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Curated by Peter Hulm

News from 2020 not involving COVID-19, unless it predicts the impacts. See also: POST-COVID for assessments and reports on what comes next.

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The Economics of Hosting the Olympic Gamescfr19 July 2021 (LINK)

UNESCO chides Australia over Great Barrier Reef proposalapnews19 July 2021 (LINK)

Greenland suspends oil exploration because of climate changeapnews16 July 2021 (LINK)

Climate change: Amazon regions emit more carbon than they absorbbbc15 July 2021 (LINK)

23M children missed vaccines in 2020, nearly 4M more than year before: UNanadolu online15 July 2021 (LINK)

Hundreds missing in Germany after massive floods leave scores deadfrance2416 July 2021 (LINK)

MIT Predicted in 1972 That Society Will Collapse This Century. New Research Shows We're on Schedulevice14 July 2021 (LINK)

"It's [...] unclear whether a future decline can be expected to be moderate or sharp, but both scenarios indicate society will run into limits in the medium term. [...] It is not too late to change course. [...] A deliberate trajectory change is still possible."

Italy bans cruise liners from Venice, after years of hesitationreuters13 July 2021 (LINK)

SWISS becomes first commercial airline to fly from Switzerland with sustainable aviation July 2021 (LINK)

Suez Canal officials release Ever Given ship after settlementdw7 July 2021 (LINK)

Is global plastic pollution nearing an irreversible tipping point?phys.org1 July 2021 (LINK)

Australia ranks last for climate action among UN member countriestheguardian1 July 2021 (LINK)

'Potentially the worst drought in 1,200 years': scientists on the scorching US heatwavetheguardian18 June 2021 (LINK)

New ways of working call for new ways to measure work: UNECE-led statisticians investigateunece9 June 2021 (LINK)

Environmental disaster feared as ship sinks off Sri Lankaapnews2 June 2021 (LINK)

Nobel Laureate Esther Duflo To Deliver UNCTAD’s major public lecture online on 15 June: good economics for hard times unctad2 June 2021— (LINK)

EU agrees new tax transparency rules for multinationalsbusinesstimes2 June 2021 (LINK)

Carbon dioxide in the air at highest level since measurements beganreuters1 June 2021 (LINK)

Nike and others back Naomi Osaka after she withdraws from French Opencnn1 June 2021 (LINK)

Solar project in Bahamas engineered to withstand 180 mph hurricane windssolarbuildermag17 May 2021 (LINK)

"It includes a 2 MWh battery plant that enables all resort generators to be switched off for the first time in 50 years, resulting in cleaner air and greater savings for up to 100 residents and guests at the resort at any given time. This microgrid will also pay for itself in just five to six years due to diesel powerplant savings alone. About two-thirds of the island’s diesel fuel consumption will be eliminated as a result of this project. After the system has paid for itself, the island owners will continue to save more than $700,000 on operating expenses per year in addition to the significant non-financial benefits."

Elizabeth Warren: US taxes are rigged in favor of Amazon, Netflix and other big companies — cnn — 27 April 2021 (LINK)

Swiss launch first transnational science expedition to study Red Sea corals in June 2021 (pdf) — transnational_red_sea_center — 22 April 2021 (LINK)

Related GLOBAL-GENEVA piece: Transnational Red Sea project that could help save Earth’s coral reefs (LINK)

UN experts urge Switzerland to repatriate two abducted girls from Syria camps — reuters / nationalpost — 22 April 2021

Iran, Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia accounted for 88% of known global executions in 2020 — amnesty — 21 April 2021

But lowest number of executions globally in a decade, for third consecutive year.

Police say no one was in driver's seat in fatal Tesla crash — cnn — 19 April 2021

Related GLOBAL-GENEVA piece: Self-driving (autonomous) vehicles present us squarely with one of the toughest brain-teasing conundrums in philosophy and ethics: the trolley problem (LINK)

CEO who gave employees $70K minimum wage says revenue tripled 6 years later — thehill — 15 April 2021

Buckminster Fuller, Isaac Asimov & Other Futurists Make Predictions About the 21st Century in 1967: What They Got Right & Wrong — openculture — 13 April 2021

What Netflix's Seaspiracy gets wrong about fishing, explained by a marine biologist — vox — 13 April 2021

Study finds commonly-used pain killer paracetamol is likely almost useless — yahoo — 5 April 2021

Rethinking cities to beat pandemics genevasolutions1 April 2021 (LINK)

Baltimore will no longer prosecute drug possession, prostitution, low-level crimes — nbcnews — 26 March 2021

60 largest banks in the world have invested $3.8 trillion in fossil fuels since the Paris Agreement — cnbc — 24 March 2021

'Intriguing new result from the LHCb experiment at CERN: results strengthen hints of a violation of lepton flavour universality' — cern — 23 March 2021

Feeding cows seaweed could cut their methane emissions by 82%, scientists say — theguardian — 18 March 2021

Senate Dems introduce 'assault weapons' ban bill on 205 gun models, incl. shotguns, hunting rifles — americanmilitarynews — 12 March 2021

China and human rights at the Council: a conservative Roman Catholic's view after a Chinese Foreign Minister addresses Geneva body for the first time — bitterwinter — 27 February 2021

Florida has the best beach in the U.S., Tripadvisor says — but it’s not in Miami or on the east coast — miamiherald — 24 February 2021

Clunky software with a confusing UI just cost Citibank $500 million — techspot — 19 February 2021

IKEA will help turn a Swedish city into a sustainable community — engadget — 11 February 2021

Tokyo 2020 Olympics president to resign following sexist remarks — cnn — 11 February 2021

'Invisible killer': fossil fuels caused 8.7m deaths globally in 2018, research finds — theguardian — 9 February 2021

'Your email and password were probably posted online in the mother of all data leaks' — bgr — 9 February 2021

Check whether your email was leaked — cybernews — 9 February 2021

Hundreds of Olympics volunteers resign over president's remarks about women — theguardian — 9 February 2021

Scientists debunk long-held theory about spicy food — inverse — 9 February 2021

Libya forum elects new transitional government — genevasolutions — 8 February 2021

Outrage over French girl's rape case sparks demand for law to protect minors — theguardian — 7 February 2021

Vale will pay nearly $7 billion over Brazilian dam collapse that killed 270 people — cnn — 5 February 2021

Leading baby food manufacturers knowingly sold products with high levels of toxic metals, a congressional investigation found — cnn — 5 February 2021

For more equitable parks, design them to be inclusive for the homeless — citymonitor — 4 February 2021

Myanmar’s military says elections will be held after year-long state of emergency: Aung San Suu Kyi detained, US and Britain condemn detentions — scmp — 1 February 2021

Phoenix may be uninhabitable by the end of this century — salon — 1 February 2021

A Hint From Davos: Regulating Crypto Is 'in the Public Interest' — cryptonews — 25 January 2021

Ageing Pompidou Centre in Paris to close for four years for renovation — theguardian — 26 January 2021

Weinstein Co to pay out $17m over sexual abuse claims as part of liquidation — theguardian — 26 January 2021

Mastercard to raise fees by at least 400% for EU firms selling to UK customers — theguardian — 25 January 2021

IMF Urges Governments To Spend As Much Money As They Can To Support Sputtering Economies — dailyhodl — 18 January 2021

Alexei Navalny arrest: Return to Russia seen as 'brave step' — dw — 17 January 2021

Poison squad stalked Alexei Navalny on 40 flights, says Bellingcat investigator — theguardian — 17 January 2021

South Korea: Ex-president Park Geun-hye's long jail term upheld, making her eligible for a special pardon — dw — 14 January 2021

Top scientists warn of 'ghastly future of mass extinction' and climate disruption — theguardian — 13 January 2021

'Ndrangheta crime group: Biggest mafia trial in decades kicks off in Italy — france24 — 13 January 2021

50 countries commit to protection of 30% of Earth's land and oceans — theguardian — 11 January 2021

6 rangers killed in DR Congo's Virunga gorilla reserve — dw — 10 January 2021

Goldman, M. Stanley to delist some Hong Kong products after U.S. investment ban — reuters — 10 January 2021

Kazakh ruling party set to retain hold on power in Sunday's vote — reuters — 10 January 2021

Though not all SIDS are heavily indebted, 17 are considered by the IMF as being at 'high risk' of debt distress, unable to meet their loan payments — unctad — 7 January 2021

The world’s largest free trade area starts up on Jan. 1, 2021: in Africa — qz — 31 December 2020

From "Hillbilly Elegy" to "The Gentlemen", here are the worst films of 2020 — salon — 31 December 2020

Related GLOBAL-GENEVA piece: Understanding the hysteria over Hillbilly Elegy (LINK)

Climate catastrophes cost nations billions in 2020, report finds — aljazeera — 28 December 2020

EU member states unanimously approve post-Brexit trade deal — axios — 28 December 2020

EU bans plastic waste from being shipped to developing countries — euronews — 24 December 2020

UNECE mobilizes action to tackle $200bn per year damage from nitrogen — unece — 22 December 2020

U.S. trade deficits continue to grow — axios — 22 December 2020

U.S. Naval Academy physics exams reviewed over 'inconsistencies' — thehill — 22 December 2020

West Point faces worst cheating scandal in decades — bbc — 22 December 2020

U.K. finds 2 men guilty of manslaughter in deaths of 39 Vietnamese migrants — nbcnews — 21 December 2020

Essex lorry deaths: The supposed 'VIP' journey that killed 39 people — bbc — 21 December 2020

50 years of tax cuts for the rich failed to trickle down, economics study says — cbsnews — 17 December 2020

UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty: 'We need to build back better' — france24 — 17 December 2020

The Top Ten Ocean Stories of 2020 — smithsonianmag — 17 December 2020

Credit Suisse indicted over alleged ties to Bulgarian mafia — apnews — 17 December 2020

Transforming trade, backing productive capacities is key to fixing global economy — unctad — 17 December 2020

French court finds 14 people guilty of complicity in Charlie Hebdo, supermarket attacks — dw — 16 December 2020

Visitors to Palau are now required to sign an eco-pledge on arrival — euronews — 16 December 2020

Related GLOBAL-GENEVA piece: At the Edge of the World (LINK)

WEF World Competitiveness Report:Few Economies Are Ready for Long-term Prosperity through Improved Public Services, Green Investments and Digitization — wef — 16 December 2020

Countries with advanced digital economies and digital skills have been more successful at keeping their economies running while their citizens worked from home. The Netherlands, New Zealand, Switzerland, Estonia, and the United States have performed well on this measure.

Countries with robust economic safety nets, such as Denmark, Finland, Norway, Austria, Luxembourg and Switzerland, were well placed to support those who could not work. Similarly, countries with strong financial systems such as Finland, the United States, the United Arab Emirates and Singapore, could more easily provide credit to SMEs to prevent insolvency.

Countries that could successfully plan and integrate health, fiscal and social policies have been relatively more successful in mitigating the effects of the crisis, including Singapore, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Austria and the United Arab Emirates.

UN Human Development Report: includes a new experimental index on human progress that takes into account countries’ carbon dioxide emissions and material footprint. — source — 15 December 2020

More than 50 countries in the “very high development” group — including Singapore, Luxembourg, Australia and the United Arab rates (UAE) — drop out of this group when their dependence on fossil fuels and material footprint are taken into account. In contrast, countries like Costa Rica, Moldova and Panama move upwards by at least 30 places.

Far-right activists convicted in France following Al Jazeera investigation — aljazeera — 15 December 2020

Paris city hall fined for putting too many women in senior roles — theguardian — 15 December 2020

Two men beheaded in videos from Nagorno-Karabakh war identified — theguardian — 15 December 2020

What we know about Russia's sprawling hack into federal agencies — axios — 14 December 2020

Iran sentences British-Iranian researcher to 9 years prison for "subversive" work — dw — 14 December 2020

The Companies With the Largest Plastic Footprint — statista — 10 December 2020

Ghana election: Nana Akufo-Addo wins second term — dw — 10 December 2020

4 myths about corruption: Western Europe 66%, Sub-Saharan Africa 32% — weforum — 9 December 2020

UK and EU 'on a knife edge' as trade talks near year-end deadline — aljazeera — 7 December 2020

Romanian opposition takes narrow lead after election — bbc — 7 December 2020

Ghana set for tight presidential election as old rivals compete — france24 — 7 December 2020

This was easily the warmest November on record, as three times earlier this year — mashable — 7 December 2020

28 Startups to Watch — ozy — 6 December 2020

Climate change is already a disaster to health, doctors say — theverge — 2 December 2020

Brexit: Ministers unveil next steps in England's farming policy: more trees, meadows and wetlands - and fewer sheep and cows — bbc — 30 November 2020

Ministers say it represents the most fundamental shift in farming policy for 50 years.

White Island volcano: NZ officials charge 13 parties over tragedy — bbc — 30 November 2020

Joe Biden picks all-female senior White House communications team: first time in US history — dw — 30 November 2020

Biden to require walking boot after fracturing his foot — politico — 29 November 2020

France, UK agree fresh deal to curb Channel migrant crossings — newswires/france24 — 29 November 2020

Ethiopian army takes ‘full control’ of Tigray capital, Abiy says — aljazeera — 28 November 2020

The 10 best cities to live in the world as an expat: Valencia, Alicante and Lisbon tops — yahoo — 26 November 2020

Vancouver Just Voted to Decriminalize All Drugs — vice — 26 November 2020

Far-right political terrorism 'is surging' in Western countries, report warns — euronews — 25 November 2020

UK supermarket and fast food chicken linked to deforestation in Brazil — theguardian — 25 November 2020

NRA admits some executives used nonprofit money for personal benefit — thehill — 25 November 2020

French Caribbean islands poisoned by a carcinogenic pesticide — bbc — 20 November 2020

India only G20 nation doing its 'fair share' to meet 2 degree goal — dw — 19 November 2020

Wheel-Flash’s minimalist bike reflectors could potentially save thousands of lives each year — yankodesign — 19 November 2020

Asylum Seeker Who Lost His Son on Trek to Greece Is Charged in His Death: Rights groups warn that the charges set a worrying precedent — nytimes — 18 November 2020

Self-proclaimed ‘prophet’ hands himself over to Malawi police — aljazeera — 18 November 2020

Alain Werner of Geneva-based Civitas Maxima recognised for his fight in protecting victims of war crimes — genevasolutions — 18 November 2020

More than 1,000 killed in six months in South Sudan — aljazeera — 17 November 2020

Countries most at risk from climate change being left behind, says IFRC: World Disasters Report (LINK) — genevasolutions/ifrc — 17 November 2020

Poland and Hungary block EU budget plan — dw — 16 November 2020

WWF Receives $100 Million for Nature-based Climate Solutions from the Bezos Earth Fund — source — 16 November 2020

The 3 winners of the World Economic Forum New Champions awards — source — 16 November 2020

Moldova election: Pro-EU Maia Sandu wins presidency — dw — 15 November 2020

New clashes in Western Sahara threaten decades-old cease-fire — dw — 14 November 2020

Cummings gone: UK PM’s top aide leaves with immediate effect — aljazeera — 14 November 2020

Al Qaeda's No. 2, Accused in U.S. Embassy Attacks, Was Killed in Iran — nytimes — 13 November 2020

Forget Russia—Iranian Hackers Behind Malicious New Cyber Attacks, Warns New Report — forbes — 12 November 2020

Australia to prosecute troops for war crimes in Afghanistan — apnews — 12 November 2020

Defiant Hong Kong opposition condemned by China — bbc — 12 November 2020

Libya peace talks reach 'breakthrough' agreement to hold elections — france24 — 11 November 2020

Organized crime in the fisheries sector threatens a sustainable ocean economy — nature — 11 November 2020

Development banks pledge climate action but keep fossil fuels — aljazeera — 11 November 2020

Barcelona launches 10-year plan to reclaim city streets from cars — theguardian — 11 November 2020

Study confirms racism and police brutality in Germany — dw — 11 November 2020

Azerbaijan’s drones owned the battlefield in Nagorno-Karabakh — and showed future of warfare — washingtonpost — 11 November 2020

Biden Has Finally Won Arizona, Turning It Democratic For The First Time In Decades — buzzfeednews — 11 November 2020

3 lessons for crafting a future with safer, more efficient self-driving cars — weforum — 11 November 2020

Related GLOBAL-GENEVA piece: UNECE tackles philosophy’s trolley problem (LINK)

Prince Charles: 10 actions we must take to drive the green recovery — weforum — 10 November 2020

Red Cross launches massive, multi-country operation and CHF20m appeal as horror of Hurricane Eta emerges — ifrc — 10 November 2020

Lonely Planet's best cities: London tops but Dubai, Singapore and Abu Dhabi are there — lonelyplanet — 9 November 2020

Third world war a risk in wake of pandemic, says UK defence chief — theguardian — 8 November 2020

Belarus opens first nuclear power plant amid criticism from Lithuania — AP/euronews — 7 November 2020

Move over Silicon Valley, these five countries are the new startup hub: Singpore, Israel, South Korea, Kenya, Brazil — theprint — 7 November 2020

Hotspots in four countries on brink of famine, UN warns — — 6 November 2020

Climate change and food demand could shrink species' habitats by almost a quarter by 2100 — sciencedaily — 7 November 2020

Why don't more nations hold elections online? Here's how Estonia has been a lone trailblazer — euronews — 3 November 2020

Non-COVID news from October 2020
Non-COVID news from September 2020
Non-COVID news from August 2020
Non-COVID news from July 2020
Non-COVID news from June 2020
Non-COVID news from May 2020

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