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Trumponomics, Earth Overshot, tea in crisis. 6-12 August: What just happened?

The Donald unveils his 'economic plans', humanity reaches Earth Overshoot Day and tea sales fall in Britain (really). Here's our review of the news over the last seven days

No surprise, there’s been more controversy from ‘The Donald’ this week

Donald Trump set out his economic plan this week, and unsurprisingly it’s caused yet more controversy. Basically, he’s outlined his vision for the US economy and a lot of people have responded: “WTF are you on about?” One of the main reasons is that it’s not particularly clear. For example, he criticises many of the trade deals that America has signed up to in the past, but doesn’t really explain what he’d do instead, other than promising to support different “great trade deals”. Trouble is, no one knows what that means. The New York Times carries out a useful fact-check so you can have a go at working it out for yourself!

Earth Overshoot Day arrives, which basically means we’re all crap at looking after the planet

Two planet Earths, side by side

Monday was what’s known as ‘Earth Overshoot Day, marking the point at which humanity has used up its allocation of for the year. In fact, it’s come on the earliest day in the year ever. Shit. We’ve explained how they work this out here – basically, it’s like we’ve gone into our overdraft eight months into a year’s budget. To find out how your country is doing, take a look at these interactive maps by the Global Footprint Network, the folks that produced the report in the first place, and have a read of this article from Quartz.

The terrible toll of trafficking on Nigerian women seems to be getting worse

A Nigerian sex worker stands behind a fence in Italy

The trafficking of Nigerian women has reached ‘crisis level', according to a new report. Human trafficking is defined as the recruitment and transfer of people for the purpose of exploitation by means of threat, deception, or force. 5,633 women were trafficked from Nigeria in 2015. Who's going to stop this? A lot of these women are vulnerable to trafficking because of corruption, violence and debts back home. but it's Italy and Europe that's creating demand for the service, and letting the traffickers get away with it. And really, it's an issue of human rights and what can and can't be sold, meaning the United Nations would have to step in. Some NGOs have been set up already to support these women, but a heck of a lot more needs to be done to stop the exploitation from continuing.

As the Zambian presidential elections take place, it’s all about the price of copper

A crowd of government supporters in Zambia
Image: © Moses Mwape / AP/Press Association Images

Voting is underway in Zambia, and it looks like it’s going to be close. The contestants are the governing PF party and the challenging UPND. Like so many other recent elections, it’s the economy that’s taking center stage, with both sides promising to fix it (whatever that really means). The big problem has been the collapse of the country’s copper industry. Zambia was Africa’s second biggest producer, but a fall in the price of the metal - partly down to the fact that countries like China aren’t buying as much of it - means a lot of mines have closed and jobs have been lost. It even had to ask for help from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which is basically the world’s ‘bank of mum and dad’, earlier this year. Awks. Check out this report from CCTV for more info.

In other news...

Poundshop purse. Ho Ching, the wife of Singapore’s PM, has been making the headlines after carrying a blue and white dinosaur printed purse on recent visit to the White House. Why, you may ask? Well it only cost $11 - which, for some reason, has caused a bit of stir. We think it’s pretty cool.

Fat cats getting fatter. The pay of big bosses in the UK just keeps going up. According to a new report this week, the average pay of chief executives of the country’s major firms was up by 10% to $7.1m. And this at a time when only a quarter of the same companies pay the living wage, making the CEOs 140 times better paid than their average worker.

Building Bad. Workers in North Korea have reportedly been given ‘crystal meth’ in an attempt to make them finish the skyscraper they’ve been constructing ahead of time. The drugs trade is big in the country, with methamphetamine apparently being produced in state-run labs, in order to stimulate the economy. Walt and Jesse would be so proud.

Breaking Bad

If you’re from Britain get ready for some truly shocking news: people are drinking less tea

A cup of tea

Following recent reports that they’re having less sex, young people are now also supposedly drinking less tea too. In the UK, that’s a big deal. Sales of tea bags have fallen by 14% in the last couple of years and are expected to drop even further. Tea has traditionally been big business. But sales are sliding fast, from $636m in 2010 to $550 last year. That’s for ordinary ‘breakfast tea’ - what’s often called ‘builder’s tea’ or just ‘tea’ in Britain. But sales of coffee and herbal and fruit teas are all up, suggesting the humble cuppa might be on its way out. No fear of that in the Economy office though, we can’t get enough of it. In fact, the kettle’s just boiled. Byee.

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