Musk and Twitter, inflation woes, and a palm oil crisis | Technology

Elon Musk set tongues wagging with an audacious bid to purchase Twitter this week, whereas inflation woes continued to mount the world over.

In the meantime, Sri Lanka’s worst political and financial disaster in a long time continued to upend the lives of the nation’s 20 million individuals.

Listed below are among the numbers it is best to know to get on prime of this week’s information.

$44bn

The quantity Elon Musk will spend to buy Twitter under a deal announced on Monday. The prospect of the world’s richest man controlling one of the crucial influential social media networks – the place world leaders, CEOs and popular culture icons commingle – has polarised commentators.

To many on the political left, Musk’s acquisition would imply an intemperate billionaire having a harmful diploma of management over data and a possible watering down of requirements in opposition to hate speech and extremism.

On the proper, many view Musk’s devil-may-care perspective and feedback in opposition to censorship as a welcome antidote to the stifling political correctness and progressive hegemony of Silicon Valley.

Questions have additionally been raised about how Musk would cope with strain from censorship-happy nations like China and India, the place the Tesla CEO has appreciable monetary pursuits.

Musk, who is thought for his libertarian views, has solid the acquisition as a victory at no cost speech, describing Twitter as “the digital city sq. the place issues very important to the way forward for humanity are debated”.

Whether or not or not Musk can pull off his imaginative and prescient of a digital oasis at no cost speech, his stewardship of the notoriously rowdy social media platform will likely be intently watched – and vigorously debated – within the coming months.

5.1 %

The quantity by which Australia’s shopper costs rose within the first quarter in contrast with the earlier 12 months.

The patron value index’s 2.1 % rise in January-March – equating to a 5.1 % annual rise – marked the best price of inflation since 2001.

The surging costs have raised expectations that Australia’s central financial institution might increase its benchmark rate of interest, at the moment sitting at a file low of 0.1 %, at its subsequent coverage assembly on Tuesday.

Whereas Australia’s surging costs have but to match the highs seen in the USA or Europe, the place inflation is operating at an eye-watering 8.5 % and seven.4 %, respectively, the rising price of dwelling within the “fortunate nation” has turn into a key voter challenge forward of subsequent month’s federal election.

As it’s, Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s conservative Liberal-Nationwide coalition is already lagging the centre-left Labor Occasion within the polls.

An rate of interest hike by the Reserve Financial institution of Australia simply weeks earlier than the Might 21 vote – triggering greater mortgage funds for thousands and thousands of Australians – might make the incumbent’s possibilities of victory even worse.

60 %

The portion of the world’s palm oil that comes from Indonesia, which has banned all exports of the product as a result of inflation and provide considerations.

The export ban has put additional strain on international costs of meals and cooking oil, which have been already rising due to pandemic-related disruptions, the battle in Ukraine and poor harvests as a result of adversarial climate.

On Thursday, palm oil futures in Malaysia, the worldwide benchmark for costs, rose practically 10 %.

Palm oil is the most well-liked edible oil worldwide, and usually used for cooking and manufacturing meals corresponding to bread, chocolate and biscuits. The oil can be extensively used within the manufacturing of cosmetics and biofuel.

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has justified the ban as necessary to ensure the “availability of cooking oil in the domestic market becomes abundant and affordable” amid a persistent scarcity of the product within the nation.

Many economists say the ban will exacerbate the specter of meals insecurity at an already perilous time for weak individuals in creating nations all over the world.

$600m

The quantity of monetary help the World Financial institution has agreed to offer Sri Lanka so the island nation can meet fee necessities for important imports.

Sri Lanka is within the midst of its worst monetary disaster since independence after a dramatic drop in its international alternate reserves sparked double-digit inflation and left the federal government struggling to pay for imports of gasoline, medicines and meals.

Colombo has appealed to a number of nations and assist organisations for help to cowl quick important bills whereas it negotiates a bailout bundle with the Worldwide Financial Fund.

Thousands of people have rallied in the capital in recent weeks calling on President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and other members of the politically connected family to resign over the deepening financial disaster.