World this week
The world economy has lost momentum from the impact of higher interest rates, the invasion of Ukraine and widening geopolitical rifts, and it now faces new uncertainty from the war between Israel and Hamas militants, the International Monetary Fund warned this week. The IMF said it expects global economic growth to slow to 2.9% in 2024 from an expected 3% this year. The forecast for next year is down a notch from the 3% it predicted back in July.
The deceleration comes at a time when the world has yet to fully mend from a devastating but short-lived COVID-19 recession in 2020 and now could see fallout from the Middle East conflict - particularly in the form of higher oil prices. "The global economy is limping along, not sprinting," IMF chief economist Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas said at a news conference in Marrakech, Morocco. A 10% increase in oil prices would reduce global economic growth by 0.15% and increase global inflation by 0.4%, Gourinchas said.
Two magnitude 6.3 powerful earthquakes followed by several strong aftershocks in western Afghanistan on Saturday (Oct 6) killed more than 2,000 people and injured over 2,000 more, according to Taliban disaster management officials. "2445 people, including women and children, were killed and 2440 people including women and children are wounded" Mullah Janan Saiq a spokesman for the state Ministry for Disaster Management told US broadcaster CBS News.
According to the United States Geological Survey, the epicentres of the quakes were in the Zindajan district, which is located about 40 kilometres west of Herat city, the country's economic and cultural hub in western Afghanistan bordering Iran. The quakes were also felt in neighbouring Badghis and Farah provinces. The initial quake, numerous aftershocks and a second 6.3-magnitude quake on Wednesday flattened entire villages, destroying hundreds of mud-brick homes that could not withstand such force. Schools, health clinics and other village facilities also collapsed.
French troops started leaving Niger more than two months after mutinous soldiers toppled the African country's democratically elected president, the military said Wednesday (Oct. 11). More than 100 personnel left in two flights from the capital Niamey on Tuesday in the first of what will be several rounds of departures between now and the end of the year, said a French military spokesman, Col. Pierre Gaudilliere. All are returning to what the Niger's state television broadcast images of a convoy leaving a base.
Also Tuesday, the junta gave the United Nations resident coordinator in Niger, Louise Aubin, 72 hours to leave the country, according to a statement from the Foreign Ministry. The junta cited "underhanded manoeuvres" by the U.N. secretary-general to prevent its full participation in last month's General Assembly in New York as one of the reasons.Ouallam in the north, saying it was bound for neighbouring Chad, to the east.
NASA showed off its first asteroid samples delivered last month by a spacecraft - a jumble of black dust and rubble that's the most ever returned to Earth. Scientists anticipated getting a cupful but are still unsure how much was grabbed from the carbon-rich asteroid named Bennu, almost 60 million miles (97 million kilometres) away. That's because the main sample chamber has yet to be opened, officials said during an event at Johnson Space Center in Houston.
NASA's Osiris-Rex spacecraft collected the samples three years ago from the surface of Bennu and then dropped them off sealed in a capsule during a flyby of Earth last month. The expected cupful was far more than the teaspoon or so that Japan brought back from a pair of missions. "It's been going slow and meticulous, but the science is already starting," said the mission's lead scientist, Dante Lauretta of the University of Arizona.
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