Welcome to Wednesday, where Hong Kong's pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily officially announces its closure, new clashes have broken out in Ethiopia's Tigray region and the number of millionaires continues to increase despite the pandemic. Latin American business magazine America Economia also reports on how business schools around the world are now adding the environment to their curricula.
• Apple Daily forced to close amid Hong Kong crackdown: Hong Kong's biggest pro-democracy paper, whose headquarters were raided last Thursday, has announced its closure and will print its final edition Thursday. The board was forced to end all Hong Kong operations due to government pressure, and its lead writer was arrested earlier today. Hong Kong's first National Security trial also began today, with the 24-year-old activist pleading not guilty.
• Taliban gains in Afghanistan: According to the UN's envoy to Afghanistan, Deborah Lyon, Taliban insurgents have seized more than 50 districts of 370 in the country since May. Lyon warned the increasing conflicts in the region also means increasing insecurity for other countries. The uncertainty comes as the U.S and NATO are still aiming for a complete pullout of troops by September 11.
• Crisis in Ethiopia's Tigray: Heavy conflict broke out between the rebel Tigray Defence Force (TDF) and the federal Ethiopian army in the northern region of Tigray, with reports of dozens of civilian casualties after an airstrike hit a busy village market. It is the most serious crisis since the government claimed victory in the conflict last November.
• NYC mayoral vote: New Yorkers cast their ballots yesterday in city primaries, with the Democratic nominee likely to win the mayor's race in November. Of the top four Democratic candidates, former police captain Eric Adams is in the lead, while former presidential candidate Andrew Yang has conceded. Due to ranked-choice voting, the results may take until mid July to be finalized.
• Saudis who killed journalist received military training in U.S.: According to the New York Times, four Saudis who participated in the 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi received paramilitary training in the U.S. last year, with the approval from the State Department.
• New COVID-19 variant troubling India: Delta Plus, which is believed to be deadlier and more transmissible by scientists, has been labelled a "variant of concern" by the Indian government. There have been at least 22 cases related to Delta Plus in India. The variant has been found in the UK, the U.S., Canada, Japan, Russia, Portugal, Switzerland and Turkey.
• Britney Spears to finally speak out: #FreeBritney fans are eager to hear what pop icon, Britney Spears, will say when she publicly addresses her conservatorship today. The controversial legal arrangement, which many fans argue was unfounded and has stripped the star of her independence, allows Spears' father "control over her estate, career and other aspects of her personal life."
Reporting on the UEFA's controversial decision to deny Munich's request to light up its stadium with a pride rainbow during the upcoming Germany v. Hungary match, the German daily, Süddeutsche Zeitung, featured the headline "Colors, Soccer and Human Rights' alongside a mock photo of the stadium covered in pride rainbow colors.
From Europe to Latin America, business schools are going green
Institutions tasked with training the next generation of business leaders are realizing that sustainability matters, and making significant adjustments to their curricula. From Santiago, America Economia"s Daniela Arce writes.
The ESCP Business School, based in Paris but with campuses across Europe, recently opened a sustainability department. The goal is to shift away from traditional courses on corporate responsibility and instead train students and staff to understand and innovate along sustainability lines, a concept that is of growing interest to the business world.
With sustainability's increasing relevance to all business sectors, it should come as no surprise that it's also an area of greater focus in business schools. Many have taken steps to enact one or more of the UN's 17 Sustainable Development goals, and some are even asking whether or not they contribute something specifically positive to society.
Business schools are adapting to the new scenario both in response to increased awareness among citizens and because firms understand the current economic model may soon threaten competitiveness and talent recruitment. And they're taking concrete steps, through one-off programs and curricular changes.
In Latin America, in the meantime, schools and universities in Colombia, Peru and Chile are gradually including environmental and social themes into studies. "Sustainability is becoming vital to the survival of firms," says Horacio Arredondo, a vice-dean of postgraduate studies at Chile's UAI business school. "But still, this wave of changes is essentially led by developed countries and economies."
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Even as unemployment and poverty rose during the pandemic, so too did the number of rich people in the world, with 5.2 million more millionaires in 2020, according to a new Crédit Suisse study. Economists credit the rise to quickly recovering stock markets and soaring housing prices. Needless to say, wealth gaps widened too.
Spam forces leading candidate out of election runoff
The name's Cool, Vincent Cool. But there's nothing cool about what just happened to this local French candidate and his running mate Florence Trévisan.
On Sunday, the left-wing "Divers Gauche" pair came out on top of the first round of departmental elections, in the canton of Ribemont in northern France, with 37,25 % of suffrages, in strong position to win ahead of the second-round runoff. So far, so good.
But on Monday, as Florence Trévisan told local daily L'Aisne Nouvelle, they received a phone call informing them they had missed the registration deadline for the second round, and therefore could not be on the ballots come next Sunday.
"Obviously, we're taking it pretty hard ..." Mr. Cool told FranceInfo. The candidate, who is already the mayor of Ribemont, explains that the email from the national authorities "ended up in my spam." His running mate received no email at all.
The candidates had first been notified of the registration date back in April — but the Monday deadline had skipped their mind, "I was sure it was Tuesday," he said.
The office of the prefecture has announced that no exception would be made, leading the pair to break the bad news to their supporters by text message. Definitely not cool.
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For the Libyans to determine the fate of their country again, the foreign forces must leave.
— German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas warned about the future of Libya at UN-sponsored talks taking place in Berlin today. World powers including the U.S., the UK, France, Russia and China, are set to discuss the withdrawal of foreign forces ahead of Libya's general elections on Dec. 24.
✍️ Newsletter by Meike Eijsberg, Genevieve Mansfield, Anne-Sophie Goninet, Dan Wu and Bertrand Hauger