Here’s what’s going on in the world for the week of Feb. 6, 2022.
Hackers stole 320 billion USD worth of cryptocurrencies from Solona and Ethereum. They accomplished this by exploiting the bridge of Solona and used counterfeit Ethereum coins, which were used to exchange for real coins.
Coral reefs may die out even if the world limits global warming to Paris Accord pledge levels due to marine heat waves. If global temperatures rise even 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre industrial levels, an estimated 99% of coral reefs unable to recover from marine heat waves, while 2 degrees will affect all coral reefs. It usually takes 10 years for coral to recover, assuming nothing else happens to them, from these heat waves. But climate change and increased carbon levels in the ocean is increasing the number of such heat waves and rapidity of their occurrence.
The future of the Winter Olympics might be one of indoor artificial snow, as climate change makes winters warmer.
Native American tribes will receive $590 million from Johnson & Johnson and three other US drug manufacturers based on a settlement reached last Tuesday. The settlement is the latest in ongoing efforts to hold drug companies in the United States accountable for the opioid crisis, which has hit Native communities the hardest.
The Colombian Amazon rain forest is under threat from deforestation and wildfires, which risks the country’s efforts to fight climate change.
Argentina is joining the Belt and Road Initiative in exchange for trade and investment and recognition of the Falkland Islands by China.
The French ambassador to Mali has been given 72 hours to leave the country in retaliation for criticism and remarks by French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian about the Malian transitional government. Originally the military junta agreed to have elections this year, but went back on its agreement with France by scheduling elections for 2025. The junta is also relying on Russian mercenaries to fight domestic Jihadists, a move criticized by Western nations and some West African countries, as mentioned in stories from last week’s edition of Global Affairs Weekly.
The European Union has slapped targeted sanctions against members of the Malian military and transitional government over their involvement in coup against the prior Malian government and breaking the deal to hold elections in February by moving elections to 2025.
Afrigen is the first African company to produce a local COVID-19 vaccine on the continent. Starting with the Moderna mRNA sequence, the company’s scientists developed their own processes and made a different vaccine as part of their research into next generation vaccines that will be locally produced, have longer shelf life, do not need refrigeration and could attack the virus at both the genetic level and on the protein spikes the virus uses to latch on and infect cells, as referenced in last week’s edition of Global Affairs Weekly.
Explainer: What does Putin want in Ukraine and what might be driving him.
Russia and China have inked a deal worth 117.5 billion USD equivalent to ship more natural gas and oil to the world’s largest energy consumer, giving Moscow more connections to Beijing and decreasing dependence on the European market. However, the energy resources in this deal are not connected to energy resources headed for Europe and come from a different part of Russia geographically.
Turkey’s President Erdogan has tested positive for COVID-19.
Recreational use of cannabis is gaining acceptance among the youth of the Middle East, despite authorities cracking down on it.
Syrian opposition parties held talks in Qatar to work on developing a unified opposition to Syrian President Bashir al-Assad. While they might not have strength enough to oust Assad from power, these different parties may create the framework for democratic transition someday, assuming they still retain relevance to the Syrian people.
Tunisia’s Supreme Judicial Council has been dissolved according to Tunisian President Kais Saied, despite lacking the legal authority to do so.
India’s national budget plan for 2022 will focus heavily on infrastructure, housing, a spectrum auction of 5G mobile and 5G services rollout. The government also proposed a digital rupee and a 30% tax on profits made from cryptocurrency trading and nonfungible token exchanges.
A year after the military took over in Myanmar following a coup, the country is on the edge of economic collapse. Almost half of the population is in poverty according to the International Labor Organization, with the economy being 30% smaller than it would have been without the coup and COVID-19 pandemic according to the World Bank.
A journalist in the Indian-controlled Kashmir has been arrested under India’s anti-terror laws. The authorities cited “publishing anti-national content” without specifying what that content actually was.