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DGI Brief - Sep 5, 2016

Happy Monday to everyone. Today's top 5 global issues news are about #USA & #China action on #climatechange, #elections in #HongKong, #economic #development in #Somaliland, #publichealth in #Afghanistan and #security threat of #NorthKorea

- US President Barack Obama & CHINA’s President Xi Jingping made the declaration to witness UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Saturday. A historical moment for the world. Why this matters: When 55 out of the committed 180 nations ratify the Paris climate change agreement, it will go into legal effect for all. The ratification by the world’s biggest economies & carbon emissions polluters (China represents 20% of global carbon emissions, USA 17.9%) is expected to spark more countries to follow suite. 23 nations had already formally ratified before US & China, but they collectively accounted for only 1.08% of emissions. You’re next Russia, India, Canada, Brazil…

- Wining 30 out of the 70 seats of HONG KONG’s Legislative Council (Legco) means pro-democracy groups secured their one-third veto power and also shows the growing pro-independence sentiments. Sunday’s election saw a huge turnout – 58% of the 3.8 mil eligible voters came out. Why this matters: China continues its grip on Hong Kong, resolutely opposed to any talk of independence, yet maintaining third of Legco allows pro-democracy members to veto any anti-opposition (& democracy & freedom) legislature. The power of democracy & voting!

- SOMALIA: Dubai’s DP World, the world’s largest seaport operator with holdings in over 70 marine terminals on 6 continents, secured a 30-year deal to develop & manage a cargo port in Somaliland. The semi-autonomous region of Somalia has been seeking formal, internationally-recognized independence from the rest of the country since 1991. Why this matters: The risk analysis & future predictions must be pointing to the success of Somaliland for the seaport giant to invest about $442 million into the development. New market & a large gate into east Africa.

- AFGHANISTAN: Over 9.5 million Afghan children under 5 were vaccinated against polio ahead of high transmission season in the warm months of September & October. Over 65,000 health workers undertook the massive campaign. Why this matters: Afghan children face incredible risks all around – violent conflict & terrorism (just this weekend 2 bomb blasts in Kabul killed dozens of people), poverty and also disease. This year there were 8 documented polio cases from all across the country, even though Afghanistan has committed to ending the transmission of this crippling & deadly disease by 2016. We have a chance to completely eradicate polio in our lifetime. “As long as polio exists anywhere, children everywhere remain at risk.” ~WHO

- NORTH KOREA fired 3 mid-range missiles that landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone just as world leaders concluded the G20 economic summit in China. Why this matters: North Korea keeps throwing a monkey wrench into global diplomacy. The US, South Korea & Japan’s ally, plans to deploy a powerful anti-missile system to South Korea, something China cannot oppose more strongly. It claims the THAAD system is not to defend against North Korea but to spy on China. Such claim is increasingly difficult to defend with the many missile tests that show North Korea’s steady improvement of military capabilities. China & North Korea have long been allies… will this relationship hold?

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