Nov 28, 2018

Axios PM

Mike Allen

Situational awareness: Rep. Nancy Pelosi is one step closer to reclaiming the speaker's gavel. She won the Democratic nomination 203-32.

Breaking: The Dow finished up more than 600 points after Fed chair Jerome Powell signaled that interest rates are "just below" neutral levels. Go deeper.

1 big thing: Hunger and climate change

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The U.N. target for eliminating global hunger by 2030 looks increasingly unlikely after three years of backsliding, with fragile food systems facing challenges that range from political instability to climate change.

The big picture: About 820 million people, or 10.7% of the global population, are malnourished, per a U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization world hunger report. That's up from 784 million in 2015. Demand for food is expected to double between 2013 and 2050.

Why it matters: “The call for action is very clear. It is possible in our lifetime and it is also realistic to end hunger and malnutrition,” said Zambian VP Inonge Wina at the UN conference today, per the AP.

Driving the news: Countries that are more exposed to climate variability have higher rates of malnutrition than those that don't, the report says.

  • The number of people facing "'crisis' levels of acute food insecurity or worse" increased from 80 to 124 million people from 2015 to 2017.
  • "The majority of people most vulnerable to climate shocks and natural hazards are the world’s 2.5 billion small-scale farmers, herders, fishers and forest-dependent communities."
  • "The number of extreme climate-related disasters, including extreme heat, droughts, floods and storms, has doubled since the early 1990s, with an average of 213 of these events occurring every year during the period of 1990–2016."

The bottom line: "Population growth requires supplies of more nutritious food at affordable prices, but increasing farm output is hard given the 'fragility of the natural resource base' since humans have outstripped Earth’s carrying capacity in terms of land, water and climate change."

Bonus: Book du jour

Margaret Atwood is writing a sequel to "Handmaid's Tale," the 1985 dystopian book that has exploded in popularity in recent years.

2. What you missed
  1. Northeastern Australia is facing an unprecedented wildfire situation and all-time record heat, with numerous milestones eclipsed during the past week in parts of Queensland. Go deeper.
  2. In a first for a major U.S. sports league, the NBA has reached an agreement that will let real-time, official stats be used to create in-game betting odds. Go deeper.
  3. By the numbers: U.K. GDP would be 3.9% smaller after 15 years under PM Theresa May's proposed Brexit plan than if the country remained in the EU, according to a new analysis.
  4. Scoop: Marijuana delivery service Eaze is in the process of closing $65 million in venture capital funding that would give it a valuation in excess of $300 million. Go deeper.
  5. Ivanka Trump defended her use of a private email account to send hundreds of emails to White House aides in an interview with ABC News, saying there is "no equivalency" to what Hillary Clinton did with a private email server.
3. 1 🎣 thing


If you've ever looked at a "Big Mouth Billy Bass" — the talking fish your uncle has on the wall at his hunting cabin — and thought, "I wish I could ask it how the stock market is doing," you're in luck.

  • "This is not your father's Big Mouth Billy Bass," said Steven Harris, vice president of product development at the parent company for Big Mouth Billy Bass.

Driving the news: The talking fish has been sold since 1999, and now comes with Amazon's Alexa functionality.

Mike Allen