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These Three Disputes Affect More Than Half of the World Economy

These Three Disputes Affect More Than Half of the World Economy

One reason for the recent jitters about the global economy is that several of the world's leading economic powers are locked in deepening trade disputes. In fact, add them all up and you'll find that three big spats alone involve countries that account for more than half of global economic output. Here's a closer look at who's arguing over what:


US vs China: The world's two largest economies are locked in an escalating trade war. The Trump administration wants China to ease American firms' access to the Chinese market and to scale back its plans to dominate the tech sector. Beijing is willing to talk about tariffs and market access but wont undo the core of its state-backed economic model. More than half a trillion dollars worth of goods are affected by current or planned tariffs: here's a look at where things stand right now.

US vs Europe: Washington has already put tariffs on European metals, to which Brussels responded with levies on US jeans, whiskey, and motorcycles (the mid-life crisis economy!) Trump has threatened debilitating tariffs on European automakers in a broader dispute over Europe's state backing for the aerospace and farming industries, and European misgivings about US digital privacy regulations.

South Korea vs Japan: A dispute over the legacy of Japan's 20th century occupation of Korea spilled into trade, with Tokyo imposing export restrictions that hurt Seoul's lucrative tech industry. There is little sign that this dispute will ease: just last week South Korea cut intelligence sharing with Tokyo.

Microsoft released a new annual report, called the Digital Defense Report, covering cybersecurity trends from the past year. This report makes it clear that threat actors have rapidly increased in sophistication over the past year, using techniques that make them harder to spot and that threaten even the savviest targets. For example, nation-state actors are engaging in new reconnaissance techniques that increase their chances of compromising high-value targets, criminal groups targeting businesses have moved their infrastructure to the cloud to hide among legitimate services, and attackers have developed new ways to scour the internet for systems vulnerable to ransomware. Given the leap in attack sophistication in the past year, it is more important than ever that steps are taken to establish new rules of the road for cyberspace: that all organizations, whether government agencies or businesses, invest in people and technology to help stop attacks; and that people focus on the basics, including regular application of security updates, comprehensive backup policies, and, especially, enabling multi-factor authentication. Microsoft summarized some of the most important insights in this year's report, including related suggestions for people and businesses.

Read the whole post and report at Microsoft On The Issues.

Donald Trump's presidency has irked a lot of people around the world. And in fairness, that's no surprise. He was elected in part to blow up long-standing assumptions about how international politics, trade, and diplomatic relations are supposed to work.

But while he has correctly identified some big challenges — adapting NATO to the 21st century, managing a more assertive China, or ending America's endless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq — his impulsive style, along with his restrictions on trade and immigration, have alienated many world leaders. Global polls show that favorable views of the US have plummeted to all-time lows in many countries, particularly among traditional American allies in Europe.

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GZERO Media, in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Eurasia Group, today hosted its second virtual town hall on the hunt for a COVID-19 vaccine and the challenges of its distribution.

The panel was moderated by New York Times science and health reporter Apoorva Mandavilli and featured Gates Foundation's Deputy Director of Vaccines & Human Immunobiology, Lynda Stuart; Eurasia Group's Rohitesh Dhawan, Managing Director of Energy, Climate & Resources; Gates Foundation CEO Mark Suzman; and Gayle E. Smith, the president & CEO of ONE Campaign and former Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Watch the full video above.

The enormous scale of the coronavirus pandemic was captured earlier this week as the global death toll surpassed 1 million people. As the weight of the grim milestone sunk in, the New York Times noted that COVID-19 has now killed more people this year than the scourges of HIV, malaria, influenza, and cholera — combined. While some countries like Germany and South Korea are models in how to curb the virus' spread through social distancing and mask wearing, other countries around the world have recently seen caseloads surge again, raising fears of a dreaded "second wave" of infections. Here's a look at countries where the per-capita caseload has spiked in recent days.

"The jury is out" European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde says when asked if things in Europe will get economically worse before they get better. "All I know is that it's going to be a journey, and probably a long journey." Her conversation with Ian Bremmer is part of a new GZERO World episode.

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