Mint Lite| Lebanon exodus, Singapore talent search, India covid vaccine & others4 min read . Updated: 12 Nov 2020, 09:37 PM IST
Stories, opinions, news and views that matter, from around the world.
India is the seventh most valuable nation with a brand value of $2 trillion, according to a report by brand valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance. The US continues to lead the brand value ranking with $23.73 trillion, followed by China. Collectively, the top 100 nations lost $13.1 trillion of their brand value in 2020, as they negotiated the economic, political and healthcare havoc wreaked by the coronavirus pandemic. Ireland is the only nation in the top-20 to record brand value growth, up 11%. For more updates, here's Mint Lite
Lebanon faces mass doctors exodus
Lebanon, often called the medical capital of the Middle East, might lose this honour as hundreds of doctors and surgeons leave the country for a better life outside. Many of these doctors are ones who had been in demand in Europe and USA, before they returned to their homeland after the 1975-90 civil war. However, they seem to have lost hope that situation in the country would get any better in the near future. Complains are rife about a decrease in wages, shortages of equipment, staff and even some basic supplies in their hospitals. Sharaf Abou Sharaf, head of the doctors’ syndicate has admitted to Reuters that the departure of 400 doctors so far this year has created a major problem, especially for university hospitals where the doctors both practised and taught. In the past one year, the country has been through an uprising against its political leaders, bankruptcy of the state and a huge explosion in Beirut.
Philippines hit by 21st cyclone this year
Hurricanes are staying in power longer after they make landfall, leading to more inland destruction according to a new study. Usually, when a hurricane strikes land, the destruction of property and the environment and the loss of life are largely confined to a narrow coastal area. This is because hurricanes are fuelled by moisture from the ocean. The study by Lin Li and Pinaki Chakraborty shows that while in the late 1960s a typical hurricane lost about 75% of its intensity in the first day past landfall, now the corresponding decay is only about 50%. Meanwhile, typhoon Vamco hit Philippines barely two weeks after it was battered by Goni, the world’s most powerful typhoon this year. This is the 21st cyclone to hit Philippines this year. Nearly three million households in and around Manila were without power as people waded through waist-high floods.
New visa for expat tech talent
In a bid to attract foreign tech talent, Singapore has announced a new Visa for foreign executives. The city-state hopes that information technology would the sector that propels future economic growth. Under the Tech.Pass programme launching in January, up to 500 experienced executives can apply for the two-year visas, which allow participants to operate a business, invest in or become a director in Singapore-based companies, and mentor start-ups. The few criteria’s for applying for this visa however includes a previous monthly salary of at least $20,000, five years’ experience in a leading role in the tech industry or experience in developing a successful tech product. The coronavirus pandemic has impacted Singapore quite hard, with unemployment at a 16-year high.
India joins the vaccine race
The Serum Institute of India announced on Thursday that it has already produced 40 million doses of its covid-19 vaccine ‘Covishield’. The company has partnered with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for the trials. No covid-19 vaccine has been approved yet and trials are underway to prove their safety and effectiveness, but because of the urgent need for a covid-19 vaccine during the pandemic, manufacturers have been taking a risk by producing doses even before the trials are completed and results are deemed successful. However it is still unclear whether 40 million doses of the vaccine were meant for global supply or only for India. Meanwhile, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that the Government will provide ₹900 crore for research and development for Covid-19 vaccine to the Biotechnology Department, which will not include cost of vaccine or logistics for vaccine distribution
The virus-free spots on Earth
Even as the world struggles to contain cases of coronavirus after crossing the 50 million mark recently, a small cluster of islands in the South Pacific remains free of any case, reports the Associated Press. Tonga, Kiribati, Samoa, Micronesia and Tuvalu are among the small island nations yet to report any covid positive cases. However, keeping the islands safe has come at a price. Having closed the airport and dockyards in March, travel and tourism in the Pacific Islands have been hit hard. Many here rely on tourism as a major source of revenue and have seen unemployment spike and their economies struggle since the pandemic began. Much of the South Pacific is relatively poor and has basic health systems that would be ill-equipped to deal with major outbreaks. Meanwhile, Antartica too remains wary and has so far not reported any cases from the continent where medical capabilities are extremely limited.
Curated by Sohini Sen. Have something to share with us? Write to us at feedback@livemint or tweet to @shohinisen