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DGI Brief - Nov 3, 2016

Good Thursday, everyone. Today's top 3 global issues news are about #UK, #WestAfrica and #climatechange

- UK’s High Court ruled today that only the Parliament can vote on triggering article 50 to exit the European Union & not the government alone as claimed by PM Theresa May. The Court’s key argument was that although international in its nature, Brexit fundamentally affects domestic laws, which cannot be changed by the crown exercising its prerogative powers (the government) but only by the elected representatives of the people (the Members of Parliament). Why it matters: this ruling will likely delay the Brexit process, planned for March 2017 by PM May. It gives the Parliament full control of the process. We shan’t forget that the House majority & large constituencies – Northern Ireland, Scotland etc. – were vehemently against Brexit & may see to some significant compromises (a soft Brexit) that were otherwise unacceptable to the ‘leave’ proponents. The government will appeal today’s ruling. The immediate response of the market was positive with the pound surging to $1.24 – a 3-week high.

- The rates of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis are soaring in WEST AFRICA, much higher than believed by health experts until now. New data shows the true rate of new TB infections resistant to drugs is 6%, not 2%. 35% of those previously treated for TB are resistant to drugs, compared to the previously believed rate of 17%. In Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city, 66% of TB patients have a drug-resistant strain, in Mali the rate is 59%. Why it matters: Outbreaks of diseases that are resistant to multiple drugs are always bad, and in particular in regions with deep poverty, fundamentally weak, underdeveloped healthcare systems & infrastructure. West Africa has 245 million inhabitants & with the movement of populations, everybody is at risk.

- WORLD: The UN warns that much more stringent greenhouse gas emissions cuts are needed to meet the COP21 aka Paris Agreement climate change goals – additional 12-14 billion metric tons by 2030 to be exact in order to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius. Why it matters: Even with the COP21 commitments, we will release around 56 billion tons of CO2 by 2030, way above the limit of 42 billion if we are to meet the 2-degree goal. We are seeing increasing numbers of climate refugees displaced by hunger, poverty, disease & conflict all stemming from climate change. Is it feasible to meet these goals? If we work together, absolutely!

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