IMF sees less severe global contraction but trouble in emerging markets

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Forecasts for the global economy are “somewhat less dire” as rich nations and China have rebounded quicker than expected from coronavirus lockdowns, but the outlook for many emerging markets has worsened, the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: Gita Gopinath, Economic Counsellor and Director of the Research Department at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), speaks during a news conference in Santiago, Chile, July 23, 2019. REUTERS/Rodrigo Garrido/File Photo

The IMF forecast a 2020 global contraction of 4.4% in its latest World Economic Outlook, an improvement over a 5.2% contraction predicted in June, when pandemic-related business closures reached their peak.

The global economy will return to growth of 5.2% in 2021, the IMF said, but the rebound will be slightly weaker than forecast in June, partly due to the extreme difficulties for many emerging markets and a slowdown in the reopening of economies due to the

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Agbioscience startup using multisensor drone technology sees growth

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IMAGE: Despite changes forced by the COVID-19 pandemic, a Purdue University-affiliated agbioscience startup focused on research-grade sensing data for agriculture is growing as it takes multisensor drone data collection technology to…
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Credit: Chris Adam/Purdue University

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Despite changes forced by the COVID-19 pandemic, a Purdue University-affiliated agbioscience startup focused on research-grade sensing data for agriculture is growing as it takes multisensor drone data collection technology to market.

GRYFN, which offers precise geomatics solutions for coaligned and repeatable multisensor drone data collection, is adding members to its team, growing its space, and looking to empower the future of agriculture research.

The startup partnered with Purdue and received a $2.25 million sub-award grant from the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), a division of the U.S. Department of Energy. Eight Purdue professors founded GRYFN with backgrounds in aeronautic technology, biology, plant sciences, agricultural and biological engineering, civil engineering,

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Maersk Raises Outlook as Shipping Giant Sees Demand Rebound

(Bloomberg) — A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S raised its full-year guidance amid a recovery in demand and sweeping efforts to cut costs.



a large ship in the background: Inside DP World Plc London Gateway Port


© Bloomberg
Inside DP World Plc London Gateway Port

The container shipping company, which is eliminating hundreds of jobs, said earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization will be in the range of $7.5 billion to $8 billion, before restructuring and integration costs. That compares with an earlier forecast of $6 billion to $7 billion, according to a statement.

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“The upgrade underlines the strong earnings momentum,” Brian Borsting, a credit analyst at Danske Bank A/S, said in a client note.

Copenhagen-based Maersk, which transports about 15% of the globe’s seaborne freight, said there was a “continued recovery in demand” in the third quarter. It reported revenue of $9.9 billion for the quarter, and an EBITDA before costs of $2.4 billion.

Maersk is undertaking a major restructuring as the

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ACCC code sees Google pause Australian rollout of News Showcase

Google has paused the Australian rollout of News Showcase, which is a news-based service pitched by the company as benefiting both publishers and readers.

News Showcase was only announced earlier this month, and when it was initially launched in Germany and Brazil, CEO Sundar Pichai explained the platform was aimed at paying publishers to “create and curate high-quality content for a different kind of online news experience”.

Although Google said it signed several agreements with Australian publishers for News Showcase in June, it has decided to pause its Australian plans as it is not sure if the product would be viable under the impending media bargaining code of practice published by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Google has held firm that it is against the News Media Bargaining Code, saying previously it would force the tech giant to provide users with a “dramatically worse Google Search and YouTube”,

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New Bahrain-based $60 million MENA VC fund sees post-COVID tech wave

DUBAI (Reuters) – A new Bahrain-based $60 million venture capital fund aims to invest in 120 early-stage start-ups across Arabic-speaking MENA countries, banking on the regional growth of tech and tech-enabled business in the post-coronavirus world.

Plus Venture Capital (+VC) aims to close fundraising before the end of the year, which is expected to come from mostly regional institutional investors and family offices.

“We think that future growth in the region will be coming from tech-enabled business; for GDP and for job creation. We saw it happen in the last two recessions,” Plus Venture Capital co-founder Sharif El-Badawi said.

They will make seed stage and series A investments.

As part of efforts to tackle its deficit and diversify the economy, Bahrain has been trying to re-establish itself as a regional finance centre after losing ground to Dubai, and has been marketing itself as a financial technology and start-up hub for

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Zoom Video Rises as Mizuho Sees ‘Best of Breed’ Tool

Shares of Zoom Video Communications  (ZM) – Get Report rose after Mizuho analysts initiated coverage of the videoconferencing company with a buy rating and a price target of $550 a share. 

The target represents 15% potential upside from the stock’s Thursday closing price. Zoom shares at last check rose 2% to $487.92. 

“Zoom’s meteoric rise during covid-19 has been driven by uptake of its best-of-breed videoconferencing tool, which became a global sensation almost overnight,” analyst Siti Panigrahi said.  

Year to date Zoom shares have jumped by more than a factor of seven as the work-from-home trend that had begun prior to this year accelerated because of the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns.

Zoom “can continue to deliver outsized revenue growth due to its position as a market leader, its global recognition, cross-sell opportunities, and its position in a growing and underpenetrated long-tail market,” the analyst wrote. 

With

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‘Follow the science!’ crowd sees mark of evil in a fly’s debate moment

It makes sense that the people who claim to “believe in” science as though it were a religion are a superstitious bunch after all.



a man standing in a dark room


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On Wednesday, during the vice-presidential debate, a fly landed on Vice President Mike Pence’s head. It stayed there atop his short white locks for about two minutes. The moment was humorous.

But for those who support the “follow the science” candidate, the fly was much more than a regrettable moment for Pence. It was an omen — something revealing a grave evil. Some in the news and politics business are reading into the debate fly the way ancient the Greeks read into animal entrails.

“I don’t think it’s ever a good sign when a fly lands on your head for two minutes,” failed GOP consultant and pro-Joe Biden activist Steve Schmidt said on MSNBC. “You know that’s a sign all

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Moon’s magnetic crust research sees scientists debunk long-held theory — ScienceDaily

New international research into the Moon provides scientists with insights as to how and why its crust is magnetised, essentially ‘debunking’ one of the previous longstanding theories.

Australian researcher and study co-author Dr Katarina Miljkovic, from the Curtin Space Science and Technology Centre, located within the School of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Curtin University, explained how the new research, published by Science Advances, expands on decades of work by other scientists.

“There are two long term hypotheses associated with why the Moon’s crust might be magnetic: One is that the magnetisation is the result of an ancient dynamo in the lunar core, and the other is that it’s the result of an amplification of the interplanetary magnetic field, created by meteoroid impacts,” Dr Miljkovic said.

“Our research is a deep numerical study that challenges that second theory — the impact-related magnetisation — and it essentially ‘debunks’ it. We

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The Note: Biden sees masks as symbol and substance in drawing contrast with Trump

The TAKE with Rick Klein

Trump wore a mask Monday in leaving Walter Reed for the White House — but it didn’t stay on long. By the end of another extraordinary night, with an infected president urging people not to let COVID-19 “dominate” their lives, it may as well have never been on.

Former Vice President Joe Biden is calling that out, as he pleads for science over showmanship with a month to go before Election Day.

“Anybody who contracts the virus by essentially saying masks don’t matter, social distancing doesn’t matter, I think is responsible for what happens to them,” Biden said in Monday night’s NBC town hall. “What is this macho thing — ‘I’m not going to wear a mask?’ What’s the deal here? Big deal!”

PHOTO: Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden speaks during a campaign stop at Jose Marti Gym in Miami, Oct. 5, 2020.

Democratic

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NASA’s Hubble Telescope sees huge exploding star disappear into the void

Titanic, runaway thermonuclear explosion. A disappearing act. Nature’s atomic bomb. NASA sure knows how to describe a supernova, the final moments of a star’s existence.



a star filled sky: Hubble observed a supernova on the outer edge of spiral galaxy NGC 2525. NASA, ESA, and A. Riess (STScI/JHU) and the SH0ES team Acknowledgment: M. Zamani (ESA/Hubble)


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Hubble observed a supernova on the outer edge of spiral galaxy NGC 2525. NASA, ESA, and A. Riess (STScI/JHU) and the SH0ES team Acknowledgment: M. Zamani (ESA/Hubble)

Seventy-million light-years away in the scenic spiral galaxy NGC 2525, a white dwarf exploded and the Hubble Space Telescope witnessed its last days. NASA and the European Space Agency, which jointly run Hubble, released a rare time-lapse of the supernova’s fading brightness. 

The space telescope first started watching the supernova, named SN 2018gv, in February 2018. The time-lapse covers almost a year of Hubble observations.

The supernova initially outshone the other stars in its host galaxy. “When a star unleashes as much energy in a matter of days as our sun does in several

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