THE GRAPHIC TRUTH: A WORLD GROWING APART

The International Monetary Fund has released its latest World Economic Outlook and… it’s not so great. While the world economy continues to expand steadily at an annual clip of 3.7 percent, the combined effect of rising protectionism, geopolitical tensions, and political upheaval in key economies could soon throw a spanner into the works.


The graph above provides a look at a handful of the biggest countries where growth is picking up or slowing down the fastest.

And here are a few highlights where domestic politics are playing directly into the economic outlook:

Saudi Arabia – Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s bid to liberalize certain aspects of his country’s deeply conservative society and the natural process of recovery from the previous year’s recession have nudged up economic growth (+3.1 points) fast. But his ruthless power grab – which includes crackdowns on activists and businessmen, and may now involve the murder of an opposition journalist – could undermine growth if investors fear he’s overplayed his hand.

United States – American politics and society may be extremely polarized, but the economy is humming along as President Trump’s tax cuts and deregulation measures have lent further momentum to a long-running recovery (+0.7 points). But his protectionist impulses could yet throw a damper on growth as businesses begin to reduce trade with China and other markets and consumers cut back on purchases.

Brazil  After a harrowing few years of economic crisis, Brazil is set to grow faster in 2018 (+0.4 points). And while presidential frontrunner Jair Bolsonaro’s nostalgia for dictatorship raises alarm bells about the durability of Brazilian democracy, his commitment to neo-liberal economic policies has placated investors for now. Still, progress on economic challenges that could catalyze long-term growth – such as reforming a bloated pension system – will require coalition building that the controversial and inexperienced Bolsonaro may not be able to muster.

Turkey  President Erdogan’s economic mismanagement and geopolitical missteps have plunged Turkey into a deep currency crisis that threatens the country’s broader financial and economic stability (-2.6 points). But his strongman approach leaves little room to make critical compromises on fiscal and financial policy – meaning that the outlook is as uncertain as ever for the Middle East’s second-largest economy.

Imagine losing your child in their first year of life and having no idea what caused it. This is the heartbreaking reality for thousands of families each year who lose a child to Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID). Despite decades-long efforts to prevent SUID, it remains the leading cause of death for children between one month and one year of age in developed nations. Working in collaboration with researchers at Seattle Children's Research Institute and the University of Auckland, Microsoft analyzed the Center for Disease Control (CDC) data on every child born in the U.S. over a decade, including over 41 million births and 37,000 SUID deaths.

By pairing Microsoft's capabilities and data scientists with Seattle Children's medical research expertise, progress is being made on identifying the cause of SUID. Earlier this year, a study was published that estimated approximately 22% of SUID deaths in the U.S. were attributable to maternal cigarette-smoking during pregnancy, giving us further evidence that, through our collaboration with experts in varying disciplines, we are getting to the root of this problem and making remarkable advances.

Read more at Microsoft On The Issues.

A job is a job right? Not really. Full-time work generally offers more stability and financial security than part time jobs. Those full-time jobs tend to be more accessible in richer countries, but in every part of the world, regardless of a country's economic output, there is still a wide gap between the full-time employment of men and women. Globally, 36 percent of men are secure in a full time job, compared to just 21 percent of women. Here's a look at how each region fares.

After a months-long investigation into whether President Donald Trump pressured Ukraine's president into investigating his political rivals in order to boost his reelection prospects in 2020, House Democrats brought two articles of impeachment against him, charging him with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Click here for our GZERO guide to what comes next.

In the meantime, imagine for a moment that you are now Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority leader and senior member of Donald Trump's Republican Party. You've got big choices to make.

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After a months-long investigation into whether President Donald Trump pressured Ukraine's president into investigating his political rivals in order to boost his reelection prospects in 2020, House Democrats on Tuesday brought two articles of impeachment against him. They charge Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

So, what are the next steps?

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Trump gets his deal – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced yesterday that Democrats will back the USMCA, the US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement that will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement. Crucially, the bill will also have support from the nation's largest labor union. This is a major political victory for President Trump, who promised he would close this deal, but it's also good for Pelosi: it shows that the Democrats' House majority can still accomplish big things even as it impeaches the president. But with the speed of the Washington news cycle these days, we're watching to see if anyone is still talking about USMCA three days after it's signed.

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