World lost equivalent of 255 million jobs in 2020: UN

  by Nina LARSON Agence France Presse The coronavirus pandemic took a huge toll on global jobs last year, the United Nations said Monday, with the equivalent of more than a quarter of a billion lost. In a fresh study, the UN’s International Labour Organization (ILO) found that a full 8.8 percent of global working hours were lost in 2020, compared to the fourth quarter of 2019. That is equivalent to 255 million full-time jobs, […]

Netflix keeps growing in pandemic, tops 200 million subscribers

by Glenn CHAPMAN Agence France Presse SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) — Netflix on Tuesday topped subscriber growth expectations in the past quarter, keeping ahead of new streaming rivals competing for viewers stuck in their homes during the coronavirus pandemic. The streaming television leader added some 8.5 million paid subscribers in the quarter to reach 203 million, topping 200 million despite recent price hikes, its quarterly earning update showed. “Covid-19 has accelerated that big shift […]

World migration down 30 percent due to pandemic: UN

  UNITED NATIONS (AFP) — The coronavirus pandemic has slowed global migration by nearly 30 percent, with around two million fewer migrants between 2019 and 2020, according to a UN report released on Friday. Some 281 million people were living outside their country of origin in 2020. The report, entitled “International Migration 2020,” showed that two-thirds of registered migrants lived in just 20 countries, with the United States at the top of the list, with […]

Climate change worsens child malnutrition: study

by Patrick GALEY Agence France-Presse PARIS, France (AFP) — Climate change may contribute more to greater child malnutrition and poor diet than traditional causes such as poverty and poor sanitation, according to research published on Thursday. Although childhood malnutrition has decreased globally over the past several decades, undernourishment has increased since 2015, in part due to warming temperatures and extreme weather. The United Nations says 144 million children under five were affected by stunting in […]

Social media giants mishandled Trump: Wikipedia founder

  by Callum PATON Agence France Presse LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Twitter and Facebook repeatedly mishandled Donald Trump as he pushed baseless claims, including his assertion that US presidential election he lost was rigged, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales told AFP. The two social media giants indefinitely suspended Trump after his supporters stormed the US Capitol on January 6, an attack on the seat of democracy that on Wednesday led to Trump’s second impeachment. Wales […]

Top global oil exporter Saudi Arabia launches car-free city

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AFP) — Saudi Arabia, the world’s top crude exporter, announced Sunday the launch of an eco-city “with zero cars, zero streets and zero carbon emissions” at its futuristic NEOM mega development. The $500 billion NEOM project, set to be built from scratch along the kingdom’s picturesque Red Sea coast, is billed as a development evocative of a sci-fi blockbuster. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman unveiled plans for a city, dubbed “THE LINE”, in […]

Race to save Bangladesh hound from extinction

by Shafiqul ALAM Agence France-Presse SARAIL, Bangladesh (AFP) — In a rickety hut on the border with Bangladesh and India, two brothers are among the last local breeders of the Sarail hound, a dog on the brink of extinction. Tall and lean with a powerful chest, pointed ears and bi-coloured fur, the rare hound — named after the border town of Sarail — has been treasured in the South Asian nation for centuries. Their sharp eyesight […]

Telegram messaging app to launch pay-for services in 2021

  MOSCOW, Russia (AFP) — Encrypted messaging app Telegram will launch pay-for services in 2021, its Russian-born founder Pavel Durov said Wednesday, as the growing company needed “at least a few hundred million dollars per year”. “Telegram will begin to generate revenue, starting next year,” Durov said in a statement. “We will be able to launch countless new features and welcome billions of new users.” Durov, 36, said he did not plan to sell the […]

Well drilling thrives as Caracas water supply flounders

by Andrea TOSTA Agence France-Presse CARACAS, Venezuela (AFP) — Alfredo Araya used to dig wells on farms or out in the countryside, but due to a failing water supply he says demand for his services has recently exploded in Venezuela’s capital Caracas. Using a huge drill to perforate the soil, Araya struck the underground aquifer below an apartment bloc in Caracas’ comfortable Los Palos Grandes neighborhood so that residents now have access to water that […]

Twitter cracks down on false posts about Covid vaccines

NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — Twitter said on Wednesday that it would crack down on false posts about Covid-19 vaccines beginning next week, following in the footsteps of Facebook and YouTube. The social media platform already targets posts containing false information on how the virus spreads and the efficacy of public health measures such as mask-wearing. “We will prioritize the removal of the most harmful misleading information, and… begin to label tweets that contain […]

Indonesia’s female forest guardians fight for the environment

by Alfath Asmunda Agence France-Presse INDONESIA (AFP) — Sumini gets up at dawn to do her household chores — then leads a team of women into the jungles of Indonesia’s Sumatra island, on a mission to battle rampant deforestation and wildlife poaching. The 45-year-old mother of five heads a unique team of female rangers taking on illegal loggers and hunters threatening Sumatran tigers, pangolins and other at-risk wildlife. The culprits are mostly men, including neighbours […]

Over 5,000 NEU students graduate via online commencement exercises under “new normal”

(Eagle News) — With the theme, “Innovating to Cope with the #NEUNormal,” the New Era University announced the successful graduation of 5,366 students for the Academic Year 2019-2020 done through online commencement exercises. The NEU said that graduating pupils and students from Kinder up to the 18 colleges of the university’s main campus and its various branches successfully completed their education since Oct. 4, 2020. “The Commencement Exercises, with the theme ‘NEU Graduates: Innovating to […]