Friday, October 22, 2021

Evergrande, Instagram’s Damage to Teenage Girls, and India’s K Craze | Art and culture news

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Another week has passed and Friday is here. What is the progress of vaccines? It depends on who you ask. Is the pandemic getting better or worse? It depends on where you look. And how is the global economy doing as it tries to recover from COVID-19? Once again, it is in the eye of the beholder. The United Nations warned this week that developing countries could bear most of the costs of the pandemic.

This week we had a variety of numbers and stories to choose from. We handpicked easy-to-digest little news nuggets for you – five numbers we think you should know before the weekend.

Some are updates on already depressing situations, such as the worsening gasoline price crisis in Lebanon. Others are new discoveries. The Wall Street Journal revealed this week that Facebook knows exactly how its Instagram photo-sharing app is harming girls’ mental health.

And, of course, we do not forget the story that legions of investors are getting more and more nervous. China’s Evergrande Group, the world’s most indebted real estate developer, could be headed for a disorderly debt default that could have far-reaching consequences for the world’s second-largest economy and beyond.

If all of this makes you want to snuggle up at home, hold your remote, and watch Netflix all weekend, you’re not alone. The Indians, locked up to stop the spread of the coronavirus, have been doing just that: bingeing on Netflix. Your preference so clear? Dramas from South Korea.

We have those stories and more. So start reading and enjoy the weekend.

10

Those are the years since the Occupy Wall Street protesters gathered in Lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park. His protest ignited a national dialogue in the United States and beyond on income inequality, incorporating terms like “the one percent” and “the 99 percent” into the modern lexicon.

Occupy Wall Street was born in the wake of the Great Recession that spanned from December 2007 to June 2009. As the world marks Occupy’s 10th anniversary, Al Jazeera’s Courtney Kealy explores what the movement accomplished, its influence on a generation and where it leads at a time when the richest 1 percent dominate a dizzying 28.8 percent of America’s wealth. Read that story here.

38 percent

On Friday, the Lebanese government raised gasoline prices by nearly 38 percent in a bid to cut fuel subsidies completely and combat crippling fuel shortages.

The price of 20 liters of 95-octane and 98-octane gasoline rose to 174,300 ($ 11.24) and 180,000 ($ 11.64) Lebanese pounds respectively on Friday, the equivalent of almost a quarter of what a person earns with minimum wage per month.

Lebanese authorities raised gasoline prices to help with gasoline shortages [File: Mohamed Azakir/Reuters]

The rise in the price of gasoline is one of the first measures of the new Lebanese government of Prime Minister Najib Mikati, who has the herculean task of pulling the country out of an economic crisis that the World Bank classifies as one of the three worst in the world in terms of the last 150 years. years.

Like Al Jazeera’s Kareem Chehayeb has that story here.

$ 300 billion

That’s the amount of debt that China’s Evergrande Group is sinking under. And concerns are mounting that if it defaults on its debt, it could spell disaster for China’s housing market and send shockwaves to the world’s second-largest economy.

Evergrande, founded in 1996, is currently the world’s most indebted real estate developer with 1,300 real estate projects in 280 cities in China.

Will China’s authorities plan to allow Evergrande’s creditors to absorb the pain of a default, or will the country’s communist government step in to soften the blow?

Al Jazeera’s Kaelyn Forde dives into everything you need to know about Evergrande and its potentially far-reaching issues. Read that story here.

One in three – one in three

This is how many adolescent body problems are made worse by using Facebook’s photo-sharing app Instagram, revealed a trove of documents viewed by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

Instagram owner Facebook knows its photo-sharing app is ruining the mental health of an entire generation of girls, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. [File: Thomas White/Reuters]

“Teens blame Instagram for increases in the rate of anxiety and depression,” reads a slide seen by the WSJ. “This reaction was spontaneous and consistent in all groups.”

The findings are part of WSJ’s “The Facebook Files” series, which revealed this week, among other things, that Facebook executives are fully aware that their Instagram app is toxic to teenage girls.

Facebook paid $ 1 billion for Instagram in 2012 and sees the photo-sharing app, focused on posting perfect photos, as critical to growing its young user base.

More than 40 percent of Instagram users are 22 or younger, while Facebook’s youth audience has declined in recent years. You do the math. More on that story here.

178 percent

That’s how many Korean noodles Indians consumed so far in 2021 than in all of 2020, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to India’s growing infatuation with all things Korean.

South Korean television dramas have taken India by storm since the country entered strict lockdowns last year, sparking a love for Korean food, language classes and beauty products.

Indians across the country are copying the dance moves of K-pop bands like BTS [File: Yoan Valat/Reuters]

With Indians watching K-dramas excessively, Netflix saw a massive 370 percent increase in K-drama viewership in 2020 over 2019, according to Euromonitor.

“For Indians accustomed to Bollywood melodrama and masala, K-dramas have it all: songs, a Mills and Boon romance often performed in foreign places, some light humor, and all the tropes that commercial Indian cinema he’s famous, “writes Al Jazeera’s Suparna. Sharma. Read their report here.

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