In The News

Robert Skidelsky April 17, 2020
Initial news reports on the COVID-19 pandemic focus on prevention, case totals and economic impact. Attention could soon turn to the crowding, lack of biodiversity and climate change that allows pathogens to emerge and spread around dense communities and a human population that approaches 8 billion. Some public health analysts contend that the world can anticipate more epidemics due to...
April 16, 2020
Confirmed cases of COVID-19 remain deceptively low throughout Latin America, yet the exponential spread will hit the region hard. A group of former leaders point to uneven policy response and warn that the shock and uncertainty could pose catastrophic consequences for the region. Leaders must move rapidly, prioritizing public health rather than trying to evade the threat with populism,...
Indra Ekmanis April 16, 2020
In confronting the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries quickly abandoned international cooperation and leadership traditions. “A global response is critical to tackling the challenges posed by the virus – from sharing data that accurately models the crisis, to collaborating on a vaccine and its equitable distribution,” suggested Nicholas Burns, former US ambassador to NATO during an interview with...
Marian Blasberg, Georg Fahrion, Alexander Sarovic and Fritz Schaap April 15, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic pushed government officials at all levels to place big orders for medical protective gear. Then suppliers cancel orders after the US president implemented the Defense Production Act, allowing the US government to commandeer supply chains, even convincing Chinese manufacturers to cancel contracts for products already paid for by other customers. “The World Trade Organization...
Philip Blenkinsop, April 15, 2020
The economic downturn from the COVID-19 pandemic disrupts supply chains and could reduce trade by up to a third. The World Trade Organization predicts a range between 13 and 32 percent, “a wide range because so much about the economic impact of the health crisis was uncertain,” reports Philip Blenkinsop for the World Economic Forum and Reuters. At the height of the 2009 debt crisis, trade dropped...
Michael J. D. Vermeer, Evan D. Peet April 14, 2020
Analysts anticipate that quantum computers will readily break encryptions of any type within the next 15 years, and RAND researchers urge government action to develop standardized post-quantum cryptography and review archives of encrypted materials. “If adequate implementation of PQC has not taken place by the time capable quantum computers are developed, it may become impossible to ensure secure...
April 14, 2020
Economic shutdowns worldwide aim to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, yet disrupt food industry supply chains. The challenges include both shortages and waste as market demand shifts from large institutions, resorts, hotels and restaurants to households. Many businesses cannot quickly redirect or repackage supplies for household use, and producers discard perishable goods with a short shelf life. “...