Thu. Oct 28th, 2021

Another week has passed, and Friday is here. What is the progress with vaccines? Depends on who you ask. Is the pandemic getting better or worse? Depends on where you look. And how is the world economy doing if it tries to return from COVID-19? Again, this is in the eye of the beholder. The United Nations warned that developing countries could bear the bulk of the pandemic costs this week.

This week we had a variety of numbers and stories to choose from. We have bite size, easy to digest, newsletters for you to pick out — five numbers we think you should know this weekend.

Some are updates on already gloomy situations, such as the deteriorating petrol price crisis in Lebanon. Others are new discoveries. The Wall Street Journal revealed this week that Facebook knows exactly how its Instagram photo-sharing app harms girls’ mental health.

And of course, we have not forgotten the story, which increasingly has legions of investors on the edge. The Evergrande Group of China – the world’s most indebted developer of real estate – may be heading for a messy debt payment that could have far-reaching consequences for the world’s second largest economy and beyond.

If it’s all down to you at home, keeping the remote in bed and watching Netflix all weekend, you ‘re not alone. Indians, locked up to stop the spread of the coronavirus, did just that – on Netflix. Their o-so-clear preference? South Korean dramas.

We have those stories and more. So start reading and enjoy the weekend.


This is how many years since Occupy Wall Street protesters gathered in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park. Their protest sparked a national dialogue in the United States and beyond about income inequality, and terms such as ‘the one percent’ and ‘the 99 percent’ are embedded in the modern lexicon.

Occupy Wall Street was born in the wake of the Great Recession that runs from December 2007 to June 2009. As the world celebrates Occupy’s 10th anniversary, Al Jazeera’s Courtney Kealy explores the movement’s impact on a generation and where it’s heading in a time when the largest percentage cheats 28.8 percent of American wealth. Read that story here.

38 percent

The Lebanese government on Friday raised gasoline prices by nearly 38 percent in an effort to fully reduce fuel subsidies and curb the crippling fuel shortage.

The price of 20 liters of 95-octane and 98-octane petrol rose to 174,300 ($ 11.24) and 180,000 ($ 11.64) Lebanese pounds, respectively, on Friday – equivalent to almost a quarter of what a person with minimum wage per month earned.

Lebanese authorities increase petrol prices to help fuel shortages [File: Mohamed Azakir/Reuters]

The petrol price increase is one of the first movements by the new Lebanese government under Prime Minister Najib Mikati, which has the task of Herculean withdrawing the country from an economic crisis that the World Bank considers one of the three worst in the world in the last 150 has. year.

As Kareem Chehayeb of Al Jazeera told the story here.

$ 300 billion

This is the debt that is plaguing China’s Evergrande group. And concerns are mounting that it could wreak havoc on China’s real estate market if it does not pay its debts and send shockwaves through the world’s second-largest economy.

Evergrande, founded in 1996, is currently the most indebted real estate developer in the world with 1300 real estate projects in 280 cities in China.

Will the Chinese authorities intend to allow Evergrande’s creditors to absorb the pain of a default, or will the country’s communist government intervene to mitigate the blow?

Al Kazen Forde of Al Jazeera dives into everything you need to know about Evergrande and its potentially far-reaching problems. Read that story here.

One out of three

This is how teenage girls’ body issues are exacerbated by the use of Facebook’s photo sharing app on Instagram, a bunch of documents that The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has seen.

Instagram owner Facebook knows that their photo-sharing app is jeopardizing the mental health of an entire generation of girls, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal [File: Thomas White/Reuters]

“Teens blame Instagram for an increase in anxiety and depression,” reads a slide seen by the WSJ. “This response was unequivocal and consistent across all groups.”

The findings are part of the WSJ’s “The Facebook Files” series, which revealed this week, among other things, that Facebook executives are fully aware that their Instagram app is toxic to teenage girls.

Facebook paid $ 1 billion for Instagram in 2012 and considers the photo-sharing app focused on posting perfect photos as a contribution to the growth of its young user base.

More than 40 percent of Instagram users are 22 years and younger, while the young audience of Facebook has dwindled in recent years. You do the math. More about the story here.

178 percent

That’s how much more Indian Indians have consumed so far in 2021 than in 2020, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to India’s growing infatuation with everything Korean.

South Korean TV dramas have rocked India by storm since the country was strictly locked up last year, sparking a love for Korean food, language classes and beauty products.

Indians across the country copy the dance steps of K-pop bands like BTS [File: Yoan Valat/Reuters]

Because Indians watched K-dramas, Netflix has a massive 370 percent increase in viewers to K-dramas in 2019 by 2020, according to Euromonitor.

“For Indians accustomed to Bollywood masala and melodrama, K-dramas have it all: songs, a Mills and Boon romance that is regularly performed abroad, light humor and all the tropics for which the Indian commercial cinema is known.” , writes Suparna of Al Jazeera Sharma. Read her report here.

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