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Hard Numbers: Turkey underwhelms investors, Kenya tackles hunger, EU jeopardizes journalists, Indonesians get a nice long weekend

Persons transacting at the exchange office in Istanbul, Turkey

Persons transacting at the exchange office in Istanbul, Turkey

15: Turkey’s central bank raised its key interest rate by 650 basis points to 15% on Thursday in a big bid to slow runaway inflation. But was it big enough? Markets aren't convinced. The Turkish Lira actually fell on the news, as markets had been hoping for a more decisive hike to as much as 40%. Although Erdogan promised during his recent presidential campaign to get tough on inflation, the mellower move suggests he’s still wedded to his wackier economic ideas after all.

400,000: Kenya is set to launch Africa’s largest school meals program, aiming to cook up 400,000 lunches daily for hundreds of primary schools. The program would not only take a bite out of child hunger in a country where more than a quarter of children suffer malnutrition, but it could also provide thousands of jobs in the kitchens.

300,000: An organization representing 300,000 European journalists says a new EU law could threaten their freedom. The proposed measure would permit governments to snoop on reporters suspected of having criminal sources – i.e., the most interesting kind! The confusing irony is that the law – titled the European Media Freedom Act – also seeks to protect journalists from politically motivated surveillance, a big issue in countries like Hungary and Poland where governments have cracked down on the media.

5: The majority of Indonesians will enjoy a special five-day weekend at the end of June, courtesy of President Joko Widodo. He ordered the one-off special holiday as a way to boost domestic travel and consumption, both of which are recovering sluggishly from the pandemic.


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