable pin, is seeking a buyer for a $1 billion. It held sale discussions with a few companies including the computer manufacturer HP.

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Perplexity logo is seen in this illustration taken May 20, 2024.

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

News companies have been split in dealing with AI. Some, like the New York Times, are suing AI firms over copyright violations, while others, like the Wall Street Journal, are striking deals. But most of the attention has been on OpenAI, maker of ChatGPT, and the biggest name in the space. This week, consternation brewed over how Perplexity, a so-called AI search engine, is using news articles without permission.

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Mehrdad Bazrpash, an Iranian politician and the Minister of Roads and Urban Development, is speaking to the media at a media center in the Iranian Interior Ministry building after registering as a Presidential elections candidate during the last day of candidates' registration for Iran's early Presidential elections, in Tehran, Iran, on June 3, 2024.

Morteza Nikoubazl via Reuters Connect

6: Iran’s Guardian Council — an unelected body of religious clerics — has approved six candidates to run in elections scheduled for June 28, after President Ebrahim Raisi was killed in a helicopter crash last month. Five of the candidates come from the hardline conservative camp, one is a reformer, and former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was barred from running again.

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Federal Reserve Board building on Constitution Avenue is pictured in Washington, U.S., March 19, 2019.

REUTERS/Leah Millis

On Wednesday, the Bank of Canada cut its interest rate by a cautious quarter point to 4.75% for the first time in over four years. In April, inflation was 2.7%, close to the 2% target. Experts expect the Bank could cut rates again this year twice more as Bank Governor Tiff Macklem suggested inflation numbers were trending toward a return to normal, but he wasn’t going to rush things, saying “we are taking our interest rate decisions one meeting at a time” as concern about inflation persists despite the downward trend.

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Startup Cerebras System's new AI supercomputer Andromeda is seen at a data center in Santa Clara, California, U.S. October 2022.

Rebecca Lewington/Cerebras Systems/Handout via REUTERS

9.1: The nonprofit Electric Power Research Institute estimates that data centers will drain up to 9.1% of US electricity by 2030. Last year it was just 4%, but the rise of artificial intelligence has placed newfound demands for easily accessible computing power.

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