What are we reading? August 15, 2019


Each week, BIV staff will share with you some of the interesting stories we have found from around the web.


Mark Falkenberg, deputy managing editor:

Tidy summary of why the clock is running out fast on U.S. economic growth, and how Trump’s China tariffs are greasing the gears of a big recession. – Daily Kos



A new revelation about the death of Jeffrey Epstein should kick conspiracy theories into double overdrive. Epstein, who was found hanging in his cell in a Manhattan prison last Saturday, had broken bones in his neck that are “typically more consistent with death by homicidal strangulation than by suicidal hanging.” – Talking Points Memo



Glen Korstrom, reporter:

This article is a few years old but I found it fascinating. It’s from the free language-training website Duolingo, which claims to have 120 million users around the world who are learning 19 different languages. This article uses data from those users to determine which languages people study in different countries. The first and second most popular languages are then mapped out in colours. English is understandably the most studied language around the world and the article shows that graphically while adding insight on what language is next across national boundaries around the globe. – Duolingo



This U.N. Refugee Agency review of 2018 casts a bleak picture of the way millions around the world live, and where. Packed with stats, it reveals things such as that Canada accepted 28,100 of the 92,400 refugees who were resettled in 25 countries in 2018 – the most in the world. – UNHCR



The business of running a restaurant is changing with the surge in delivery orders. This lengthy article clarifies the difference between virtual restaurants and ghost kitchens and documents the phenomenon. – New York Times



Nelson Bennett, reporter:

Asking if a global recession is just around the corner is a bit like asking if it will eventually rain. Business cycles are, well, cyclical, and recessions are inevitable. “We are always headed towards a recession, sometime,” says Joe Childey in the Financial Post. “A more interesting question than when it will occur might be how it will play out.” – Financial Post




Russia is developing a nuclear-powered missile that could fly pretty much indefinitely at super-sonic speeds and be very difficult, if not impossible, to intercept.Thank goodness it keeps crashing, because a weapon like this is truly terrifying. Here’s a good explainer piece on how nuclear powered missiles would work and why we really, really don’t want them to work. – Firstpost



Hayley Woodin, reporter:

Last month, the new owner of Guatemala’s controversial Escobal silver mining project admitted that the mine’s former owner had infringed the human rights of Guatemalan protestors. Pan American Silver settled the dispute privately after years of court challenges between plaintiffs and Tahoe Resources, which it acquired earlier this year. The settlement and public apology were unprecedented. But on these issues, “gaping holes” in Canadian law cannot be ignored, and without court cases, lawyer Hassan Ahmad writes that Canadian companies may still get away with crimes committed abroad. – The Conversation