The world this week
In an unexpected move, Facebook blocked news content on its sites in Australia, and also stopped people outside the country from viewing Australian news publications on its platforms. The social-media giant took the action after the lower house of parliament passed a bill that would force it to pay for news content that has been shared by users; it says the law is unclear about what constitutes “news”.
Facebook’s defiant tone was a stark contrast to Google’s global agreement to pay News Corporation for content from its publications, which include the Wall Street Journal and the Sun in Britain. Google was also under threat from the proposed law in Australia and had warned that it would shut its search engine there.
Bernard Arnault, the chairman of LVMH, a French luxury-goods group, is joining the growing list of business leaders who have set up a special-purpose acquisition company. A SPAC is a shell company that lists on a stock exchange with the intent of merging with an existing company, enabling the firm to raise capital without the slog of an IPO. They became popular in America in 2020, but are now taking off in Europe, too. Mr Arnault’s investment company is launching its spac with other investors to look for deals in financial services.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was appointed as the new director-general of the World Trade Organisation. She is the first African and the first woman to hold the job. The Trump administration had opposed the nomination of Ms Okonjo-Iweala, a former Nigerian finance minister, claiming that she lacks experience. But her only rival, Yoo Myung-hee, South Korea’s trade minister, withdrew her candidacy in early February, soon after Joe Biden took office.
China displaced America as the European Union’s biggest trading partner last year, according to official data, with both exports and imports growing. America remains the EU’s biggest export market (followed by Britain), but overall trade slumped between the two after their economies tanked during the pandemic.
Official statistics confirmed that Britain’s GDP contracted by 9.9% in 2020, the worst performance in the G7. The economic recovery that began mid-year stalled when the second wave of the pandemic took hold. The Treasury’s average of forecasts suggests that the economy will grow by 4.4% this year and 5.7% in 2022, depending on what happens with COVID-19.
Japan’s economy shrank by 4.8% in 2020. The country’s economic output picked up towards the end of the year, helped by a surge in exports.
He delivered his election forecast.
The surge in car sales was regarded as an encouraging pointer to an improvement in the economy.
3.pick up 捡起
We can pick up Mexican television.
The news is not yet official.