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New Zealand new trade agreements

The UK agreement

A new free trade agreement with the UK allows New Zealand to remove export tariffs during the next 15 years. This deal promises a GDP boost of up to $1 billion.

On top of the economic elements, the agreement includes conditions for the environment, tackling climate change and creating equity in economic advancement. According to New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, it is the country’s “first bilateral trade agreement to include a specific article on climate change”. 

Another unique point of that agreement is a separate Māori trade chapter featuring the acknowledgement of the relationships between the Māori people and the British, who colonised the country. In addition, the chapter included the protection of Ka Mate haka, in which the UK promises to protect the famous ceremonial dance. 

Visuals: Mr. Abe and gun violence

The killing of the Japanese ex-prime minister, Shinzo Abe, shocked the whole world. Even though some of the people in Japan did not agree with his policies, the ex-prime minister’s murder is a sad event for the entire nation. 

The murder is shocking because it happened in Japan, where deaths from guns are very rare. It is also uncommon to hear about politicians being killed in developed countries. 

Please, have a look at the graphs below and discuss them with your teacher. 

 

The Taliban asks for help

A deadly 6.1-magnitude earthquake hit Afghanistan on June 22. So far, more than 1000 people have been reported dead, and at least another 1500 have been injured. This is a humanitarian disaster that requires aid.

People in remote areas have to dig through the rubble with their bare hands, hoping to find people under the destroyed buildings. In addition, recent rains have damaged many roads making access even more difficult. Afghanistan has already experienced multiple humanitarian crises in recent months. This has caused shortages. 95% of households do not have enough food and the health system is not functioning properly.

Elon Musk vs Twitter

Elon Musk is a famous Twitter user. He wants to change Twitter rules on what is allowed to be posted. However, recently he surprised everyone by saying that he would buy this social media company. Musk has been offered loans of $25.5 billion from big American banks and he promised to pay the rest of the $21 billion out of his pocket.

The next day after Musk’s proposal, the board announced they will implement a "poison pill"—a measure that forbids anyone to buy more than 15% of the company’s shares. People fear that Twitter’s shareholders will pressure the board to accept Musk’s offer. Shareholders may want to do it because the share price that Musk has offered is much higher than the current one. On the other hand, this deal means that Twitter will become private, which may lead to unknown consequences for the company. 

How to avoid news anxiety

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is fear and/or panic about an uncertain outcome. It usually appears when you are experiencing a stressful situation. Physical symptoms include a racing heart, sweating more than usual, rushed breathing, and having trouble sleeping. Psychological symptoms include feeling helpless or overwhelmed.

It is normal to experience anxiety from time to time, but if such feelings are interrupting your life, you might need to take action. 

Sometimes the news can cause such feelings. It's commonly known as news anxiety. 

How can you ease news anxiety?

Art crosses borders between people

The California-based architects Virginia San Fratello and Ronald Rael have transformed a stretch of the border fence between Mexico and the U.S. into an international playground. The pair installed three hot pink seesaws between the slats of the fence where Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, abuts Sunland Park, New Mexico, allowing people on both sides of the increasingly militarized border to play together.

In an Instagram post, Rael said, “The wall became a literal fulcrum for U.S.-Mexico relations, and children and adults were connected in meaningful ways on both sides with the recognition that the actions that take place on one side have a direct consequence on the other side.” He added, “The joy that was shared this day on both sides is something that will stay with me forever.”

[See Ronald Rael's Instagram post here.] 

Twitter cleans up its act

Twitter has sharply escalated its battle against fake and suspicious accounts, suspending more than 1 million a day. The rate of account suspensions has more than doubled since October 2017, when the company revealed under congressional pressure how Russia used fake accounts to interfere in the U.S. presidential election. Twitter suspended more than 70 million accounts in May and June, and the pace has continued in July, according to the data.

World's most famous amateur runner

At just 30 years old, Yuki Kawauchi is in a distance running category of his own.

As of January 1, Kawauchi—one guy—has run more sub-2:10 marathons since 2011 than the whole United States put together. Kawauchi’s best time for 2017—2:09:18—was two seconds faster than the fastest marathon of the year by any U.S. man, which would be Galen Rupp, who ran a career best of 2:09:20 in Chicago. Rupp, like most athletes at that level, ran two marathons in 2017. Kawauchi ran 12. 

Abe to repeal balanced news law

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants to repeal a Japanese law requiring broadcasters to show impartiality, a step critics fear will lead to sensational reporting and polarize views, just as a similar move has been blamed for doing in the United States.

Abe’s government has drafted changes to Japan’s broadcast law and plans to include them in reform proposals as early as May, laying the groundwork for future legislation, three government sources told Reuters.

The sources, who asked for anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter, said the draft includes repealing the law’s article 4, which requires license holders to show contrasting political views and is considered Japan’s version of the U.S. Fairness Doctrine.