Market and economic uncertainty reign, even in the mind of Warren Buffett

Two glowingly positive articles about the state of humanity appeared in two separate publications at the end of December 2019. One — This Has Been the Best Year Ever — by columnist Nicholas Kristof was published on Dec. 28 in the New York Times. The other — We’ve just had the best decade in human history. Seriously — by Matt Ridley, author of the Rational Optimist, appeared the same day in the Spectator. What a glorious note on which to end the decade. My, how have times changed, and quickly at that.

Kristof in his article wrote that ”since modern humans emerged about 200,000 years ago, 2019 was probably the year in which children were least likely to die, adults were least likely to be illiterate and people were least likely to suffer excruciating and disfiguring diseases.” He also pointed out that the proportion of the world’s population subsisting on

Read More

Brazil’s indigenous people call for WHO emergency fund to fight coronavirus By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An indigenous person from ethnic Pataxo group is seen inside the village Nao Xoha, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Sao Joaquim de Bicas

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Indigenous leaders in Brazil asked the World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday to set up an emergency fund to help protect their communities from the threat of the coronavirus pandemic.

Many of Brazil’s 850,000 indigenous people live in remote Amazon (NASDAQ:) areas with little access to healthcare, and indigenous groups say the government of President Jair Bolsonaro has not included the communities in national plans to fight the virus.

In a letter to WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus they asked for help to provide personal protective equipment that is unavailable to health workers in tribal reservations and villages.

“It is a real emergency,” Joenia Wapichana, the leader of the appeal to the WHO and the first indigenous woman

Read More

Europe’s reopening road map: How 11 countries are beginning to lift lockdowns

Europe is gingerly trying to get back to business, with restrictions loosening across the continent as the spread of the coronavirus slows.

The German Spy Museum in Berlin opened its doors for the first time in weeks, bars in central Rome began offering takeaway services, and shaggy-haired Austrians flocked to barbers’ shops in Vienna.

With Italy, Spain, Greece, Portugal and Germany all relaxing some of their restrictions on Monday, Europe is settling down to a new normal as it returns to public life. It’s slower and less dynamic than before, and some restrictions will remain in place for weeks or even months, with face masks—ranging from clinical coverings to brightly colored homemade varieties—a ubiquitous reminder of the changes.

While the moves will ease pressure on economies, the partial reopening means it’s still far from business as usual. Under a “mild” scenario published by the European Central Bank on Friday, the … Read More