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DGI Brief - Sep 1, 2016

Good Thursday to all. Today's top 5 global issues news are about #USA #Palestine, #Africa, #India, #chemicalweapons & the #Zikavirus

- USA/PALESTINE: Under a US anti-terrorism law, victims of international attacks can pursue foreign entities in the US courts for damages. 11 American families have sued the Palestinian Authority & the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) for 6 attacks in Israel between 2002-04 that left 33 dead & over 390 wounded. A lower New York court found the 2 entities guilty & awarded the plaintiffs over $218 million, a sum automatically tripled to $655.5 million under the US anti-terrorism law. The US federal appeals court however threw out the ruling over lack of jurisdiction yesterday & ordered the case dismissed.

- AFRICA: 9 years in the making, the Economic Partnership Agreement has finally been signed between East African Community nations of Kenya & Rwanda & the European Union. The deal provides duty/quota-free agricultural produce & flowers. Meanwhile, the UN & its partners are faced with severe budget constraints in light of increasing emergencies around the world & are forced to cut school meal programs for over 1.3 million children across West & Central Africa. The school meal programs are often the only regular & nutritious food kids receive. They encourage school attendance, especially for girls, & significantly improve nutrition & health for generations to come. Studies have shown that for every $1 invested in school meals, the overall economic return is $3-8. We must find the funding…

- INDIA aims to spark more investment by new visa scheme that will allow foreign investors a permanent residency status for 10 years, initially, & to own property. To qualify, foreigners must invest $1.5 million over 18 months, or $3.7 million over 3 years & create jobs for at least 20 resident Indians each year. Reportedly, all Pakistani citizens are disqualified from this scheme.

- USA: The 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention calls for the eradication of all chemical weapons & USA begins compliance with the treaty next week. Two military plants in Colorado & Kentucky will dismantle & destroy about 780,000 remaining chemical-filled artillery shells, or 2,600 tonnes of mustard gas stockpiles, expected to complete between 2020 & 2023. An important example.

- The ZIKA VIRUS continues to spread. This week, MALAYSIA confirmed its first case after a woman got infected during her travel to Singapore. Meanwhile, for the first time in the continental US, authorities found the Zika virus in all 3 groups of trapped mosquitos in Miami Beach. The detection can be viewed as positive for effective targeting efforts. These must be very careful, however, because reports are surfacing of key insects like bees & other important pollinators becoming collateral damage of spraying measures.

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