Vaccine hopes, international GDP dangers, YouTube for youths and a tiny owl | Australia Information
As countries around the world impose stricter measures and locking bars, restaurants and other businesses to curb COVID-19 flare-ups, many of us have browsed through our smartphones more than usual.
Why not learn something new? We round up the top numbers every week to keep you updated on important business and economic stories, as well as those you may have missed.
Here are five key numbers you need to know this week.
US pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc and its German partner BioNTech announced this week that the final results of the Phase 3 study of their COVID-19 vaccine showed 95 percent effectiveness – the highest success rate of any pandemic candidate in late-stage studies far. The companies filed an application with the US FDA on Friday for approval of the emergency vaccine.
Pfizer’s news followed Monday’s announcement by U.S. biotech company Moderna Inc that preliminary data from an ongoing Phase 3 trial of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine showed 94.5 percent effectiveness.
Oxford University scientists, who are working with drug maker Astra Zeneca to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, expect to publish the results of their late-stage studies before Christmas.
The encouraging milestones in the vaccine race are when global cases of the virus exceeded 57 million and global deaths rose to more than 1.3 million, according to the Coronavirus Research Center at Johns Hopkins University.
Despite the positive vaccine news, the global economy is still not out of the woods when it comes to recovering from the pandemic. The crisis is expected to keep global GDP more than 6 percentage points below pre-pandemic forecasts for 2021, the International Monetary Fund warned ahead of the 2020 G20 summit. Ouch.
In response, the Fund’s executive director, Kristalina Georgieva, called for strong, unified government action to stem the worst economic consequences, particularly for developing countries.
And that means working together, she said, warning that an “unsynchronized approach” to global recovery would result in global GDP growth of just under 1.2 percent by 2025, compared with 2 percent if countries worked together. For all the world leaders out there, it’s time to play nice.
$ 850 million
The amount of Australian wine China imported last year – and at 39 percent of the total value of all Australian wine exports, that’s a lot.
“They drank us outside and at home. Thanks to China, we’re getting the highest prices we’ve ever had, ”David Harris, CEO of South Australia Wine Group, a wine trading and service company, told Al Jazeera.
But the party could stall. Persistent political tensions over the Australian ban on Chinese company Huawei’s 5G network in the country and questions about Beijing’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak have kept things tense.
Those sour political grapes have caused a massive trade hangover, and experts warn that a Chinese embargo on Australian exports could come at a hefty price. About a third of all Australian exports are now destined for Chinese coastlines, a market valued at around $ 111 billion.
Children under the age of eight now watch an average of 39 minutes of online video per day, twice as much as in 2017, according to Common Sense Media’s 2020 census.
And those early childhood videos had lots of ads: more than half had up to two ads, while a third had three or more ads – and 20 percent of those commercials were products unsuitable for preschoolers, like lingerie, whiskey, and violent video games noisy a joint study by Common Sense Media and researchers from the University of Michigan.
The study’s authors recommended that YouTube migrate all content aimed at children from its main website to YouTube Kids, “to ensure ads are age-appropriate and parents have more control over how their child’s feed is curated”.
The number of tiny owls found in the Rockefeller Center’s iconic 75 foot tall Christmas tree when it was set up in New York City. The little stowaway had taken a towering spruce ride from a tree farm in Oneonta, New York, to the big city.
While he’s a little baffled that his big city vacation is over, we are happy to announce that Rockefeller the Owl has received a clean health certificate thanks to the efforts of the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center and our staff! pic.twitter.com/rN4uG0Iq5X
– Rockefeller Center (@rockcenternyc) November 19, 2020
When a worker spotted the owl, his wife called the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center, who met and picked them up. The brave little bird has been identified as the Northern Saw-Whet, the smallest breed in the northeastern United States.
Quickly nicknamed Rockefeller, the owl was given plenty of fluids, a buffet of mice, and x-rays to see if she was okay before being “released to continue her wild and wonderful journey,” the center said . Now he has something to write home about.