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Recession A Looming Threat For Global Economy, 0.5% Growth

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. According to the World Bank on Tuesday, the global economy will come “close” to a recession this year, with poorer growth in all of the world’s major economies — the United States, Europe, and China.

The World Bank, which loans money to poorer nations for development projects, said in its annual report that it had cut its expectation for global growth this year by nearly half, to 1.7%, from 3% previously. If that projection is correct, it will be the third-weakest yearly expansion in three decades, trailing only the massive recessions caused by the 2008 global financial crisis and the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.

Though the United States may avoid a  this year — the World Bank anticipates 0.5% growth — global weakness will certainly represent an additional headwind for American businesses and consumers, on top of high prices and higher borrowing rates. The U.S. is also exposed to potential supply chain disruptions if COVID-19 rises or Russia’s war in Ukraine intensifies.

And Europe, which has long been a key supplier to China, will almost certainly suffer if the Chinese economy weakens.

recession

Recession Brings Higher Interest Rates

Rising interest rates in affluent economies such as the United States and Europe will also lure investment money from poorer countries, depriving them of critical domestic investment, according to the World Bank analysis. At the same time, high borrowing rates, according to the analysis, will limit growth in wealthy countries.

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has introduced significant new expenses,” World Bank President David Malpass told reporters during a conference call. “The picture is particularly bleak for many of the poorest economies, where poverty reduction has already stalled, and access to electricity, fertilizer, food, and money is likely to remain restricted for some time.”

A worldwide slowdown would be especially hard on poorer countries like Saharan Africa, which is home to 60% of the world’s impoverished. The World Bank forecasts a 1.2% growth in per capita income in 2023 and 2024, which is so slow that poverty rates may rise.

“Weaker development and business investment will make the already terrible changes in education, health, poverty, and infrastructure, as well as the growing needs of climate change, even worse,” Malpass said. “To deal with the size of these problems, we will need a lot more money for development and global public goods.”

Along with pursuing fresh money to lend more to poorer nations, Malpass stated that the World Bank is working to enhance loan terms to boost debt transparency, ” particularly for the growing number of poor countries at high risk of debt distress.”

The news comes right after the head of the world’s lending organization, the International Monetary Fund, Kristina Georgieva, made a similarly negative prediction. On CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Georgieva predicted that one-third of the world would enter a recession this year.

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It will Be A Tough Year

Georgieva said, “This will be a tougher year for most of the world’s economies than the one we’re leaving behind.” “Why? Because the three major economies — the United States, the European Union, and China — are all slowing simultaneously.”

According to the World Bank, the European Union’s economy will contract next year after expanding by 3.3% in 2022. It says that China will grow at an annual rate of 4.3%, which is almost 1% less than what was originally predicted and is about half of what Beijing did in 2021.

The bank forecasts emerging countries to perform better in a recession, with a growth rate of 3.4% this year, the same as in 2022 but less than half that of 2021. Brazil’s growth is expected to decline to 0.8% in 2023.
In Pakistan, the economy is expected to grow by only 2% this year, or one-third of last year’s rate.

Other economists have made grim forecasts for this recession, though most are less dire. JPMorgan economists think that advanced countries and the world will have slow growth this year, but there will not be a global recession. The bank forecast last month that falling inflation would boost consumers’ ability to spend and drive growth in the United States and internationally.

“The global expansion will be twisted but not broken by 2023,” according to JPMorgan research.

SOURCE – (AP)

 

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‘Run, Run, Run’: Chaos At A Sydney Mall As 6 People Stabbed To Death, And The Suspect Fatally Shot

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Sydney — A guy stabbed six people to death at a major Sydney shopping mall Saturday before being fatally shot, according to police, with hundreds fleeing the chaotic scene, many of whom were weeping while carrying their children. Eight individuals were hurt, including a nine-month-old.

The 40-year-old was stopped in the knife assault at the Westfield Shopping Centre in Bondi Junction, in the city’s eastern suburbs, by a police inspector who shot him after he turned and lifted a knife, according to New South Wales Assistant Police Commissioner Anthony Cooke.

sydney

‘Run, Run, Run’: Chaos At A Sydney Mall As 6 People Stabbed To Death, And The Suspect Fatally Shot

“They just said run, run, run—someone’s been stabbed,” one witness told ABC TV in Australia. “(The attacker) was walking casually, as if enjoying an ice cream in a park. And then he went up the escalators… and within about a minute, we heard three gunshots.

The suspect, as well as six of the victims (five women and one guy), died. Commissioner Karen Webb stated that the eight injured people were treated in hospitals. The infant was in surgery, but it was too early to determine his condition, she said.

“We are confident that there is no ongoing risk, and we are dealing with one person who is now deceased,” Webb said in a later briefing. She continued, “It’s not a terrorism incident.”

She stated that authorities would not name the individual yet and were still investigating his motivation.

Cooke stated that a “lengthy and precise” examination had barely begun.

Some observers were astounded by the unusual surge of violence. In 1996, a man killed 35 people and wounded 23 others in Tasmania, prompting Australia to pass tough gun prohibitions.

sydney

‘Run, Run, Run’: Chaos At A Sydney Mall As 6 People Stabbed To Death, And The Suspect Fatally Shot

Cooke stated that the police inspector, a senior officer, addressed the suspect alone and engaged him shortly after arriving on the scene, “saving a range of people’s lives.”

The cop “displayed enormous courage and bravery,” Webb stated.

“If she didn’t shoot, he would have kept going, and I don’t know how many more he would have done,” another witness told 7News of the police inspector.

Many ambulances and police cars were seen near the shopping complex, and individuals were flowing out, many carrying youngsters.

Paramedics were treating victims on the spot.

Roi Huberman, a sound engineer at ABC TV in Australia, told the network that he took shelter in a store during the event.

“And suddenly we heard a shot or maybe two shots, and we didn’t know what to do,” he recalled. Then, the highly capable person at the store led us to the back, where it could be locked. She then shut the store, let us through the back, and we’re now out.”

sydney

‘Run, Run, Run’: Chaos At A Sydney Mall As 6 People Stabbed To Death, And The Suspect Fatally Shot

The most senior members of the British royal family, who are also Australian royals, voiced shock and sadness following the stabbings.

King Charles III and his wife Queen Camilla were “utterly shocked and horrified” by the “senseless attack” in Sydney and expressed their “hearts go out to the families and loved ones of those who have been so brutally killed.” The king’s eldest son, Prince William, and his wife, Catherine, Princess of Wales, said they were also “shocked and saddened” and their sympathies with those impacted and the “heroic emergency responders who risked their own lives to save others.”

SOURCE – (AP)

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Germans Celebrate As Recreational Cannabis Use Becomes Legal

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Crowds gathered in Germany overnight to celebrate the legalization of cannabis, which begins on Monday.

There was music and dancing at the Brandenburg Gate in central Berlin as many waved placards and blew smoke into the air.

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Germans Celebrate As Recreational Cannabis Use Becomes Legal

One guy was seen cycling through the crowd, carrying a big cannabis leaf artwork on a trailer behind their bike, while another ceremoniously rolled a joint in front of news cameras.

Following a contentious national discussion about the benefits and drawbacks of making cannabis more accessible, Germany’s lower house of parliament decided last month to legalize it for restricted recreational use.

Karl Lauterbach, the health minister, praised the move in an X post on Monday.

“Weed use was already present yesterday, but it is increasing. “Now it’s out of the taboo zone,” he wrote.

“This is better for real addiction help, prevention for children and young people and for combating the black market, for which there will soon be an alternative.”

The new restrictions allow adults to carry tiny amounts for personal use, but the substance remains illegal for people under 18.

cannabis

Germans Celebrate As Recreational Cannabis Use Becomes Legal

Under new regulations proposed by Germany’s ruling coalition party, adults can cultivate up to three plants for private use. Beginning April 1, the limit is 50g at home and 25g in public.

From July 1, cannabis will be offered in approved not-for-profit clubs with no more than 500 members, all of whom must be adults. Only club members would be able to consume their output.

The German government stated that cannabis would remain illegal for kids and severely restricted for young adults and that consuming the substance near schools and playgrounds would be prohibited.

Germany becomes the third country in Europe to legalize cannabis for recreational use, following Malta and Luxembourg, and removes it from the official list of illegal narcotics.

cannabis

Germans Celebrate As Recreational Cannabis Use Becomes Legal

The Netherlands prohibits drug possession, but some towns allow them to be sold at coffee shops as part of its so-called toleration policy.

Other countries, such as Australia and the United States, have differing local restrictions.

SOURCE – (CNN)

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Iranian Official Warns Israel That Its Embassies Are Not Safe After Deadly Damascus Strike

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JERUSALEM — A top Iranian military adviser warned Israel on Sunday that none of its embassies were secure following last week’s strike in Damascus, which killed two elite Iranian generals. As Israel’s battle against Hamas enters its sixth month, regional tensions threaten to plunge the Middle East into a larger confrontation.

The statements of Gen. Rahim Safavi, a military adviser to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, suggested that the attack on a diplomatic mission would be met with a similar response. They have not explicitly admitted its involvement.

“None of the (Israeli) regime’s embassies are safe anymore,” Safavi told the semi-official Tasnim news agency. He spoke at a ceremony in Tehran honoring the generals slain in the strike that destroyed an Iranian consulate building.

israel

Iranian Official Warns Israel That Its Embassies Are Not Safe After Deadly Damascus Strike

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that the country was prepared for any response. “Whoever harms us or plans to harm us, we will harm them,” he warned a Cabinet gathering.

The regional tensions erupted six months into the war, which began when Hamas-led militants infiltrated from Gaza into the country, killing 1,200 people, the majority of whom were civilians, and kidnapping approximately 250 others. They replied with a severe bombardment and ground offensive that killed over 33,000 Palestinians, most of whom were women and children, according to local health authorities.

Also on Sunday, the military stated that it was withdrawing forces from the 98th Paratroopers Division, which had been operating in the Khan Younis area of southern Gaza, lowering Israeli troop levels in Gaza to some of their lowest since the conflict began. The Hamas stronghold has been the primary target of Israel’s offensive in recent months.

The forces retreated to rest and prepare for future operations, but a considerable number remain in Gaza, according to military sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

The country keeps troops in damaged northern Gaza and can send them south as needed. Israel has declared a ground offensive against Rafah, the southernmost Gaza city and Hamas’ last stronghold. However, the area houses around 1.4 million people, representing more than half of Gaza’s population. The threat of an offensive has sparked global concern, particularly from key partners, the United States, which has demanded a credible strategy to protect civilians.

The six-month mark of the war has been met with growing discontent in Israel, where anti-government protests have erupted, and resentment is rising over what some Israelis regard as the government’s failure to assist in rescuing the remaining around 130 hostages, about a fifth of whom claims are dead.

Negotiations for a cease-fire in exchange for the hostages’ release will likely restart in Cairo on Sunday. An Israeli delegation led by the head of the Mossad intelligence agency was scheduled to leave for Cairo, according to an Israeli official who spoke anonymously because they were not authorized to discuss the topic with the press.

israel Damascus

Iranian Official Warns Israel That Its Embassies Are Not Safe After Deadly Damascus Strike

“Israel is prepared for a deal; Israel is not prepared to surrender,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated. “Instead of the international pressure being directed at Israel, which is only causing Hamas to harden its positions, the pressure of the international community needs to be directed at Hamas.”

The pressure to act has increased.

“This does not appear to be a war against terrorism. This no longer appears to be a war fought to defend Israel. Chef Jose Andres told ABC that this appears to be a battle on humanity itself, just days after an Israeli bombardment murdered seven of his World Central Kitchen colleagues in Gaza. Aid deliveries along a critical new sea route to the area were halted.

The United Nations and its allies have warned of “imminent famine” for more than 1 million people in Gaza, as humanitarian workers ask the country to ease restrictions on assistance delivery overland, the only option to meet rising demands as some Palestinians scavenge for weeds to eat.

Mothers who have given birth in Gaza since the conflict started are particularly susceptible.

According to the Gaza Health Ministry, the bodies of 38 persons killed in Israel’s shelling have been transferred to the territory’s remaining functional hospitals during the last 24 hours. According to reports, 71 people were injured and sent to hospitals.

isarel

Iranian Official Warns Israel That Its Embassies Are Not Safe After Deadly Damascus Strike

The ministry reported that 33,175 people had been murdered since the war began. The ministry does not distinguish between civilians and combatants but claims two-thirds of those killed are children and women. A further 75,886 people have been wounded.

Israel’s military continues to suffer fatalities, particularly in Khan Younis, where four troops were killed in combat with extremists.

According to Israel’s administration, more than 600 Israeli soldiers have been killed since October 7, with 260 killed in the Gaza ground operation.

source – ap

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