Saudi Arabia’s first foray into global bond markets; Signs of IS leaders fleeing Mosul; Malala on education, women and men

1 Saudi Arabia’s first foray into global bond markets (Larry Elliott in The Guardian) Saudi Arabia has raised $17.5bn from its first foray into the global bond markets as it seeks to repair the damage to its public finances caused by the collapse in the oil price since 2014.

Strong investor demand meant the Middle Eastern kingdom raised more from the bond sale than had been anticipated, beating the previous record set by Argentina for an issuance by an emerging market country.

Riyadh will use the money raised to reduce a budget deficit on course to be well in excess of 10% of gross domestic product this year and to broaden the economy so that it is less dependent on oil.

Saudi Arabia – along with other oil-producing countries – was caught unawares by the fall in crude from $115 a barrel in the summer of 2014 to a low of under $30 a barrel at the end of 2015. Despite the subsequent rally to just over $50 a barrel, the oil price is still too low to balance the country’s budget.

The rating agency Standard & Poor said: “The region’s funding requirement has been mounting since 2015, when the drop in oil-related revenue turned fiscal surpluses into deficits, although these differ among the sovereigns in scale and duration. We estimate that, in nominal terms, GCC sovereigns’ combined fiscal deficit will reach $150bn (12.8% of combined GDP) in 2016 alone.

2 Signs of IS leaders fleeing Mosul (Alan Johnston on BBC) There are signs that leaders from self-styled Islamic State (IS) have fled Mosul as Iraqi forces close in on the city, the US military says. “Make no doubt the Iraqi security forces have the momentum,” Gen Gary Volesky said.

The Iraqi army has been moving towards Mosul from the south, while their Kurdish allies have been approaching from the east. There are thought to be up to 5,000 IS fighters still in the city.

The whereabouts of IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi are unknown. Some reports say he is in Mosul; others say he has fled the northern Iraqi city. It is possible that any fighters leaving the city had simply been going to man front line areas, which still lie beyond the outskirts.

Gen Volesky, who heads the land component of the US-led coalition fighting IS, said that foreign fighters are likely to form the bulk of the force who will hold out. The charity Save the Children claims that 5,000 people from the conflict area have fled to a refugee camp over the border in Syria in the last 10 days, with another 1,000 waiting at the border.

Refugee camps are being built in the south, east and north of Mosul in preparation for a flood of people fleeing the city. The UN says it expects at least 200,000 in the coming days and weeks. Up to 1.5 million civilians are thought to still be in Mosul, with those inside reporting that IS was preventing them from leaving and that they were running out of basic supplies.

There are warnings the group could use human shields or chemical weapons. It could be months before the city is liberated.

3 Malala on education, women and men (Afkar Abdullah & Saman Haziq in Khaleej Times) “My dream changed from becoming a doctor to becoming the Prime Minister of Pakistan fixing all issues and bringing in education for the girls in Pakistan, said Pakistani female education activist Malala Yousafzai, the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, in Sharjah.

Malala’s talk centered around three key areas she considered vital for women empowerment – quality education, need for women role models and role of men. I cannot imagine myself for a second without education. Education is needed the most for girls and women. We need to inspire women to dream beyond limits, in order to do that we need women role models.”

Talking about her childhood, Malala said: “When I was in Grade 4, I remember I could only think of women as doctors, teachers or otherwise housewives. But when I saw women role models, it broadened my vision. I saw Benazir Bhutto as woman leader and prime minister of Pakistan.

“I heard about women athletes, astronauts, artists, entrepreneurs and many more leading roles that women were taking up. This allowed me to recognise the potential I have as a woman to achieve anything in my life. And my dream changed from becoming a doctor to becoming the prime minister of Pakistan fixing all the issues and bringing in education to my people.”

Emphasising the fact that women’s emancipation and empowerment are incomplete without men’s participation, Malala said: “If my father did not allow me and encourage me to believe in my voice, I would not have been able to stand here and speak out. I would have been like many other girls in my hometown, who are not allowed by their brothers and parents.”

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Netflix subscriptions boom globally; UK inflation near 1%; Avocado toast and Aussie generational divide

1 Netflix subscriptions boom globally (Gulf News) Netflix added over 50 per cent more subscribers than expected in the third quarter as original shows such as “Stranger Things” drew new international viewers and kept US customers despite a price hike, sending its shares soaring 20 per cent in late trade.

The company’s performance represented a turnaround from the previous quarter of disappointing subscription growth. Netflix, which has spent heavily to expand outside its home market, also said that it was on track to start harvesting “material global profits” next year, even as it raised spending on original programming.

Netflix added about 3.20 million subscribers internationally in the third quarter, higher than the 2.01 million average analyst estimate. In the US, Netflix added 370,000 subscriptions, compared with analysts’ estimate of 309,000, according to research firm FactSet StreetAccount..

Netflix has expanded into more than 130 markets worldwide, including most major countries, except China. It said it was dropping plans to launch a service in China in the near term, opting instead to licence its shows for “modest” revenue. The company said it still hopes to launch service in China “eventually.”

2 UK inflation near 1% (Phillip Inman, Sarah Butler & Larry Elliott in The Guardian) Britain’s biggest supermarket has warned that dearer food prices triggered by the plunge in the value of the pound will have a lethal impact on poor families worst affected by the expected jump in inflation over the next two years.

Although a price war among the leading food retailers has so far blunted the impact of more expensive imports on grocery bills, Tesco’s UK chief executive, Matt Davies, said rising prices would be “toxic” for consumers if stores found that they had to pass on extra costs.

Official figures from the Office for National Statistics showed the annual inflation rate rising from 0.6% to 1% in September, its highest for almost two years. The ONS said the cost of living had yet to be much affected by the drop in the value of the pound seen since the EU referendum, but the Bank of England, the International Monetary Fund and City economists believe that inflation will rise above the government’s 2% target in early 2017 and will reach at least 3% by the end of the year.

3 Avocado toast and Aussie generation divide (BBC) Millennials – give up your smashing avocado toast brunches and buy a house instead. That’s the message coming from Australia this week, leaving young people on social media outraged, and those who are a little more seasoned in years scratching their heads.

A column at the weekend for The Australian newspaper by “baby boomer” columnist Bernard Salt contained one paragraph asking why young people today spend their cash on fancy breakfast rather than saving for a property.

“I can afford to eat this for lunch because I am middle-aged and have raised my family. But how can young people afford to eat like this? Shouldn’t they be economising by eating at home? How often are they eating out? Twenty-two dollars several times a week could go towards a deposit on a house.”

Mockery erupted on social media over the mathematics, which suggest you could stop a weekly brunch for well over a century and still not quite reach your savings goal. Comedian Deirdre Fidge, writing for SBS, decided to share her “life story”, titled “I Stopped Eating Smashed Avocado And Now I Own A Castle”.

But the comic reaction masked a concern by some that young people simply can’t access the housing market no matter how much they save – so are spending their cash on enjoying life instead. “What do you do when you can’t afford to buy somewhere to live? Well, you decide to live,” Bridget Delaney wrote in The Guardian.

Australian foodie magazine Broadsheet – which is naturally at the centre of the smashed avocado circle – argued that cafes have become a social hub for millennials, whose friends are spread far and wide. But they’ve gone one step further – collaborating with some of their favourite cafes to launch “home savers” specials to several menus this week – at about A$11 each.

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US factory output up; Zombie banks stalk European economy; Hindus for Trump

1 US factory output up (Gulf News) Output at US manufacturers rose for the third time in four months on production of consumer goods and construction materials, a sign the industry is gradually recovering from a prolonged spell of weakness.

The 0.2 per cent gain at factories, which make up 75 per cent of production, followed a 0.5 per cent decrease the prior month, a Federal Reserve report showed. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a 0.1 per cent gain. Total industrial production, which also includes mines and utilities, increased 0.1 per cent.

Production is beginning to revive due to a diminishing drag from a range of forces including lower oil prices, the strong dollar and weak overseas markets. Steady household spending, the biggest part of the economy, also is a sign factories will keep busy in coming months and gradually begin to contribute to economic growth. Manufacturing accounts for about 12 per cent of the economy.

2 Zombie banks stalk European economy (San Francisco Chronicle) The walking dead are gnawing at Europe’s weak economy — zombie banks and zombie companies.

Almost a decade after the financial crisis that ravaged the global economy, analysts and top officials are warning that too many banks in Europe are struggling financially, keeping them from lending to companies and fostering growth.

Calls to fix the problem have come repeatedly from the International Monetary Fund, US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, and European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi. They say something has to be done if Europe’s economy is to gain more traction and bring down unemployment.

Here is a look at Europe’s slow-burning banking crisis and how it hurts the economy. Soured loans are one of the biggest problems, especially in Italy. They create a vicious cycle: the slow economy means businesses can’t repay their loans. That leaves the banks short of cash to finance new business ventures, which holds back the economy even more.

Banks under financial pressure, meanwhile, tend to prop up “zombie” companies by extending loans rather than pressing for repayment. A group of economists has found that banks under stress tend to maintain credit to companies they already have a relationship with, even if those companies are struggling. Yanking credit to such companies would mean recognizing the bank’s own losses on the loans.

Weak share prices for banks have compounded the problems, as they make it harder for banks to raise money from investors. All of this would be less of a problem if banks made enough money to build new capital reserves. But earnings have been sagging, too. Return on banks’ loans and investments has not recovered to the levels seen before the crisis.

The ECB and IMF argue that European banks should fix their underlying business models: their costs are too high and they have too many branches. That’s particularly true at a time when more banking is done online. In some countries, customers can withdraw cash at grocery stores and gas stations as they check out with the milk and broccoli — no teller involved.

The banks’ situation is further complicated by new European Union restrictions on government bailouts. The new rules, which took effect this year, are meant to protect taxpayers from picking up the bill for rescuing banks — as happened during the financial crisis, overwhelming entire states’ finances as in the case of Ireland.

3 Hindus for Trump (Rahmee Kumar in The Guardian) Three weeks before the election, Donald Trump made a brief but rousing appearance at the Republican Hindu Coalition’s (RHC) Humanity United Against Terror charity concert, an event framed around raising money to combat “radical Islamic terrorism”, particularly for Hindus from Bangladesh and Kashmir.

“I’m a big fan of Hindu, and I’m a big fan of India,” Trump told hundreds of enthusiastic attendees in Edison, New Jersey, a town known for its sizable South Asian population. Trump, after lighting Diwali lamps onstage with the RHC’s founding chairman, Shalabh “Shalli” Kumar, said: “The Indian and Hindu community will have a true friend in the White House.

The Republican nominee went on to praise the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, as a “great man” and confused the 2001 Indian parliament attack with the 2008 Mumbai attacks in his pledge to fight terrorism.

The RHC supports Trump’s stances on immigration and terrorism, including his “extreme vetting” policy on incoming refugees, said Kumar, a businessman originally from Punjab.

“The Islamic extremist terrorists have declared a war on us. They have declared they will use every possible means to infiltrate into the US through refugees coming in who have nothing but a piece of paper with their name and not even a passport or birth certificate,” Kumar said. “We should also monitor the mosques throughout the US and wherever the centers of this type of activity exist.”

The RHC plans to donate half of the event’s proceeds to Hindu refugees from Bangladesh and Kashmiri Hindus, known as Hindu pandits, who underwent what Kumar called “the second Hindu holocaust”, the first being Partition after India’s independence in 1947 from British colonial rule, he said.

Kumar said Hindu Republicans, who make up about 13% of the Hindu American population, align with Trump on four major policy principles: free enterprise with small government, fiscal discipline with a constitutional amendment to eliminate deficits, legislation that upholds the “traditional” family unit, and a firm foreign policy stance against terrorism.

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China launches manned space mission; Xi sees global economy in precarious state; Let the pound fall and economy rise

1 China launches manned space mission (BBC) China has launched two men into orbit in a project designed to develop its ability to explore space. The astronauts took off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northern China. They will dock with the experimental Tiangong 2 space lab and spend 30 days there, the longest stay in space by Chinese astronauts.

This and previous launches are seen as pointers to possible crewed missions to the Moon or Mars. An earlier Tiangong – or “Heavenly Palace” – space station was decommissioned earlier this year after docking with three rockets.

China plans to expand the lab over the next few years by sending up additional modules. It is expected to be fully operational by 2022. China is only the third country – after Russia and the US – to carry out its own crewed space missions. In 2013 it successfully landed its un-crewed Yutu, or Jade Rabbit, rover on the Moon.

2 Xi sees global economy in precarious state (Gulf News) China’s President Xi Jinping warned Sunday that the global economy remained in a precarious condition as leaders of the BRICS group of nations tried to find ways to fire up growth in the troubled bloc.

Speaking at a summit in the Indian state of Goa, Xi told his host Narendra Modi and the leaders of Russia, Brazil and South Africa that the club of emerging powers had been undermined by both domestic and international woes.

But the leader of the world’s second largest economy said the long-term forecast for Brics members was positive as he called for more confidence-building measures. Brics was formed in 2011 with the aim of using members’ growing economic and political influence to challenge Western hegemony.

The nations, with a joint estimated GDP of $16 trillion, set up their own bank in parallel to the Washington-based International Monetary Fund and World Bank and hold summits rivalling the G7 forum. But the countries, accounting for 53 per cent of world population, have been hit by falling global demand and lower commodity prices, while several have also been mired in corruption scandals.

3 Let the pound fall and economy rise (Larry Elliott in The Guardian) Put the Brexit vote to one side for a second and ask yourself the following questions: is the economy currently unbalanced? Is growth too dependent on consumer spending and asset price bubbles? Is the productive base of the economy too small? Is it a problem that the UK is running a balance of payments deficit worth 6% of GDP, bigger than ever before in peacetime?

If your answer to these four questions is yes – as it should be – then you need to accept that there is an upside to the falling pound. Indeed, many of those who are now talking about a sterling crisis were last year bemoaning the fact that Greece – trapped as it was inside the eurozone – did not have the benefit of a floating currency and so had to use a brutal internal devaluation involving wage cuts, pension reductions and welfare retrenchment to restore its competitiveness.

Britain has discovered a way of living beyond its means. Assets are sold to overseas buyers bringing capital into the country to offset the balance of payments deficit. It is the equivalent of a once well-to-do household that has fallen on hard times pawning the silver to keep up appearances. At some point, referendum or no referendum, the financial markets were going to say enough is enough and it is delusional to think otherwise.

Running permanent balance of payment deficits amounts to borrowing growth from the future. Sooner or later, it has to be paid back and Brexit means it will be sooner. A weaker pound works by making exports cheaper and imports dearer. The effect, as after all the other devaluations and depreciations of the past 100 years – 1931, 1949, 1967, 1976, 1992 and 2007 – will make the economy less dependent on consumers and more reliant on producers.

Will dearer food and the coming squeeze on living standards will prompt a change of heart about Brexit? Remainers should not bank on it. Life has not been great for many in recent years anyway. What’s more, Britain is a country with a streak of cussedness that delights in having its back to the wall.

Profound economic change is usually the result of a convulsive shock, of which Brexit is clearly one. The referendum should lead to a period of national introspection and a willingness to address the fundamental vulnerabilities of the economy. If it doesn’t, the opportunity to set sail from fantasy island will be lost.

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Global liquidity to stay abundant; To do an MBA or not; Anger of India’s Marathas

1 Global liquidity to stay abundant (Khaleej Times) Despite US Fed hikes, global liquidity will remain extremely abundant due to monetary easing by other central banks (ECB, BoE, BoJ, China), according to Euler Hermes, the worldwide leader in trade credit insurance.

In its updated risk analysis for Q3 2016, the company notes, however, that global growth should reach its lowest level in 2016 2.4 per cent and will in 2017 be below three per cent for the seventh consecutive year, driven up by the US and emerging markets.

“Global liquidity should remain abundant due to further monetary easing by major central banks, despite the US Fed hikes,” said Ludovic Subran, chief economist at Euler Hermes. “However, low rates and monetary policies are far from uniform, so liquidity can move rapidly across the regions, generating volatility and turbulences.”

Euler Hermes identified various alerts coming from the regional tectonic plates: The US economy should benefit from resilient consumption due to increasing confidence and private investment. The stronger economic activity will alleviate the downward pressures on main suppliers of the industrial sector. The expected Fed hikes have limited impact on emerging market currencies.

Fine-tuned macro policies in China are aimed at supporting growth, expected at +6.5 per cent in 2016 and +6.4 per cent in 2017. There will, however, be lower demand for foreign goods, negative price pressures and financial stress.

In Europe, growth is expected to remain stable at +1.6 per cent due to a better policy mix. The ECB’s Quantative Easing (QE) programme is Europe’s biggest safety belt and has doubled to 630 billion euros. The region is characterised by multiple political uncertainties including Brexit, upcoming elections and several points of tension.

Emerging markets will face various situations. Expected growth of +3.8 per cent in 2016 and +4.4 per cent in 2017 will, respectively, contribute to 1.5pp and 1.7pp of global growth. While Brazil and Russia should exit recession, the credit crunch and exchange rate crisis impact several other countries such as Mexico, Nigeria, Turkey or Venezuela.

2 To do an MBA or not (Lee Xin En in Straits Times) Amid the gloom of an economic downturn, the prospect of a challenging job market and the Government’s exhortations to upgrade our skills, many are looking into the next step to propel their career forward.

One option that seems to promise bigger salaries and a higher rung on the management ladder is to enrol in a top business school for a Master of Business Administration. Many senior and successful people felt that learning on the job was more important. Several pointed out that MBA graduates still had to be taught managerial skills and had to be treated like most new employees.

But in my interviews with MBA graduates, many felt they could not have learnt as much and as quickly about so many different industries in this way. At an information session at Insead last week, I was struck by the soft skills, such as negotiation, that can be learnt in an MBA class through real-life situations.

The other criticism of the MBA, which is often voiced more vociferously, is its cost. This year, Insead’s 10-month MBA costs €73,500 for tuition. That does not include accommodation and living expenses. The top American MBA programmes, which typically take two years to complete, cost about $70,000 for tuition.

For those interested in joining start-ups or looking for a partner to start one, business school seems like a good place to begin. What most savvy investors talk about when they discuss a good investment is often related to their relationships and personal development.

In my opinion, an MBA is a good investment if you are genuinely interested in business-related topics – the better if the MBA’s focus is specific and you want to find people with whom you can develop in tandem, with common career and industry interests.

3 Anger of India’s Marathas (The Guardian) Over the past two months, at least a dozen cities in the western Indian state of Maharashtra have exploded in an unprecedented outburst of popular uprising from the Maratha community, made up of the landowning farmer castes. The Marathas comprise a third of Maharashtra’s 114 million population.

The silent protests began in July after the gang rape and murder of a 15-year-old Maratha girl in the village of Kopardi, allegedly by “untouchable” Dalit men. The incident stirred up anger in the Maratha community, who argued that the police and media were neglecting the case in the interests of political correctness.

In India, for generations, low-caste Dalit people were considered “dirty” in the Hindu caste system. After independence in 1947, caste was formally abolished, but continued to be one of the most important identity markers, especially in rural India.

Maratha activists argue that if the girl had been Dalit, and her alleged rapists and killers had been high-caste men, the narrative would be far more appealing to politicians and journalists, who want to be seen as champions of the underdog Dalit community. Discrimination, they say, has now swung in the opposite direction: Dalits enjoy the benefits of affirmative action in jobs and universities, while farmers face neglect from successive governments.

The Marathas are so neglected that when the first march happened, in the city of Aurangabad, none of the major local newspaper or television outlets bothered to turn up, says Bhaiya Patil, a 28-year-old activist who has become the social media manager of the movement.

“There were 500,000 people in the street and no one was interested. There was no footage, no cameras, no coverage. That’s why we turned to social media. We started posting our own pictures and video and suddenly everyone started listening. It gave us our voice.”

The marches are silent, but their demands are loud and clear. The movement brings together the economic and social grievances of millions of people across Maharashtra. They want reforms in the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, which they argue is unfairly used against higher-caste communities.

They want to be included in the list of “other backward castes”, which gives welfare benefits to listed castes and which politicians change every election season to win votes. The Marathas also want loan repayments cancelled and a fund for drought-hit farmers.

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Record car sales in Europe; Singapore faces up to slow growth; ‘Last battle’ against Isis in Iraq

1 Record car sales in Europe (San Francisco Chronicle) Europe’s car industry continues to rebound from its longest-ever slump, posting 7 percent growth in September to reach the highest level on record for the month.

Italy and Spain significantly outpaced the market, contributing double-digit growth as sales in the European Union reached a September record of 1.45 million units, the European manufacturers’ body, ACEA, said. Still, the three-year growth streak has not yet returned the overall market to pre-crisis levels, which peaked at nearly 16 million units in 2007 before dropping by a quarter over six years.

New car registrations over the first nine months of the year rose 8 percent to 11.2 million units with growth in the big five markets of Italy, Spain, Germany, France and Britain. ACEA has forecast sales to reach around 14 million this year.

IHS Markit analyst Ian Fletcher called the result “a return to normality” but noted that growth was driven by fleet registrations “and not all of it natural corporate demand.” IHS forecasts full-year sales at 14.757 million units, before flattening next year at around 14.59 million.

2 Singapore faces up to slow growth (Chia Yan Min in Straits Times) The Singapore economy is on track to log its slowest rate of growth since 2009, and few companies have been spared the effects. Business has stagnated and firms are bracing themselves for the coming winter.

The economy is projected to expand by 1 to 2 per cent this year, in what could be the slowest year since the global financial crisis. Companies in the hardest-hit sectors have had no choice but to lay off staff.

Against the backdrop of one of the worst slumps the global oil and gas industry has seen in decades, thousands of workers in that sector here have lost their jobs, as firms tried to slash costs amid the plunge in oil prices. The collapse of debt-laden offshore services firm Swiber Holdings is stoking concerns in the credit markets over banks’ exposure to the oil and gas sector.

Banks themselves have not been having an easy time – the poor outlook has resulted in savage staff cutbacks across the industry. The manufacturing sector, which makes up a fifth of the economy and has been hit hard by lacklustre export demand, has been shedding workers every quarter for about two years.

Meanwhile, bank lending to corporates has been on a downward trend over the past year – a sign that firms are borrowing less for expansion and investment. Amid high costs and flagging sales, a growing number of companies are buckling under the pressure. About 42,000 businesses were shut down in the first six months of this year, compared with 49,000 over the whole of last year.

Minister for Trade and Industry (Trade) Lim Hng Kiang told Parliament earlier this week that a recession is unlikely to set in, but the possibility that the Singapore economy could see some quarters of negative growth cannot be ruled out.

3 ‘Last battle against Isis in Iraq (Martin Chulov in The Guardian) Iraqi and Kurdish forces are finalising plans to attack the last urban stronghold of Islamic State in Iraq, the northern city of Mosul, which after a month-long buildup is now largely surrounded by a 60,000-strong force.

The assault could begin as early as this weekend and is the most critical challenge yet to Isis’s two-year-old “caliphate”, which had shredded state authority in the region’s heartland, led to a mass exodus of refugees, attempted a genocide of minorities and led to grave doubts over Iraq’s viability.

Iraqi forces, which have driven hundreds of miles for what Baghdad has hailed as a last battle against the terror group, moved into their final positions on Friday, joining Kurdish Peshmerga soldiers ahead of an expected advance from the south. Also on the ground are US, British and French special forces, who have been advising Peshmerga troops.

Isis is thought to have around 6,000 fighters ready to defend Mosul, hidden among an estimated civilian population of 600,000, most of whom are expected to flee as the battle intensifies.

The UN estimates that as many as 700,000 of Mosul’s residents will be in desperate need as the attack gets under way. At least another 600,000 residents and residents of the Nineveh plains are already receiving aid after fleeing the city after the Isis invasion.

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World’s first drone delivery service in Rwanda; HP to shed 3,000 jobs in three years; Will jobs exist in 2050?

1 World’s first drone delivery service in Rwanda (Dan Simmons on BBC) What is being hailed as the world’s first commercial regular drone delivery service is beginning drop-offs in Rwanda. The operation uses fixed-wing drones that automatically fly to destinations in the central African nation.

They release small packages attached to parachutes without needing to land at the delivery points before returning. Zipline – the US start-up running the project – is made up of engineers who formerly worked at Space X, Google, Lockheed Martin and other tech companies.

Its drones will initially be used to deliver blood, plasma, and coagulants to hospitals across rural western Rwanda, helping to cut waiting times from hours to minutes. The aircraft are launched from a catapult and fly below 500ft (152m) to avoid the airspace used by passenger planes. They have an operational range of 150km (93 miles) but could, in theory, fly almost twice that distance.

The company says the cost per trip is roughly equal to that of the current delivery method, by motorbike or ambulance. Although Rwanda’s military has shown interest in Zipline’s work, the country’s information and communications technology minister has said it has no plans for the defence department to use the technology.

2 HP to cut 3,000 jobs in three years (San Francisco Chronicle) HP Inc. says it will cut 3,000 to 4,000 jobs over the next three years as it faces continued challenges in the markets for personal computers and printers.

The cuts are in addition to 3,000 jobs that HP previously said it was trimming this fiscal year. A spokeswoman said the company has about 50,000 employees worldwide.
HP has been grappling with shrinking demand for PCs and printers as more people use smartphones and store documents and photos online. CEO Dion Weisler hopes to build the business by selling more high-end PCs, office printers and 3D printing systems.

HP is one of two companies formed last year by the break-up of the old Hewlett-Packard, Inc. The other, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, primarily sells servers and other data-center technology.

3 Will jobs exist in 2050? (Charlotte Seager in The Guardian) What will the job market look like by 2050? Will 40% of roles have been lost to automation – as predicted by Oxford university economists Dr Carl Frey and Dr Michael Osborne – or will there still be jobs even if the nature of work is exceptionally different from today?

The future of work will soon become “the survival of the most adaptable”, says Paul Mason, emerging technologies director for Innovate UK. As new technologies fundamentally change the way we work, the jobs that remain will be multifaceted and changeable.

“Workers of the future will need to be highly adaptable and juggle three or more different roles at a time,” says Anand Chopra-McGowan, head of enterprise new markets for General Assembly. So ongoing education will play a key role in helping people develop new skills.

It may be the case that people need to consistently retrain to keep up-to-date with the latest technological advances, as jobs are increasingly automated and made redundant. The idea of a “job for life” will be well and truly passé. “In 2050 people will continually need to update their skills for jobs of the moment, but I have an optimistic view that there will continue to be employment if these skills are honed,” adds Chopra-McGowan.

However, Mark Spelman, co-head of future of the internet interactive, member of the executive committee for the World Economic Forum, says there will be winners and losers in this new world. “The idea of continuous training is optimistic – I imagine there will be one-day training blitzes where people learn new skills quickly, and then are employed for a month while they’re needed.”

For businesses, this means keeping on top of the latest technological advances. The idea of productivity was forged in the industrial revolution, so it’s no surprise that this may soon become an outdated way of viewing work. “There’s no shortage of work in society – there’s loads of jobs like caring, looking after children and volunteer work, for which we do not assign a value,” says Magdalena Bak-Maier, founder and managing director of Make Time Count.

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