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China’s digital payments revolution

While America continues to use bank-based magnetic striped cards with chips, China has undergone a retail payment revolution. Leapfrogging the card-based system, two new payment systems have come to dominate person-to-person, retail, and many business transactions. China’s new system is built on digital wallets, QR codes (two-dimensional bar codes), and runs through their own big…

Reducing agriculture emissions through improved farming practices

The agriculture sector’s role in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is widely known but not well understood. In truth, more than one-quarter of the world’s GHG emissions come from agriculture, forestry, and land-use change. And unless actively addressed, these emissions are likely to increase as more people populate the Earth and the need for food continues…

What a sustainable circular economy would look like

The European Commission has vowed to build a sustainable circular economy post coronavirus. Anne Velenturf & Phil Purnell explain the idea of a sustainable circular economy in this article originally published in The Conversation. More than 100 billion tonnes of materials entered the global economy in 2017 to generate power, build infrastructure and homes, produce…

Pakistan’s dangerous capitulation to the religious right on the coronavirus

The religious right in Pakistan has long influenced the country’s government and is doing so amid this COVID-19 pandemic, explains Madiha Afzal. This piece originally appeared in the Washington Post. Perform your ablutions at home. Bring your own prayer mats, place them six feet apart. Wear masks. Use the provided hand sanitizer. No handshakes or…

Iran’s corona-diplomacy The Rouhani administration’s miscalculated efforts to get sanctions lifted

Tehran has tried to use the present coronavirus crisis to improve its international position. Now, amid the pandemic, the Iranian government’s campaign against Washington’s “maximum pressure” sanctions has yielded important international support, but the Rouhani administration still seems to misread the White House. This article by Ali-Fatholla Nejad and Amin Naeni and published by the…

The Developing World: The Bigger COVID-19 Disaster in the Making

This article was originally published by the Centre for Global Policy on 6 May and the author is Dr Azeem Ibrahim. As damaging as the COVID-19 pandemic has been in China and the West, it is set to devastate developing countries through death tolls, economic hardships and instability.  The news coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic…

Clouded thinking in Washington and Beijing on COVID-19 crisis

This article from the Brookings Institute highlights how difficult domestic situations in both China and the United States is encouraging more nationalistic and ‘wolf-warrior’ diplomacy in their dealings with each other. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2020/05/04/clouded-thinking-in-washington-and-beijing-on-covid-19-crisis/?utm_campaign=Brookings%20Brief&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=87470595

Financial decision-maker sentiment during the COVID-19 pandemic: A global perspective

Solving the COVID 19 humanitarian challenge is obviously the first priority. Much remains to be done globally to respond and recover, but this collection of articles and research from Mckinsey & Company seeks to track financial decision-maker sentiment and behaviour across multiple countries to provide facts and insight. https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/financial-services/our-insights/financial-decision-maker-sentiment-during-the-covid-19-pandemic

Le Dinh Tinh – What Vietnam can share with the world in fighting COVID?

Dr Le Dinh Tinh, Director General of the Institute for Foreign Policy and Strategic Studies, Hanoi, Vietnam, shares his insights about what the world can learn from Vietnam in combating the pandemic in his article published on Sunday Guardian Live. It has not gone for massive testing but has controlled infected people, implemented contact tracing.…