Welcome back to Axios World.
- Thanks for welcoming me into your inbox. Tonight's edition is 1,790 words (7 minutes).
- Heads up: We'll be off next week but back and better than ever on Aug. 9.
New arrival? Subscribe.
Welcome back to Axios World.
New arrival? Subscribe.
Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Scott Eisen/Getty Images
The failure of rich countries to share vaccines and financial assistance with poorer ones during the pandemic will exacerbate the rise in global poverty and could come back to bite them, Nobel Prize-winning economists Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee tell Axios.
Why it matters: Duflo initially believed the pandemic would produce a “more cooperative world order” as rich countries felt compelled to show solidarity with the developing world, potentially boding well for future collaboration on issues like climate change. Now she fears the opposite.
Duflo and Banerjee — MIT professors known for their work on poverty, and also a married couple — have long advocated steps like the direct cash transfers many countries have employed to support the poor during the pandemic. But they note that poorer countries found their hands tied.
Driving the news: The IMF this week revised its 2021 growth projections upward for rich countries and downward for developing countries. Low vaccination rates have tempered hopes that low-income economies would come roaring back and the increase in poverty would be quickly erased.
Duflo and Banerjee contend that rich countries now have an enormous opportunity to expand access to vaccines and, with interests rates low and economic growth booming, to increase their aid to developing countries.
Worth noting: Rich countries including the U.S. are now donating doses, but have moved fairly cautiously while also buying up additional supply for potential boosters at home.
1. Despite a big head start, the U.S. has now administered fewer vaccinations per 100 residents than the EU.
2. Israel will begin offering a third shot of the coronavirus vaccine to people over the age of 60 starting Sunday.
3. Already contending with one of the worst coronavirus spikes anywhere in the world, Malaysia is also facing a political crisis.
Samia Suluhu Hassan gets the shot. Photo: Stringer/AFP via Getty Images
Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan was vaccinated live on TV on Wednesday to kick off the country's belated vaccination campaign, urging others to get the shot as well.
Why it matters: It's hard to imagine a sharper contrast with her predecessor, John Magufuli, who claimed Tanzania didn't need vaccines because it had already defeated the virus through prayer. He died in March, possibly of coronavirus.
Tajikistan's government has also backed off its claim that the country is virus-free — a position that grew harder to maintain as so many close associates of President Emomali Rahmon became infected.
North Korea has still not acknowledged any coronavirus cases, but the need for aid amid a COVID-related economic crisis may have motivated Kim Jong-un to renew contacts with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
Screengrab via Apple Maps
The landmarks marked with the red and purple pins are in the same city but in different countries. Can you name them?
Scroll to the bottom for an answer.
Peruvian President Pedro Castillo (C) at his inauguration. Photo: Getty Images.
Peruvian President Pedro Castillo said at his inaugural speech on Wednesday that his taking office marks "the first time that this country will be governed by a peasant."
Why it matters: The left-wing former schoolteacher signaled in the speech that he stands with Peruvians who are facing hardship and discrimination, while also reassuring foreign investors who may be poised to flood out of the country at the first whiff of nationalization.
What he's saying: Castillo said he would not live in the presidential palace — known as the "House of Pizarro — and referred back to Peru's painful colonial legacy in his speech:
"The defeat of the Inca Empire gave rise to the colonial era, it was then... that the castes and differences that persist to this day were established."
Driving the news: Castillo named a member of his own Marxist party as prime minister today. He's expected to pick a more moderate economist as finance minister.
Weightlifter Chen Lijun takes the gold. Photo: Wei Zheng/ChinaSports/VCG via Getty
China is currently tied with Japan for the most gold medals at the Olympics, one ahead of the U.S.
What I'm reading: As the NYT's Hannah Beech writes, China's emergence as an Olympic superpower followed decades of planning by the government.
Before winning gold on Saturday, Beech writes, weightlifter Hou Zhihui trained six days a week, away from her family, from the age of 12.
What to watch: As China grows wealthier, parents are less willing to enroll their children in this system, Beech writes.
Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: David Levenson, Ray Tang/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
There's a new boom in Latin American literature, and it's being led by women, my colleague Marina E. Franco writes in her Axios Latino newsletter.
The big picture: Gone are the whimsical elements in favor of suspense, the gothic and the noir.
Go deeper for more summer reading recommendations.
Making the most of a heat wave in Norilsk, Northern Siberia. Photo: Denis Kozhevnikov/TASS via Getty Images
"I felt the need. Until now, however, my voice was not as loud as it is now."— Polish rower and silver medalist Katarzyna Zillmann, who came out as gay by thanking her girlfriend in a post-race interview with state TV. That put Poland's right-wing government in an awkward spot.
Answer: The Colosseum (red pin) and St. Peter's Square (purple pin) in Vatican City.